Class of ’51 Competition Highlights Entrepreneurship
Student vision and inventiveness were demonstrated in the latest array of entries and winners of the Class of ’51 competition. Sponsored by the Class of ’51 Entrepreneurship fund, the event encourages undergraduate and graduate students to purse the development of entrepreneurial ideas.
Judged from the entries of nearly 50 students, three ideas were awarded prizes for their problem solving, uniqueness, and feasibility.
“Each year, the quality and potential of the student entries get better and better,” said Rob Chernow, vice provost for entrepreneurship and chair of the competition. “The judging for this year was very close overall and several great ideas were submitted. The winners stood out in how thoroughly their concepts were developed and how well they were presented.”
This year’s Class of ’51 award winners are:
Navid Attary ’13
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rotation-Based Mechanical Adaptive Passive
First Prize $2,500
A seismic protection system to boost the resiliency of bridges and buildings in earthquakes. RB-MAP uses a new and novel method to dissipate the destructive forces of earthquakes. It has the potential to save countless lives and prevent billions of dollars in damages around the world every year.
Conceived and developed by Ph.D. candidate Navid Attary, the device adapts to different types of movement, but requires no electricity or expensive maintenance. It is a collection of gears, pre-torqued springs, and damping mechanisms that take advantage of “negative stiffness” to reduce earthquake energy transferred to a structure.
Testing of an initial prototype has shown that Attary’s patent-pending technology can reduce the force in structures during earthquake conditions by up to 60 percent.
Atharva Poundarik ’13
Bone Regeneration Biomolecular Processing
Second Prize $1,500
A sequential materials and fabrication approach that better mimics bone mineral formation seen in nature. This biomimetic material design and biomolecular process adds a new topographical/ compositional dimension at the nanostructural level to enhance bone substitution in bone defect/fracture healing.
The patent-pending technological advancement of student Atharva Poundarik is intended to replace current fracture healing products which lack the structure and composition of bone. It can be administered via minimally invasive procedures in a variety of spinal, foot, ankle, and dental applications. Patient benefits would include faster and better cell-friendly healing accompanied by a significant reduction in post-surgery health-care costs.
Michael Fede ’13
Virtual Product Demos
Third Prize $1,000
An application for computers and smartphones enabling a virtual preview of a product in its intended environment. The software solution combines video and the virtual insertion of a product in a room’s 3-D geometry. It would allow users to fully immerse themselves with their potential purchases to greatly enhance the certainty and outcome of an online shopping experience.
Developed by undergraduate student Michael Fede, this visualization tool combines the features and benefits of several existing software, cloud computing and smartphone technologies. It is expected to make it possible to give consumers a true idea of how a physical product would fit and appear in their living space, even with the ability to “walk around” it as if it were actually there. In addition, this app would create new value as a marketing tool for companies who currently have difficulty demonstrating their products to online shoppers.