The Negative X-ray Rapid System is a device that utilizes software to detect retained foreign bodies (RFBs) in post-surgical x-rays. RFBs--surgical instruments left inside the patient's body after surgery--can cause medical complications, result in death in up to 35% of cases, and almost always require a second operation to remove the forgotten item. Right now, the process of obtaining and analyzing post-surgical x-rays is laborious and expensive. The Negative X-ray Rapid System will dramatically reduce the resources needed to obtain a negative x-ray without compromising accuracy.
In 2006, Cooper Union began working with rural communities in northern Ghana on a solar lantern project. They have made steady progress since then, developing several generations of prototypes. Field trials began in June 2007, with the ultimate goal of creating an affordable, solar-powered lantern made from local materials and sold by local entrepreneurs.
This grant further supported the project. Students traveled to Ghana in summer of 2008 and continued developing prototypes of lanterns, charging stations, and a pilot production assembly line.
Every year, 10-20% of all pacemaker and implantable cardiac device (ICD) surgeries are replacements: the batteries fail, necessitating replacement of the entire device. This is an extra expense and surgical risk that could be avoided if the batteries lasted longer. To that end, this E-Team is developing a microgenerator consisting of a moving magnet and coil located within the tips of existing pacemakers' wire leads attached to the heart wall. The device will harvest the energy generated by the movement of the wall when the heart beats, thereby extending the life of the battery.
From left: Tina Seelig, Dave Barbe and Martina Musteen.
The NCIIA is delighted to announce the 2008 winners in the Olympus Innovation Award Program: Dr. Tom Byers and Dr. Tina Seelig, Stanford University; Dr. David F. Barbe, University of Maryland; and Dr. Martina Musteen, San Diego State University. The winners received their awards in Dallas, Texas, at the NCIIA 12th Annual Meeting.
"At Olympus, we understand the value and power of innovation, since it is at the core of every new technology we pioneer," stated F. Mark Gumz, president and chief operating officer of Olympus America Inc. "We are proud of the continuing success of the Innovation Awards as they recognize innovation in U.S. academia, which will foster the next generation of business leaders."
"Every year, we are amazed at how the programs and innovators that comprise the award candidates continue to get stronger," said NCIIA executive director Phil Weilerstein. "We had an excellent selection of candidates this year, and the winners had unique programs that demonstrated the tremendous impact they had on their students and universities, as well as their academic peers."
Stanford professors Tom Byers and Tina Seelig, co-founders of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), which encourages top engineering and science schools worldwide to include entrepreneurship as part of their curricula, won the Olympus Innovation Award. This award recognizes faculty who foster an environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive teaching methods and hands-on opportunities. At STVP, Byers and Seelig also develop and offer courses, conferences, internships and research activities.
Martina Musteen, assistant professor at the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University, received the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award. This award recognizes an individual who has inspired innovative thinking in students in a discrete area and who, the judges believe, has the potential to make even greater contributions to the field in the future. Musteen was also recognized for giving students the opportunity to work with international entrepreneurial companies to expand their global market opportunities.
David Barbe, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland and executive director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH), won the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award. This award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout their careers to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students in their own universities and throughout academia. Barbe has a proven record of leadership in creating one of the leading innovative technology entrepreneurship cultures at a U.S. university, through successful programs such as the university's Hinman CEOs program and its Technology Startup boot camp, both of which have become models that are replicated nationwide, as well as through the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program.
Solar power has long been seen as a viable alternative to fossil fuel-based power, but has remained too expensive to force a trend in the residential market, where outfitting your home with photovoltaic panels can cost up to $40,000. Current panels are themselves non-sustainable: they require a large amount of energy to manufacture, and the materials are non-recyclable.
This E-Team is looking to solve both problems with SolarPads, an inexpensive, recyclable photovoltaic panel. The design uses compound parabolic concentrators to widen the panel’s range and increase its concentration ratio, which means that fewer photovoltaic cells need to be used, lowering the cost. It also uses an inflatable wedge system that allows the panel to rotate to a position closest to the sun. Overall, the team is aiming for a panel that is 90% cheaper than similar solar panels.
EcoMOD is an ongoing green building project at the University of Virginia in which architecture and engineering students construct affordable, modular homes that use 30-50% less energy than similar houses. They’ve built five houses so far, funded by a variety of non-profits, corporations and the EPA. The first house, ecoMOD1, has an extensive monitoring system in place to gather data on energy and water usage. While the system works well, it’s far too expensive to be a commercial energy-monitoring product and hasn’t been replicated in the other ecoMOD homes.
The team is now developing a commercial version: a low-cost, freeware, wireless home energy monitoring system that provides real-time feedback on energy use (electricity consumption of major appliances, water consumption, indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, and carbon dioxide emissions), has the capability to adjust thermostat and ventilation settings based on whether the residents are home, and enables peak load shedding of selected appliances based on price signals from the utility. It consists of microcontrollers ranged around the house, a base station, and a web interface.
Mercury exposures are anticipated to rise with the rapid growth in compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which contain 3-5 mg of mercury per lamp. Recent research at Brown identified a form of elemental selenium (nSe) with the ability to capture mercury vapor—a finding widely reported in the news in the summer of 2008 (New York Times, Discovery, etc.). The team is now developing a technology platform for a variety of mercury management products based around nSe, including box liners for CFL packages and shipping/recycling containers, consumer clean-up kits, air cleaning products for large spills, and dental office products. With NCIIA funding the team is assessing the long-term stability of nSe, researching ways to incorporate nSe into porous or permeable matrices, building and testing prototypes, and performing market research.