The future of design | Eastman Innovation Lab

"We value the support and partnership we have with the EIL. This year's students continue to exemplify what the Eastman Scholarships are all about: students with high levels of design ability coupled with an excellent work ethic and studio attitude."

Ed Dorsa, IDSA, Industrial Design Program Chair, Virginia Tech

"It has been such an exciting process learning more about industrial design, and this scholarship not only helps me financially, but it encourages me to do better, be better, and make the world a better place through design."

Lane Hering, 2016 Industrial Design Student, Virginia Tech

"It's nice to know that people noticed the extra push that I strive to give my projects, especially after all those late nights rendering to perfection over numerous cups of coffee."

Nicole Norris, 2016 Industrial Design Student, Virginia Tech

"We believe in the future of design, a future that should be nurtured and cultivated. Through the EIL design scholarship, we're proud to be a partner with Virginia Tech to celebrate success in the classroom."

Farrell Calabrese, IDSA, Creative Manager, EIL

Celebrating design in the classroom

The Eastman Innovation Lab is dedicated to supporting design education. While there are a myriad of ways to fund one's blossoming design career, there is no question that the cost of education is rising. Unlike students of even just five years ago, today students are able to solicit funds from platforms like Kickstarter, allowing them to not just conceive their designs, but prototype and even market and sell them— all before graduating! Though these advancements are shaping the new designers of tomorrow, scholarship opportunities are still coveted and the Eastman Innovation Lab is proud to provide three annual merit based scholarships to students that display excellence in work, overall quality of work and general attitude. 


Building ties that bind

Ed Dorsa is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Industrial Design Program at Virginia Tech. Since coming to Virginia Tech in 1998, he has taught at all levels of the Industrial Design (ID) studio and numerous courses across the ID curriculum. For the past 6 years, he has co-taught an Interdisciplinary Product Development Studio with faculty from ID, Computer Engineering and Business, and other departments. His research focuses primarily on Interdisciplinary Product Development, a cross-disciplinary methodology that encourages an entrepreneurial approach to opportunity identification and the development of products and services.


Honoring our past

Thanks to EIL’s long standing relationship with Virginia Tech, the Lab has had the ability to participate and support challenges that offer meaningful and useful solutions to real-life problems that benefit the planet and its people.

The Eastman Innovation Lab (EIL) Industrial Design Scholarship is an annual award by the Eastman Chemical Company in honor and memory of those affected by the events of April 16, 2007. The merit based scholarship is divided into three grade levels: rising junior, rising senior and graduating senior.

According to Ed Dorsa, the scholarship winners are determined by the faculty based on excellence in work, overall quality of work and general attitude.


Whisk + Stir

Rising Junior, Lane Hering, joined a whisk and a spoon together with the idea that people only need one kitchen utensil to do anything required for stirring or whisking. The plastic piece can be moved up or down— the further up it goes the more spread out the slats are, the better it is for whisking. The lower the piece is, the more compact the slats become, the better it is for stirring. Hering discovered that through the process the use of material could change the user group drastically.


Onward bag

Graduating Senior, Gabriella Jacobsen, designed a bag to help reduce overall plastic waste, as well as carbon dioxide emissions by using recycled plastic bags. The combination fabric and plastic bag is made from recycled plastic bags, a yard of organic cotton canvas, canvas thread, and biodegradable dye. Her bag design incorporates 60 to 70 fused plastic bags as an interior moisture barrier and cushioning material.



Cela, a stylish birth-control- dispensing bracelet, or a ‘contraceptive cache’ was designed by rising Senior, Nicole Norris. Norris found that current birth control pill users often forget to take their medication. To solve this problem she turned birth control a fashion accessory. The bracelet dispenses one pill a day at the flick of a button, and comes with an app that helps the user track their cycle, pill intake, and prescription.