August 2011

Former E-Team licenses mining disaster communication technology

In 2007, NCIIA awarded a $12,390 E-Team grant to help a student team at Virginia Military Institute develop its mine safety communications technology. We just heard that the technology, the VMI Through-Rock Communication System, will be marketing and distributed by global mine safety solutions provider, Strata Products Worldwide, LLC.

What it does: The Virginia Military Institute system provides reliable, low-bandwidth communications through rock, enabling much quicker contact and communications with miners trapped underground in emergency situations. These
systems are intended to be located near emergency mine refuge shelters or in strategic out-by locations.

Samantha Smith - New York University

Samantha Smith is a third-year student at New York University where she is designing a self-directed major in entrepreneurship and government. She has worked across the public, private and non-profit sectors for a variety of organizations including DoSomething, KIND healthy snacks and the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. At the moment she is Director of Global Development for the Kairos Society and a community developer for entrepreneurship at NYU. On the side she works with startups on business development and marketing strategy. Long term Samantha aims to make government more efficient and effective and to build businesses that solve social problems. Her interests range from policy to biodegradables and fashion to real estate. She's excited to harness the resources of NCIIA for the NYU community and help fellow student entrepreneurs achieve success.

Omoju Miller - University of California-Berkeley

Omoju spent her childhood years in Lagos, Nigeria. She co-founded her first company with her sisters shortly after graduating from high-school. The company was called Top's bakery, after the first initials of the founders names. The company began as a hobby and soon grew to the point where the founders needed additional employees to keep up with the growth. At the same time, the three co-founders where employed at International Packaging Industries of Nigeria plc as inventory clerks. In 1996, she immigrated to the United States of America to further her studies. She received an undergraduate degree in Computer Science (2001) and a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2004) from the University of Memphis. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of California at Berkeley; her research focus is in Computer Science and Education. In addition to her academic pursuits, Omoju is interested in pathways of under-represented minority inclusion in technology. She is a frequent contributor to the National Science Foundation broadening participation blog, as well as a member of National Center for Women and Information Technology entrepreneurial alliance.

Since being in the United States, Omoju has worn many hats, in 1997, she co-founded Agbowa Ventures, a real-estate property management firm, with her sister. In 2000, she took a position as a software engineer for Thoughtware Learning technologies, and in 2004, she co-founded Miller Dental Health, a dental care group which specializes in the delivery of quality dental health care and education to low-income families.

After completing her PhD, Omoju plans to continue on the entrepreneurial path by creating a start-up that will focus on developing innovative education solutions for the emerging markets. Her ultimate goal is to create a private equity firm that invests in new technologies for the emerging markets with particular emphasis on sub-saharan Africa and the Middle East.

My life's journey so far has made me a member of some rather interesting networks. I am a mother, a scientist, an educator, and an entrepreneur. I have close associates in the technology industry, beauty industry, health care industry and fashion industry. My life is spent straddling two continents, Africa and North America. My hope is to use my expertise and insider experience to help teams develop solutions that will enable the citizens of developing countries to become full fledged economic contributors in the global market.

Paxton Maeder-York - Harvard University

Paxton Maeder-York is a sophomore at Harvard University and is a candidate for a Bachelors of Science in Biomechanical Engineering. He has had multiple experiences in the biomedical field including at the University of Utah Orthopaedic Research Laboratory as a lab technician working on fixation for the Utah Electrode Array.  He was a member of the MIT FIRST Robotics throughout high school. He is a prolific builder and learner of manufacturing techniques including fiber glassing, welding, CNC Milling, and rapid prototyping. His past work experiences in the Biomechanical field and interests in entrepreneurship and innovation align with the goals of the NCIIA. His ultimate career goal is applying his engineering training to the business world promoting new technology and innovation. He hopes in the years to come to be a leader in the innovation community at Harvard and an effective liaison between students, professors, and entrepreneurs to bring new products to market.


Marial Bolhouse - University of Texas-Austin

Mariel Bolhouse is a senior Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Texas - Austin. She is currently president of the university’s Technology Entrepreneurship Society and won second place in last year’s Idea to Product competition. She did custom orthopedic design at Biomet in Warsaw, IN, and co-oped at Austin medical device startup Apollo Endosurgery. She has an avid interest in entrepreneurial activities and hopes to enable students in the greater Austin area to pursue such ventures. Beyond entrepreneurship, Mariel is interested in travel, adventure sports, and martial arts.

Mariana Prieto - Art Center College of Design

Mariana is currently studying at the Art Center College of Design with a focus on research, sustainability and social impact. She worked as a researcher for Designmatters, the school’s social initiative department, and plans to graduate within a year with the Designmatters Concentration.

Mariana is currently the president of Mustard, a student led organization that focuses on ways to apply design for social impact, and led a ten-day research/design trip to Colombia where the team worked on finding sustainable solutions for organic plantations in Latin America.

She is both Colombian and Italian and is passionate about traveling and immersing herself in other cultures.

Many interesting, well-researched and well-executed projects are constantly being developed at Art Center, but not enough of them make it out of portfolios and into the real world. I hope to be able to provide a platform for students interested in taking their products out to market so they can easily find guidance and feedback when applying for entrepreneurship grants

Lucy Lan - Wake Forest University

Lucy Lan is a senior at Wake Forest University, majoring in Chemistry and double-minoring in French and Entrepreneurship. Very much an interdisciplinary soul, she loves being creative in varying spheres. Lucy started her own jewelry design business, selling pieces on Etsy and in an Atlanta boutique. She has been performing biochemistry research on Fe-S molecules and bioremediation of sulfur-contaminating compounds in petroleum for the past two years, working towards commercializing results. This entrepreneurial research, partially funded by an NSF Partners for Innovations Grant, has been instrumental in merging her interests in science and business. Lucy has also interned at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, implementing Lean Lab/ Six Sigma organizational management principals in Analytical and Raw Materials Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Virology, and PCR laboratories.
Lucy has studied abroad in Dijon, France, researched across China, and volunteered in El Salvador.  These diverse experiences have convinced Lucy of the need for creative, sustainable, and innovative solutions to address global areas of improvement. Lucy plans on pursuing an MD/MBA after graduation.



Joseph McMahon - Boston University

Joseph McMahon is a third-year undergraduate student in Boston University's Mechanical Engineering program. He has been involved with research on high temperature superconductors for over a year at BU. He also has experience in web development and has worked for a web start up company. Joe is currently an analyst in BU's Office of Technology Development (aka Tech Transfer). The purpose of this office is to promote commercialization of technologies that benefit society. This closely intertwines with the goals of the NCIIA Student Ambassador program. Joe's mission is to serve as a liaison between students, professors, and entrepreneurs and to bring ideas to market. After his undergraduate studies, Joe plans to pursue a career in materials engineering. He has a fond interest in nanotechnology and its applications in developing infrastructure, such as water delivery and purification.

Jerrid Matthews - University of California - Los Angeles

Jerrid Matthews is pursuing his Doctor of Science in Computer Science and a member of the Network Research Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles. Jerrid earned his Masters in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles and Bachelors at Michigan State University. His current research interests are in wireless networks with an emphasis in health informatics.

Jade Patterson - Washington State University

Jade Patterson is from the Yakima Valley located in the agricultural heartland of Washington State. He is currently a junior at Washington State University, majoring in Chemical Engineering with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics. This past year Jade worked as a tutor for the College of Engineering and Architecture School at WSU. Being a tutor allowed Jade to teach many different subjects and serve as a mentor to up and coming engineers fulfilling one of his greatest passions.

Jade is currently involved in a water quality project funded by WSU’s Engineers Without Borders, in which the goal is to diagnose and treat water in a local reservoir. The team of students uses photo-spectrometry in order to identify concentrations of various chemical compounds. In addition dissolved oxygen, and pH readings are taken monthly. The long term objective is to achieve a sustainable healthy aquatic life environment. This project relates to his broader interest in contributing to positive environmental changes.
My mission is to involve and integrate various students and organizations on campus to develop and promote awareness of the importance of networking in ways that will help us accomplish significant and positive changes in our communities and environment.