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Student inventors prepare to compete in Innovation Day competition

Student Nate Altfeature

Nate Altfeather won first place in the 2002 Schoofs Prize for Creativity with a device called the Check-meter. The Check-meter measures negative acceleration, or "check," of a rowing shell. (large image)

Student Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson won first place in the 2002 Tong Prototype Prize competition for his pneumatically powered shingle stripper. (large image)

UW-Madison student inventions related to submarines, flying cameras, mountain bikes, golf, camping, rock climbing, music, health and more will compete for more than $24,000 in prizes in the 2003 Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Tong Prototype Prize competitions. The contests will be held on Innovation Day, Monday, February 10.

Now in its ninth year and open to all University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduates, the contest awards cash prizes to those whose ideas are judged most creative, novel, innovative and likely to succeed in the marketplace.

Winners will be announced in the afternoon of Innovation Day, the College of Engineering's annual celebration of Thomas Edison's birthday.

All events are free and open to the public. The competitions are sponsored by the UW Technology Enterprise Cooperative. The Schoofs Prize for Creativity is funded by Richard J. Schoofs (BS 1953, chemical engineering). The Tong Prototype Prizes and grants are sponsored by the Tong Family Foundation, including COE alumnus Peter P. Tong (MS 1965, electrical and computer engineering).



8:00 a.m.-1:35 p.m. — Presentation of student entries in 1610 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive. The poster session will be in the atrium of Engineering Hall. Students can collect a door prize ticket for each invention presentation they attend. Prizes include Hewlett Packard computer products and items from the French Quarter Café in Luther's Blues, University Bookstore, Berbee Information Networks Corporation, Fine Posters & Prints and The Poster Master.

1:45 p.m. — Thomas Edison returns to power the Edison Dynamo that he used in his first public exhibition of incandescent electric light.

4:30 p.m. — Judges will award more than $24,000 in prizes to the top inventors as well as door prizes to students who attend presentations.

This year's entries include:

The Flying Eye: an aerial photography system that allows users to attach a still camera to a lifting device such as a balloon or kite.

Two Phase Flow Regime Detection System: a method for detecting the various states of liquid and gas in industrial pipeline systems.

Bracket Racket Bottom Bracket: a bicycle crank arm and bottom bracket assembly that offers higher strength in the crank arms providing a better strength/weight ratio and increased bearing fatigue life.

Personal In-Flight Exercise Equipment (PIFEE): an exercise device that allows the user to stimulate the lower leg muscles during long airline flights to help prevent the occurrence of blood clots in the legs.

The Dual Faucet Fountain: a water fountain or "bubbler" that can be adjusted to fill water bottles.

The Range Doctor: an unmanned golf ball retrieval device for use on golf ball driving ranges.

CO2 Powered Submarine Propulsion System: a propulsion system for a radio-controlled model submarine.

Stand-Aid: a hospital patient chair designed to make sitting down and getting up easier. The design enables direct transfer of patient from bed to chair.

Dual Geometry Tent: a tent that can be quickly changed between two shapes from both inside and outside the shelter.

Digital Blackboard: a white, magnetized writing board that employs black iron chalk. Turning off the magnetic field erases the board. The iron "dust" is collected and made into new chalk.

Solar Saver: a solar battery charger connected to a smoke alarm in order to extend the life of the alarm battery.

Wing Nut: an adjustable passive protection device used in rock climbing. The device mounts in a range of rock crack sizes.

Releasable Wakeboard Binding: a wakeboard binding designed to release the boot from the board at a predetermined moment of force. The design lowers the potential for dangerous forces to be transmitted to the user's ankle or knee.

Ferrosphere: combines the visual appeal of a Lava Lamp with the interactive capabilities of electronic music visualization.

Full Suspension Bicycle Frame, the AB-1: a bicycle frame with a shock-absorbing system for the rear wheel. The design improves comfort, safety and handling for high-end mountain racing bikes.