Welcome!

News Feed Item

Collegiate Inventors Honored for Innovative Science and Technology Advances

Collegiate Inventors Competition® Awards more than $100,000 to Winners for their Inventions

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing the innovative ideas of today's college and university students, the 2012 Collegiate Inventors Competition, a program of Invent Now, today announced that a novel delivery therapy for treating cancer and a way to facilitate suturing in abdominal surgery have won top prizes during the Competition's culminating ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Inanc Ortac of the University of California, San Diego received the $15,000 graduate first prize for his invention of Nano-Wiffle-Balls for Cancer Therapy, and Leslie Myint, Daniel Peng, Andy Tu, and Stephen Van Kooten received the $12,500 undergraduate first prize for their work with the FastStitch suturing device.  The Competition is sponsored by the Abbott Fund, the non-profit foundation of the global health care company Abbott, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Competition is also a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012, a worldwide celebration of creativity, innovation, and ingenuity, founded by the Kauffman Foundation and designed to inspire entrepreneurial thinking and encourage entrepreneurs to launch new ventures.

Graduate student Brett Walker of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received second prize for his work, and Tamer Badawy of Wayne State University received third prize.  Undergraduate student Eric Ronning of the University of Wisconsin is the second prize winner in his category, and Riley Csernica, Meredith Donaldson, Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie, and Kaitlin Grove of Clemson University received undergraduate third prize. Walker was recognized for his Reactive Silver Inks and received $12,500, and Badawy was recognized for his Autonomous Operation of Internal Combustion Engines on a Multitude of Fuels and received $10,000.  In the undergraduate category, Ronning received $10,000 for ReHand, his new approach to a prosthetic hand, and the Clemson team received $7,500 for their Hi-Impact Shoulder Stabilization Device.

"The inventions chosen for this year's Collegiate Invention Competition are a testament to our nation's bright, young innovators," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "These students embody a true spirit of entrepreneurship and continue to strengthen our belief in America's future."

Experts from industry, government, and academic research initially judged student entries on the originality of the idea and the potential value and usefulness to society.  On November 12th, seven undergraduate finalist teams met with a panel of judges, as did seven graduate finalist teams, presenting their innovative advances in areas such as medical devices, cancer therapies, avionics, and engineering.  Both panels included Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame: Don Bateman (aircraft safety systems), Thomas Fogarty (embolectomy catheter), Marcian Hoff (microprocessor), Alois Langer (implantable defibrillator), Don Keck (optical fiber), Steve Sasson (digital camera), Gary Starkweather (laser printer), and James West (electret microphone).  In addition, the panels include representatives from the USPTO, the Kauffman Foundation, and Abbott.

"The Collegiate Inventors Competition champions are the pioneers and role models of their generation in science, engineering and technology," said Donald Halbert, Divisional Vice President and Site Head for the Abbott Biotherapeutics Corporation. "By highlighting the accomplishments of these young inventors, we hope to foster a better understanding of the importance of science and innovation in our lives."

"The Collegiate Inventors Competition recognizes outstanding achievement," said Thom Ruhe, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. "Through recognition and encouragement, this new generation of young scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs will become tomorrow's leaders, generating economic impact as they develop their inventions. We are pleased to be a part of that recognition and to have the Competition itself as a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week."   

In addition to the Competition being a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Competition finalists also are being given the opportunity to meet with Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to President Obama for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Todd Park, the United States Chief Technology Officer.  The meeting further emphasizes the importance of the innovative and entrepreneurial endeavors undertaken by this group who have the potential to positively influence and advance the future of our society.

First prize graduate winner Ortac's approach offers a versatile therapeutic strategy based on hiding and protecting otherwise immunogenic non-human enzymes from the immune system and their delivery to the target.  He does this by fabricating what he calls "nano-wiffle-balls" out of silica and hiding enzymes within, then enclosing the wiffle balls with a second layer, trapping the enzymes, but leaving holes for other compounds to pass through.  A non-toxic substance can be delivered systemically through the body, and activated by the enzymes inside the wiffle balls at the treatment site.  In this way, therapy can potentially be applied to the majority of cancers including blood cancers, solid tumors, and metastic lesions with application-specific modifications.  The Johns Hopkins first prize undergraduate winners have invented a plier-like device that can drive and transfer a needle across its jaw, intended to provide improved fascia closure during abdominal surgery.  With this device, the team hopes that surgeons will be able to close the fibrous tissue layer more easily and safely, allowing for less post-operative complications such as herniation or bowel injury from needle stick.  Their company, Archon Medical, hopes to successfully market their product.

Graduate student Walker recognized that silver-based inks are the heart of the printed electronics industry, but that they are also difficult and expensive to manufacture.  His reactive silver inks are particle-free, can be patterned through fine nozzles, and are extremely simple to make, resulting in high yields and increased performance for lower cost.  Student Badawy's invention enables electronically controlled combustion engines to operate effectively on fuels of different physical and chemical properties.  The state of the art technology autonomously readjusts engine systems based on a combustion sensor to achieve goals in power, fuel economy, and reduced emission.  

In the Undergraduate category, second prize winner Ronning uses CT scanning and 3-D printing technology to replicate an amputee's lost hand.  In addition to using 3-D printing, the hand utilizes a unique differential pulley system to control the force of the hand's grip, as well as providing an opposable thumb. The third prize Clemson team's shoulder brace is a self-applicable, low-profile brace designed for athletes who have experienced an anterior shoulder dislocation.  The brace provides compressive support to the glenohumeral joint during activity to aid in prevention of secondary dislocations while still allowing athletes to perform at a high level.

The Collegiate Inventors Competition has awarded more than $1 million to winning students over the last 21 years for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help of its sponsors.  This year's finalists' inventions included a rewritable and non-volatile data-storage device operating in living cells, an augmented altimeter to alert pilots to the danger of wake turbulence, and a new type of omnidirectional electric motorcycle that maneuvers on spheres instead of traditional wheels, among others.

About the Collegiate Inventors Competition

Invent Now, originally founded as the National Inventors Hall of Fame, looks for new and creative ways to spread the inventive spirit, developing a range of creative products, programs, and innovative partnerships that emphasize the importance of invention in society. It created the Collegiate Inventors Competition to promote innovation by recognizing inventors and scientists early in their careers and rewarding students' often pioneering ideas as they address the problems of today's world. Past finalists and winners have gone on to start their own companies based on their inventions, win prestigious fellowships and grants and receive national attention for their work. Introduced in 1990, this is the 21st year of the program. For more information on the Competition and past winners, visit www.invent.org/collegiate.

SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will d...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations might...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it's important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. "Fly two mistakes high" is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Le...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more than 24 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly-scalable architectures.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
CI/CD is conceptually straightforward, yet often technically intricate to implement since it requires time and opportunities to develop intimate understanding on not only DevOps processes and operations, but likely product integrations with multiple platforms. This session intends to bridge the gap by offering an intense learning experience while witnessing the processes and operations to build from zero to a simple, yet functional CI/CD pipeline integrated with Jenkins, Github, Docker and Azure...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Dhiraj Sehgal works in Delphix's product and solution organization. His focus has been DevOps, DataOps, private cloud and datacenters customers, technologies and products. He has wealth of experience in cloud focused and virtualized technologies ranging from compute, networking to storage. He has spoken at Cloud Expo for last 3 years now in New York and Santa Clara.
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.