RISE Forum Director Karl Schmidt stands and talks with students in a classroom.

The Resilient Innovation through Sustainable Engineering (RISE) Forum is the corporate consortium of Villanova University’s graduate program in Sustainable Engineering.

RISE is the only leadership forum dedicated to advancing the field of corporate sustainability through the discipline of engineering. Our mission is to accelerate the identification and application of data-driven solutions that will help our members increase the sustainability of their respective organizations. Our goal is to help executives apply the principles of sustainable engineering to secure a competitive advantage in the marketplace by reducing costs, managing risk, fueling growth and enhancing reputation.

RISE is both action-oriented—teaching companies how to apply innovative solutions—and rigorous—quantifying the risks and opportunities associated with a given solution. In short, we use the science of sustainable engineering to drive resilient innovation across the value chain.

Value for Our Students

As a vehicle for academic–industry collaboration, RISE enables graduate students to work directly with members on company-defined sustainable engineering projects and prepares graduates to address the full spectrum of sustainability issues confronting industry in the 21st century and beyond.

RISE Forum projects provide an invaluable opportunity to tackle real-world sustainability issues using whole systems thinking to bring new and innovative solutions to life. Working alongside faculty and industry leaders, students employ STEEP model (Social, Technology, Environmental, Economic and Political) integrators to fully assess the life cycle impacts of a given project, process or product.

Value for Our Corporate Members

Corporate members of the RISE Forum have access to faculty and graduate students who possess the requisite technical rigor to examine real-world problems from a whole systems perspective and evaluate various technologies or operational innovations towards the identification of a truly sustainable solution. Providing value to your company through an integrated network of dialogue, research and collaboration, RISE presents an opportunity to transform companies into resilient and restorative enterprises.

Learn more about our Member Benefits.

Karl Schmidt
Director of the RISE Forum and Professor of Practice


“The RISE mission aligns with the goals of Energy 2020, which helps cable telecommunications operators manage power, density, and performance growth in ways that are beneficial for their businesses, their customers and the environment.”

Chris Bastian, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers


“The students have come up with a number of exciting ideas for which the technologies are at the earliest stages of development.”

Brian Lange ’88 ME, associate vice president, Merck


“Students discovered opportunities that surprised people. They have helped us expand our thinking and look at things in fresh ways. They’re very diligent, very intelligent and highly motivated.”

Dante Bonaquist, R&D senior corporate fellow, Praxair