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COE Students Compete for Cash with Inventions


BRAINSTORM: The Schoofs Prize for Creativity

With more than $25,000 in prizes, students in The Schoofs Prize for Creativity have come up with inventions ranging from aircraft design software to the human-powered vehicle "Turbo Mule." Brainstorm is the college's annual invention contest sponsored by COE alumnus Richard Schoofs (BS Chem E 1953).

Now in its fourth year, the contest awards four cash prizes to the undergraduates whose ideas are judged most creative, novel and innovative, patentable and likely to succeed in the marketplace. For the second year, two $2,500 prizes for best invention prototype will be sponsored by COE alumnus Tom Aschenbrenner.

Last year's first place, $10,000 winner--Theodore Van Deburg-- created the "Urilet," a combination toilet and urinal. The toilet lid flips up in such a way as to turn the toilet into a urinal. The idea is that one could have both in half the space. As Ted put it, "The Urilet has all the benefits and conveniences of a urinal, while maintaining the aesthetics and functionality of a well-designed toilet."

This year's winners will be announced in the afternoon on Edison Day, Wednesday, February 11, 1997. Students will present their work from 8 AM to 2:30 PM in 1610 Engineering Hall on the UW-Madison campus. Their projects will be on display in Engineering Hall lobby throughout the day. Winners will be announced and awards will be presented in room 1800 at 4:15 PM.

This year's entries include:

Turbo Mule by Brie Howley, Dave Waters and Eric Wobig. Turbo Mule is a human-powered vehicle designed to carry heavy loads over rough terrain. The inventors' intent is to provide inexpensive transportation to ease the workload of people in Third-World countries.

Brie Howley, 608/238-0902,

Hold-It by Scott Kurszewski. Hold-it is a quick-release, self-locking clamp used to secure a snowmobile to the trailer. The clamp is designed to speed and ease the dirty and time-consuming task of securing a sled for transport.

Scott Kurszewski, 608/233-0570

Recycling Plastic Welder by Eric J. Iverson. The recycling plastic welder enables an operator to feed strips, chunks, pellets, beads or shavings of plastic filler into a caulk gun-like applicator in order to repair or join together plastic. The tool can be used for everything from repairing a cracked automobile bumper cover to using milk jugs to seal windows or repair a toy.

Eric J. Iverson, 608/238-9113,

Adrol by Mike Bauch and Jassem Shahrani. Adrol is the Advanced Document Recovery Online system designed to record electronic copies of paper document being shredded. Documents are scanned as they pass through the shredder. The electronic document is stored in a password-protected directory so that destroyed documents can be reviewed in electronic form.

Mike Bauch, 608/264-3704,

Java Toolbox for Airplane Design by Andrew Cavender. The Java Toolbox for Airplane Design is a World Wide Web-based application designed to provide design assistance to aviation students, radio-controlled aircraft builders and anyone involved in non-commercial aviation. The application gives designers suggestions for low-drag wing sections, fuselage and other components of an aircraft. The completed aircraft can be crash tested in "cyberspace."

Andrew Cavender, 608/264-1074,

The Up-Lift by Laura Jensen, Patrick Maquire, Chad Vande Hei and Vidya Balakrishnan. The Up-Lift is a device designed to safely lower and raise a person from a wheelchair accessible toilet. The system is ergonomically developed to move with the user and fits on a standard toilet without remodeling the restroom.

Laura Jensen, 608/231-6968,

The Norton Featherbed (revival) by Jonas Zahn and Bryce T. Metcalf. This variation of the Norton Featherbed motorcycle frame is engineered to withstand the stresses of modern components. The frame includes a modified tail geometry, chromalloy steel and an optimized strength to weight ratio.

Jonas A. Zahn, 608/238-0902,

Interlogos by Luciano C. Oviedo. Interlogos offers a new form of advertising for local companies located near universities . The Interlogos database, with statistical software, offers direct, measurable and guaranteed advertiser diplays to local companies.

Luciano C. Oviedo, 608/259-8097,

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact James C. Beal at 608/263-0611, or Karen Walsh at 608/263-2982,