Inks, paints, soaps, and cosmetics are excellent examples of products developed by scientists and engineers with expertise in soft materials (e.g. surfactants, polymers, nanoparticles). The Innovation Track on Liquid-Based Consumer Products helps students cultivate ideas for new products with commercialization potential. Product specifications and usage is validated using user-centered design and consumer behavior methodologies (in other words, satisfying the real needs of people).
The track offers the participants the following experiences:
(1) Technical Skills: Student develop knowledge on the chemical and physical properties of a variety of soft materials, such as micelles, surfactants, polymers, and colloids.
(2) Ideation: During the ideation process, participants find a solution to an existing problem with market potential identified through interviews and research.
(3) Product Design & Prototyping: Product Design & Prototyping: Once a solution to a real problem is identified, various laboratories provide technical support to design the product.Developing prototypes and testing them in a controlled environment finalize the process.
(4) Marketing & Entrepreneurship: Teams are encouraged to make startups based on of their products. To achieve this, the students will be exposed to other programs of the UPRM E-ship Network to help them with marketing and business strategies.
During product design and prototyping stages, participants are invited to use the Soft Matter Synthesis and Preparation Laboratory and the Soft Matter Characterization Laboratory located in the Chemical Engineering Building. Other facilities are available, however, their access depends on the necessities of the product and the team.
Students taking courses in soft matter (e.g. fluid mechanics, polymers, colloids, rheology) are encouraged to complete the track and apply their skills solving real problems. For more information, visit softmatter.uprm.edu.
To obtain the Liquid Based Consumer Products Track certificate, you must take 6 credits (or two courses) from the suggested technical courses in addition to the core courses in entrepreneurship (see About for more details).