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Undergraduate inventors to compete Feb. 11 and 12

Adaptive Fishing Kit

Brian “Sunya” Nimityongskul won first place and $10,000 in the 2007 Schoofs Prize for Creativity with his Adaptive Fishing Kit, a device that adapts a standard fishing rod and reel so that people with injuries, paralysis or amputation can use it with one arm. (large image)

Coming soon to UW-Madison: new solutions for ice fishermen, potato farmers, tailgaters, laptop junkies and airlines—all invented by undergraduates.

Designed and built by 49 UW-Madison undergraduate students, 14 inventions will debut at the annual UW-Madison Innovation Days competitions, to be held February 11 and 12 in Engineering Hall on the College of Engineering campus.

Undergraduate students will present their ideas and demonstrate prototypes in hopes of earning a share of more than $27,000 in prizes in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Tong Prototype Prize competitions.

Designed to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in students and give them experience with prototype-building and intellectual property, the contest awards teams whose ideas and inventions are judged the most innovative and most likely to succeed in the marketplace. In addition, awards are given for the best ideas notebook and the best presentation.

Innovation Days is free and open to the public. All prototypes will be on display during the presentations and judging Monday, February 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and many prototypes will be on display during the presentations on Tuesday, February 12, from 8 to 9:15 a.m. Winners will be announced on February 12 at noon.

UW-Madison students can receive a door-prize ticket for each presentation they attend. The prizes, including gift certificates, electronics and camping gear, will be distributed in a drawing after the awards ceremony.

UW-Madison chemical engineering alumnus Richard J. Schoofs (BS '53) sponsors the Schoofs Prize for Creativity; the Tong Family Foundation, including electrical and computer engineering alumnus Peter P. Tong (MS '65), sponsors the Tong Prototype Prize and grants.

Engineering Hall is located at 1415 Engineering Drive. Visitors can park for a fee in Lot 17, the parking ramp on Engineering Drive near Camp Randall Stadium (page-sized map).


Schedule of events


9-9:15 a.m.—Runway Rescuer, a device to remove aircraft with flat tires from the runway (Becky Broberg, Zach Courter, Dan Kuehn, Peter Shafe and Rob Wilson).

9:20-9:35 a.m.—Lace Master, a machine that enables an injured or disabled person to tie their shoes tightly with just one hand (Ross Borchardt, Leah Holmes, Jacob Mikulsky, Dave Moseler and Mike Vioski).

9:40-9:55 a.m.—Whip-Up Tip-Up, a wind-powered device that prevents an ice-fishing hole from refreezing and alerts anglers when a fish is caught (Max Salick, Ryley Karl, Annie Ruel, Douglas Jensen and Steven Faulkner).

10:00-10:15 a.m.—Accessible Incontinence Device, a catheterized system to sense bladder pressure and control urine flow to prevent incontinence (Arin Ellingson, Marty Grasse, Ben Schoepke, Jon Sass and Dave Schurter).

10:20-10:35 a.m.—Pen Smart, an ergonomic writing utensil that includes multiple writing tips, such as ball-point and felt-tip (Daniel Gartenberg).

10:40-10:55 a.m.—Prototype judging

11:00-11:15 a.m.—Bug Whapper, a tractor-towed farming tool that removes beetles from potato plants (James Bridwell, Rebecca Hager, Alan Klein, Mike Kolden and Rachel Spartz).

11:20-11:35 a.m.—Laptop Case-to-Desk, a laptop case that can expand into a sturdy desk up to 46 inches in height (Scott Hollander, Tyler Cramer and Kenny Kearney).

11:40 a.m.—Lunch

12:10-12:55 a.m.—Prototype judging

1:00-1:15 p.m.—Portable Refrigerated Beverage Dispenser, a lightweight, self-contained unit for transporting, cooling and dispensing a keg (Kyle Hanson).

1:20-1:35 p.m.—Adaptive Sailing Seat, a boat-mounted seat that enables amputees, paraplegics or quadriplegics to participate in sailing activities (Kyle Satula, Pat Severson, Carl Vogt, Kevin Jimenez and Meg Reinbold).

1:40-1:55 p.m.—Ice Pod, a portable device to measure ice thickness on a body of water so the user can determine safety (Matt Hemke, Dustin Jepperson, Matt Orton, Bala Shanmugham and Alyssa Skulborstad).

2-2:35 p.m.—Prototype judging


8-8:15 a.m.—Vertical Dish Rack, a space-saving vertical unit for air-drying and storing dinnerware and flatware (Victor Moy, David Moya and Chor Vang).

8:20-8:35 a.m.—Zipper Lock, a lock that prevents a single-slide zipper from opening for theft determent (Victor Moy, David Moya and Chor Vang).

8:40-8:55 a.m.—SafeSled, an inflatable sled for evacuating people with physical disabilities during an aircraft emergency (Matthew Kuhns, Elliot Locke, Firdaus Nandoliya and Mike Wald).

9:00-9:15 a.m.—Hoopla Rack, a system for transporting hula hoops via bicycle (Danielle McIntosh).

Noon—Awards ceremony