News for NMU Employees

​Lubig Supplies Pilot Idea for Invent'@NMU 

Joe Lubig (Education, Leadership and Public Service) has come up with a product idea that will serve as a pilot project for the Invent'@NMU team. His idea was motivated by a string of tragic headlines last summer about children and pets left unattended in vehicles and dying of heat stroke. Such casualties are preventable, but they continue to occur despite increased awareness efforts. Many experts have explained how quickly temperatures can rise to dangerous levels in a car and how rolling down the windows does not ensure safety. 

“I’m promoting an idea that focuses on keeping pets safe in these conditions,” Lubig said. “A lot of us are pet owners and our animals are such an important part of our lives. I ran into Dave (Ollila) on the South Trails in Marquette and when I found out he was involved with Invent'@NMU , I told him this idea I had been kicking around. He told me to stop in, but understandably the only thing he can guarantee is access to the process. I figured the $150 fee was worth satisfying my curiosity about where my big little idea might lead. We’re in the infancy—just beginning the first step in the flow chart. ”

Lubig said he is impressed with Invent'@NMU because each person who walks in the door retains ownership of an idea, no matter how far they proceed with it. He also likes the feedback provided by staff and the advisory board, as well as choices presented to the inventor at multiple stages along the way. For obvious proprietary reasons, details about Lubig’s idea cannot be divulged. But while it may seem far-removed from his profession, he is quick to tout the educational value of the Invent'@NMU philosophy.

“They put into practice what schools should ideally be about: a structured place in which to play, but with the exhilaration and adrenaline that comes from taking risks. You need that in any experience. There’s too much emphasis in higher education on just ‘getting the job’ and not the qualities that can help you perform it more effectively. Too many people are afraid to act on something because they might fail. It’s better to try than always play it safe. I like to think I teach and live my life that way. The nice thing is that this is contained risk. Even if my product idea turns out to be a loser, it won’t be embarrassing. I haven’t built a storefront or sold t-shirts or anything. I just want to see how far I might take it.”

For more information, visit or call 227-MAKE (6253).