University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
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2008 Tong Biomedical Engineering Design Award Winners


The competition took place May 2 on the UW-Madison College of Engineering campus. Thirty-four teams of nearly 150 biomedical engineering students displayed posters and prototypes of medical devices and innovations that they designed and refined for a semester or more. One team in each grade level—sophomore, junior and senior—received awards.


A follow-up competition award will provide funding to enable a junior or senior design team to further research and develop their design. Ultimately, that goal is to advance the invention to commercialization.


Sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Madison electrical engineering alumnus Peter Tong via the Tong Family Foundation, the Tong awards reward biomedical engineering undergraduate teams that design innovative solutions and develop outstanding prototypes. Their work addresses real challenges that University of Wisconsin medical and life sciences faculty and area biomedical companies face and offer for the students to solve.



  • Sophomores Hallie Kreitlow, Allison McArton, Ryan Kimmel and Joel Gaston designed the “Blinking orbital prosthesis” for client Greg Gion. An orbital prosthesis is a lifelike artificial eye that does not blink. The student team designed a prosthesis that includes a tiny battery-operated motor that enables rods on the back of the eyelid to open and close the eye.



  • Juniors Ben Engel, Ryan Carroll, Justin Schmidt and Eric Printz designed the “Device to assist in removal of pills from bubble-wrapped packaging” for client Molly Carnes, a professor of medicine and industrial engineering at UW-Madison. Patients who have weak or deformed hands have trouble opening pills that come in “blister” packages, or those in which the user must punch through or peel back a protective covering to access the pill. The students developed a device that includes a concealed blade; when the user pulls the handle on the device, the blade slices the blister and releases the pill from its packaging.



  • Seniors Sara Karle, Michele Lorenz and Emily Maslonkowski designed the system “Delivery of inhaled drugs through continuous positive airway pressure” for client Mihai Teodorescu, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at UW-Madison. For patients with sleep apnea and asthma, the students’ device can monitor breathing rate and, using a commercial continuous positive airway pressure machine, deliver inhaled steroids at predetermined intervals.

The Tong Biomedical Engineering Design Awards are made possible by a generous gift from the Tong Family Foundation (UW-Madison alumni Peter and Janet Tong).