APS PIPELINE Project - EPIC Report

This report is an outcome of the APS PIPELINE program, an effort to transform the undergraduate physics experience to incorporate the skills, knowledge and mindset that not only leads students to successful employment, but also empowers them to make a positive impact on the world. This approach, called “physics innovation and entrepreneurship (PIE)” education, was incorporated into several curricular approaches by the PIPELINE project team.

In addition to describing the curricular materials developed under the PIPELINE project, the report also provides compelling arguments for incorporating this approach from multiple perspectives - including academia, professional societies, economic development agencies, and the world at large - and gives advice for how professional societies, funders, and industry can support PIE education.

Download the report >>

Cover of EPIC Review

PIPELINE Curricular Materials are Now Available!

PIPELINEThe PIPELINE Network* joins the efforts of six institutions engaged in PIE implementation to build and disseminate best practices and develop tools to measure the effects of implementation on departments.

These materials are now published and available at the webpage below. Please feel free to use them in your courses and classrooms.

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*Support for this work is provided by the National Science Foundation's IUSE program under Award No. 1624882

PIE Speaker's List

The PIPELINE Network faculty members are available to give talks and presentations about PIE at your institution. For a listing of the available presentations, and contact information for speakers, please visit our PIE Speaker's List.

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Building Support for PIE At Your Institution

Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs JTUPP
J-TUPP is a joint task force convened by the APS and AAPT and is charged with preparing a report which will provide guidance for physicists considering revising the undergraduate curriculum to improve the education of a diverse student population. In particular, the report seeks to address what skills and knowledge will best prepare the next generation of physics degree holders for diverse careers.

Many of the recommendations from the Phys21 Report align with PIE learning goals. Therefore the Report provides a strong supporting rationale for adopting PIE practices.

Gray Arrow Download the Phys21 Report and Supplement


Things your advisor never told you: Entrepreneurship’s role in physics education, Douglas Arion, Physics Today, August 2013.

Presentations and Talks

Start with Why videoicon, by Simon Sinek (TED Talk)
This talk gives advice for effective, persuasive advocacy.

Tinker, Thinker, Maker, and CEO: Reimagining the physics student as Engineer, Inventor, and Entrepreneur format_pdf, Crystal Bailey, APS March 2016 Meeting.
This presentation provides a context for PIE against the current employment landscape of physics graduates, and directly addresses common questions/concerns raised against PIE.

Introducing a Introducing a Framework for Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) Education format_pdf, Bahram Roughani, APS March 2016 Meeting.
This talk provides a framework for successful adoption of curricular and co-curricular PIE activities, and a perspective on change management around the adoption of PIE practices.

Common Careers of Physicists in the Private Sector format_pdf
A report by the AIP Statistical Research Center which provides an insight into activities and attitudes of physics PhDs working in the private sector.

Focus on Physics Bachelor’s Initial Employment format_pdf
A report by the AIP Statistical Research Center which describes the most common career trajectories of physicists entering the workforce with a terminal Bachelor’s degree. Includes information on job satisfaction for graduates in each sector, as well as primary skills and knowledge used in private sector roles.

Exploring Existing PIE Materials

Curricular material

Project Ideas from the Garage Physics Program
Hands on lab projects that connect physics concepts with real world applications, from Duncan Carlsmith of the University of Wisconsin’s Garage Physics program.

Framework for “Pop-Up” Classes
A general framework for planning and executing a “pop-up” class at your institution.

Model Programs

Carthage College Scienceworks Program
Information about the nation’s first and most established undergraduate technology entrepreneurship and career preparation program.

Case Western Physics Entrepreneurship (PEP) Program
An overview of curriculum for the award-winning MS in Physics Entrepreneurship track at Case Western.

Kettering University Applied Physics Program
An overview of this innovative program which utilizes a co-op and experiential learning model to provide a foundation for technical careers.

PIE Conferences and Sessions

Reinventing the Physicist: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education for the 21st Century. American Center for Physics, June 2014.

Sessions I and X, Beyond the First Year of College Conference format_pdf, July 2015.

Building New Pathways in Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Session R53, APS March Meeting 2016.

Educating for I&E in Physics, Venturewell Open 2017 Conference, March 2017.

Startup Stories

Related Resources


VentureWellVentureWell is a higher education network which enables powerful approaches to stimulating science and technology invention, innovation and entrepreneurship on university and college campuses, and move the strongest ideas rapidly forward to commercialization. Their E-Team program provides funding, immersive workshops, and specialized coaching to student STEM innovators to help them move their inventions into the marketplace (up to $25K grants are available).

Gray Arrow Learn more about VentureWell E-Team Grants

VentureWell works across disciplines to promote innovation and entrepreneurship through grants, competitions, and programs like the Pathways to Innovation, a program similar to PIPELINE focused on the engineering discipline.

Gray Arrow Learn more about VentureWell’s Pathways to Innovation Program