This E-Team originated in the NCIIA-funded course,Invention Project. The team is designing a refrigeration system that uses heat sources to create cooling.
The refrigeration system will be marketed to developing communities where electricity is scarce. Industrialization goes hand-in-hand with the spread of refrigeration, as it creates a way of storing and transporting food. Heat-driven refrigeration systems have unique capabilities. They are capable of using waste heat from a power plant, an industrial process, or an agricultural process to provide cooling at little extra cost, and can also use solar power or energy produced by low-grade fuel.
This E-Team-focused course, Innovation for the Community, offers lectures on entrepreneurship, IP, and team development from visiting mentors. E-Teams learn first-hand about product development by designing, building, and testing interactive learning exhibits for K-12 classrooms. Students explore the market potential for such products and evaluate competitor products at the Association of Science-Technology Centers conference. An important part of this course is that students "learn by doing."
The course is offered to sophomore engineering and business students who have not taken the course First-Year Engineering Projects. Experience has taught the PIs that students work harder and produce better products when they serve a real client. Students gain an understanding of how innovation causes people and society to change for the better. The course is part of the Integrated Teaching and Learning (ITL) Program that began as a grassroots, college-wide initiative to reform the engineering curricula to incorporate hands-on, team-oriented, project-based learning
This E-Team is developing an inexpensive consumer device for viewing, optimizing, and printing photographs from film. The apparatus is an inexpensive stand-alone device to view both positive and negative film on a built-in LCD display. Students estimate that even a percentage penetration of the product into the huge post processing market would generate multimillion-dollar revenues.
The reader displays a real-time positive image of positive or negative photographic film onto the reader's LCD display or to a separate TV screen. Output from the reader may be fed into the video input of a PC or MAC where the film is displayed on the monitor as a positive image. Software will allow the user to adjust the image for intensity, contrast, and color balance. The user may then print the final image.
The group is funded to build and test a proof of concept model and to then develop and test a prototype. The team works on the device as an independent study project. The project originated in an E-Team courseInvention: Creative and Legal Perspectives at Ramapo College
This E-Team developed the Cooper Cooler, a shoebox-size device capable of chilling a bottled or canned beverage from room temperature to refrigerator temperature in less than a minute. The device provides rapid, natural cooling of the internal contents using only ice water and a spinning device. The process is perfectly safe for carbonated beverages like beer and soda, which are not agitated and do not explode upon opening.
The idea for the Cooper Cooler was born on a summer day in 1992. Faced with the age-old college dilemma of running out of cold beverages at a party he was hosting, Cooper Union engineering student Greg Loibl was inspired to use his engineering skills to solve the "academic" problem. Loibl worked on the idea as part of his chemical engineering master's thesis, and, sensing commercial promise, co-founded a parent company, Revolutionary Cooling Systems, Inc. The Cooper Cooler experienced strong commercial success and is now sold around the world through major retailers like Amazon.com and BestBuy.com.
IIT launched its Invention and Innovation Project in the fall of 1995. The class curriculum goes beyond the traditional lecture style by focusing on an academic experience based on personal coaching. The idea is to give the students an opportunity to look at engineering projects as an art – the art of invention. To emphasize this point, the class is structured as a studio class, such as those common in architecture and fine arts programs, but with a technical content. There are fifteen students in each studio, which behave as a small, high-tech firm engaged in developing new products.
In one semester, the products must move from concept to design, prototype, patent, and business plan. NCIIA funding provides money to the student teams for project development and commercialization, as well as additional equipment for class use. Thus far the class has produced a team that won Advanced E-Team funding, the Automotive Ozone Pollution Fighter. Also, two products are nearing commercialization: a portable ladder for hunters, and a car seat for infants that massages them as the car moves. The class is taught every semester at IIT. A continuation of support for Dr. Ruiz's class was approved in the October 1996 round.
This course is a renewal and expansion of NCIIA grants MGRS 487 Entrepreneurship/ EE491 Senior Design and the previously funded MECH 452: Design Synthesis. The course has produced several high quality E-Teams and businesses. An interdisciplinary program, it is offered to mechanical and electrical engineers, emphasizing product development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Students are divided into "companies" and develop new products or prove new technologies that will subsequently be marketed or licensed. Guest lecturers from industry discuss various topics including intellectual property, venture capital, inventing, and entrepreneurship. This course is also taken for credit by MBA students who help the E-Team develop business plans. Each E-Team must develop a working prototype. Funding is for direct use by each team for product development and marketing
Mechatronics is the integration of mechanical systems and electronics focusing on sensors and actuators technology. This mechatronics design course takes an interdisciplinary approach by integrating both mechanical and electrical elements of design. The program is a two-course sequence involving about sixty students per semester, in which E-Teams form and design products. Both engineering and marketing students are on each E-Team. Students are encouraged to develop, patent, and market their inventions.
The first course, Mechatronics Design, features an acute emphasis on learning how to interface and control a series of sensors and actuators with a microprocessor. Students form teams, envision a product, and then move onto the second course, Mechatronics Product Development. This course includes students from business-related fields. Teams develop and create plans to market the envisioned product. The culmination of the two-course mechatronics sequence is an event at which students publicly exhibit their products. This event is an opportunity for students to find the encouragement and support to continue developing their innovations.
This project supports the establishment of a design studio for the first two semesters of the interdisciplinary design curriculum at RPI. The curriculum, designed to support students in independent design work, follows on the Introduction to Engineering Design course already offered. The studio provides ongoing support for E-Teams after IED, and includes shop equipment for modeling, digital cameras, and computers with scanners and printers.
This E-Team originated from the Ethanol Vehicle Challenge sponsored by the United States Department of Energy, General Motors Corporation, and Natural Resources Canada. Ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel than gasoline, and a renewable source of energy. A significant problem with the fuel is that engines fueled with a high percentage of ethanol do not start well at low temperatures. The technology that Cedarville began to investigate was a device that reformulates ethanol into ether and water since ether is highly combustible at low temperatures.
The Cedarville team later discovered a better approach than the ether/water solution. Ethanol motor fuel is "contaminated" with 15% gasoline to make it toxic so that the liquor tax does not apply. The gasoline can be recovered or separated by distillation and then used for the cold start. There are many advantages to this system, as it is less volatile than ether and therefore safer. The distillation system requires much less maintenance than a catalytic reformulation device.
The E-Team for this project comes from a larger team of twenty-nine members who competed in the Ethanol Vehicle Challenge. Team members have skills in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and chemistry and they have established several working relationships with industry and suppliers
This program is an interdisciplinary product and business development course conducted online. Students form E-Teams at the six South Dakota University (SDU) campuses around the state. At the beginning of the course, ten teams form, and include at least two technology-based members and two business members. Most teams have a team leader who is a student funded by the South Dakota National Science Foundation EPSCoR program. The E-Team works with a local mentor from a technology business to identify the product, conduct research, and create a development plan.
The course is delivered to students at SDU campuses using the internet in conjunction with two-way video and audio technology. Successful technology entrepreneurs present to the teams about product development and business issues. Topics and activities in the program include legal issues, sources of capital, budgeting, brainstorming, and successful collaboration. The objective of the course is for E-Teams to continue to work with businesses and organizations to make the projects a reality. Some E-Teams will continue work to compete for financial awards and support