New Faculty Member, 2022–23
Professor of Practice, Engineering education
Mark Naufel grew up admiring his father, who devoted much of his career to work as an engineer for Motorola.
“He provided me with a personal computer at an early age and taught me to use it as a tool,” Naufel says. “In third grade, I even built a website for my school using Netscape Composer, and I have not stopped building things since.”
When Naufel completed graduate school, he was asked to join Arizona State University to build a new model of student-led discovery and innovation. His novel effort became the Luminosity Lab, now part of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“I am very proud of our student accomplishments at Luminosity,” says Naufel, who serves as the group’s executive director. “In the past two years, our student-led teams have won an XPRIZE and first place in the Red Bull Basement global innovation challenge. They also have twice become finalists in NASA’s BIG Idea Challenge.”
With new scholarship funding, as well as institutional and corporate partnerships to grow the Luminosity model, Naufel is excited to tackle the challenges associated with scaling its work while maintaining the culture and operating principles that have contributed to its success.
“The Luminosity model of student-led innovation has potential to become a transformational model within learning environments around the world,” says Naufel. “We intend to cultivate the world’s largest and most diverse global talent network that works collectively to solve society’s wicked challenges.”
Serving as a professor of practice in the Fulton Schools, Naufel will be teaching applied innovation. He intends to provide students with truly holistic knowledge about research, analytics, software, design and rapid prototyping.
“The Luminosity philosophy has always been to merge students’ theoretical knowledge with a set of diverse and applied tools, enabling them to bring their ideas to life in innovative ways.”
When not guiding student discovery at the Luminosity Lab, Naufel immerses himself in the experience of being a father to his 18-month-old toddler.
Written by Gary Werner