Over the course of three Mondays in October, BisonSpark Talks will take place at NDSU. BisonSpark Talks are designed to showcase the kinds of expertise and thought leadership in our region, featuring NDSU researchers and guests as speakers.
More than ever, real-world problems call for solutions that draw on approaches from multiple disciplines, that integrate those approaches and, that draw in non-academic stakeholders to come up with solutions. As a Carnegie Research-1 university, NDSU offers researcher expertise as one of the critical components needed to solve the economic and social challenges facing North Dakota and the rest of the world.
Each BisonSpark Talk session will feature a unique set of internal and external presenters along with a collaborative discussion that will lead attendees to contemplate the next collaborative ideas for research activities at the R1 research institution.
The talks focus on NDSU’s priority research areas: food, energy and water security; cybersecurity, computer science and software engineering; life sciences; and entrepreneurship and innovation. These priority areas were determined by NDSU President David Cook and shared with the North Dakota Legislature earlier this year.
In addition to the NDSU presenters, external speakers will include Michelle Berg, current JURA Bio, Inc. board member and past president of GMP nucleic acids at Aldevron, and Andrea Travnicek, director of water resources for the state of North Dakota. BisonSpark Talks will feature local emcees including Kaylee Weigel, NDSU graduate student and current NDSU student government president, Ben Stanley, principal at gener8tor, and Jenna Mueller, executive director of The FMWF Chamber Foundation.
“BisonSpark Talks will set the stage for the breakthrough research and creative activity that will serve North Dakota's citizens present and future. NDSU researchers – together with our regional partners – can identify and provide solutions to pressing challenges facing North Dakotans and others in the nation and even world,” said Colleen Fitzgerald, NDSU vice president for research and creative activity. Fitzgerald will serve as the host for the discussion portion of the event.
A poster session from faculty and staff researchers and postdocs will create additional opportunities for breaking down silos among research groups.
Fitzgerald developed the event to generate collaborative thinking at the university.
“Today’s problems are not to be solved by a single approach,” she said. “They require transdisciplinary solutions that leverage many perspectives and disciplines and BisonSpark Talks will serve as an essential catalyst in that process.”
The event is open to the public.