The magazine Popular Science
cites Wisconsin inventor among nation's best
adison-area entrepreneur Ben Hobbins is among the nation’s top 10 inventors featured in the June issue of Popular Science magazine. The magazine cites Hobbins, CEO of Lake Resources Group, for the novel fiber-reinforced soft-bait fishing lures he developed in collaboration with Kuo K. and Cindy F. Wang Professor Tim Osswald, who is also co-director of the Polymer Engineering Center.
The reinforced lures can sustain 93 pounds of tensile load and, unlike their toxic, soft-plastic counterparts, won’t tear and disintegrate at the bottoms of lakes and rivers.
Osswald and then-graduate students Nick Newman and Eric Foltz initially helped Hobbins address materials and manufacturing questions. They also helped Hobbins develop prototypes. Hobbins now manufactures and sells the lures in sporting goods stores nationwide under his “IronClads” brand.
“Without development collaboration by UW-Madison’s Polymer Engineering Center, development of the IronClads project would have been nearly impossible,” says Hobbins. “I owe Tim, his team and the university much in our success.”
To bring his vision to fruition, Hobbins also drew on resources at UW-Whitewater,
UW-Extension and the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison. He and Osswald now are working together to develop new applications for and iterations of the fiber-reinforced soft plastics.