Schoofs Prize for Creativity 2007

Posted on February 11, 2007 No Comments

Single-handed fishing kit reels in first place in invention competition:

Brian “Sunya” Nimityongskul got the idea for a system for one-armed fishing while recovering from shoulder surgery last summer. “I wanted to be fishing and not sitting at home,” he says. “Being an engineer, I decided I’d do something about it.” He worked on it during his free time, doing the design and machining himself

Related: Concentrating Solar Collector (2006)Schoofs Prize for Creativity web siteSchoofs Prize for Creativity 2005

Schoofs Prize for Creativity

Posted on November 19, 2005 No Comments

Photo of interlocking bowl baby tray

Photo: “Tara Jo Schiltz designed the interlocking bowl and tray system for use with a baby’s high chair. The system locks the bowl in the tray preventing the child from throwing the bowl to the floor.”

The Schoofs Prize for Creativity is open to undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Other winners included:

  1. First place and $10,000 — Nick OBrien, Chandler Nault and Mitch Nick for “The FireSite:” A transmitter/receiver system designed to guide firefighters out of smoke-filled buildings.
  2. Second place and $7,000 — Ben Jaeger, Natalie Meagher, Mark Webb, Lynn Daul, Dominic Kasten for the “Baseboard Booster:” A collapsing stool that fits in the space behind the baseboard of a cabinet
  3. Third place and $4,000 — Sean McHone for “RoboMouse:” A fishing lure that replicates the appearance and movements of a live animal in the water.

More details on the 2005 competition.

July 2005 Wall Street Journal article on the 1996 award winner: For This Inventor, The Perfect Beer Is All About the Tap:

He was not the first college student to dream of ways to get to his alcohol more quickly. What set Mr. Younkle apart is that he chose, soberly, to follow through.

Ten years later, Mr. Younkle, 31 years old, is president and chief technology officer of TurboTap, a company marketing a finger-sized nozzle that attaches to standard beer faucets and pours draft beer at least twice as fast as traditional systems do, and with less spillage. The company, based here, has installed about 1,000 TurboTaps at bars, restaurants and ballparks—including Chicago’s two major-league baseball stadiums and Cleveland’s Gund Arena.

Students Create “Disappearing” Nail Polish

Posted on March 22, 2008 3 Comments

‘Vanishing’ colour gives schoolgirls chance to beat ban on nail varnish

A nail varnish that “vanishes” has been developed by a group of school pupils – offering girls the chance to beat bans on makeup. The nail colour is a vivid red outdoors – but inside it transforms to a much paler shade which can hardly be seen.

The dramatic change is caused by a chemical reaction between the varnish and the ultraviolet light in natural sunlight. The polish was devised by pupils from Albion High School, Salford, who thought the “vanishing” colour may help them beat the school’s ban on nail polish.

They came up with the idea while working on an enterprise project with Paul Haywood and Sam Ingleson from Salford University’s school of art and design.

Not exactly what I would create but it is great to see students using scientific thought to find solutions they desire.

Related: The Chemistry of Hair ColoringEngineering Students Design Innovative Hand DryerStudent designs a baby high chairEngineering Student Contest Winners Design Artificial Limb

Collegiate Inventors Competition

Posted on February 28, 2008 1 Comment

A novel way to treat cancer has won the top honor at the 2007 Collegiate Inventors Competition, an annual program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. Ian Cheong of Johns Hopkins University was announced as the grand prize winner, receiving a $25,000 prize, during a ceremony last night on the campus of the California Institute of Technology.

This year’s winners also include John Dolan of the University of California, San Francisco in the graduate category for his work on the Dolognawmeter, a device to measure the effectiveness of painkillers, and Corey Centen and Nilesh Patel of McMaster University in the undergraduate category for their work on creating a CPR assist device. The McMaster team and Dolan each received a $15,000 prize from the competition, which is sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Abbott Fund.

The Collegiate Inventors Competition has recognized and encouraged undergraduate and graduate students on their quest to change the world around them for 17 years. Entries for 2008 are due by 16 May 2008 and must be the original idea and work product of the student/advisor team, and must not have been (1) made available to the public as a commercial product or process or (2) patented or published more than 1 year prior to the date of submission to the competition. The entry submitted must be written in English.

The invention, a reduced-to-practice idea or workable model, must be the work of a student or team of students with his or her university advisor. If it is a machine, it must be operable. If it is a chemical, it must be complete with evidence of successful application of the idea. If it is a new plant, color photographs or slides must be included in the submission. If a new or original ornamental design for an article of manufacture is submitted, the entire design must be included in the application. In addition, the invention should be reproducible.

Related: Inventor TV ShowsEngineering a Better Blood Alcohol SensorModern Marvels Invent Now ChallengeSchoofs Prize for Creativity

Ian Cheong, 33, arrived at Johns Hopkins University from his native Singapore prepared to focus on cancer therapy. Drugs used in cancer treatment routinely kill the healthy cells as well as the cancer cells because they are potent but nonspecific. Cheong took on the task of finding a way to make the cancer drugs more specific. He injected bacterial spores into the subject which made their way to oxygen-poor areas within cancerous tumors. Then, Cheong put a cancerfighting drug in lipid particles and injected those liposomes into a subject. The germinated bacterial spores also secrete a protein that makes liposomes fall apart when the drug-containing liposomes are in the proximity of the tumors, and the drug is released only in those specific areas. Cheong, originally educated as a lawyer, received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular medicine from Johns Hopkins and is currently working on postdoctoral research. His advisor, Bert Vogelstein, receives a $15,000 prize.

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2007 Posts

Posted on August 25, 2007 No Comments > Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog > 2007 Archive

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2005 Posts

Posted on August 25, 2007 No Comments

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Singapore Students Engineer New Products

Posted on June 11, 2007 1 Comment

Students design products to help environment and disabled people

“Now it’s in the eighth year and we’ve had 5,000 students on the scheme. This year the quality is quite good, I’m quite happy. Some amazing ideas such as the fish scaling device and the shuttlecock launcher,” said Mr Butler. There is no limit to innovation and creativity.

An automated shuttlecock launcher, which can adjust the launching angle of shuttlecocks, came in tops in terms of design. Currently there are no mechanical shuttlecock launchers in the market. But this launcher can not only be produced at a low cost, but also help beginners execute different strokes. Another practical design is a retractable bamboo system that improves safety when drying laundry. It also comes with a plastic cover to keep out the rain. The above are just a few examples of the 52 innovations that may just find their way into our homes and lives, once these young technopreneurs find the right investors.

I like the increasing efforts to engage university students in actually creating useful innovations. It isn’t easy to actually create winning solutions but the efforts to do so I think teach many valuable lessons. Such efforts support a change to our education system to engaging students in actual engineering projects not just problem sets (for example: Educating the Engineer of 2020: NAE ReportOlin Engineering Education ExperimentChanges at MIT for Engineering EducationEducating Engineering Geeks).

Related: Engineering Student Contest Winners Design Artificial LimbSchoofs Prize for CreativityRe-engineered WheelchairYoung Innovators Under 35Silicon Valley secret is engineering education

Concentrating Solar Collector wins UW-Madison Engineering Innovation Award

Posted on February 12, 2006 3 Comments

Solar Collector

An inexpensive, modular solar-energy technology that could be used to heat water and generate electricity (see photo) won $12,500 and took first place in both the Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Tong Prototype Prize competitions, held Feb. 9 and 10 during Innovation Days on the UW-Madison College of Engineering campus.

In a package about the size of a small computer desk, the winning system uses a flat Fresnel lens to collect the sun’s energy and focus it onto a copper block. Then a unique spray system removes the energy from the copper block and converts it into steam, says inventor Angie Franzke, an engineering mechanics and astronautics senior from Omro, Wisconsin. The steam either heats water for household use or powers a turbine to generate electricity.

Other 2006 Schoofs Prize for Creativity winners include:

* Second place and $7,000 — William Gregory Knowles, for the OmniPresent Community-Based Response Network, a personal, business or industrial security system that draws on networked users and devices to more efficiently verify burglar alarms, fire alarms or medical emergencies.
* Third place and $4,000 — Garret Fitzpatrick, Jon Oiler, Angie Franzke, Peter Kohlhepp and Greg Hoell for the Self-Leveling Wheelchair Tray, a stowable working surface for wheelchairs that self-levels, even when the wheelchair is tilted or reclined up to a 45-degree angle.

Read more about the 2006 competition