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From snowblowers and cars to hand tools and luggage: Student inventors prepare to compete

Innovation Days logo

UW-Madison undergraduate student inventors will display 22 inventions as part of the annual Innovation Days competitions, to be held February 10 and 11 in Engineering Hall on the College of Engineering campus (view UW-Madison campus map). The event is free and open to the public.

The inventors 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.

All prototypes will be on display during the presentations and judging Thursday, February 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Many prototypes will be on display during the presentations on Friday, February 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Winners will be announced on February 11 at 2 p.m.

UW-Madison students can receive a door-prize ticket for each presentation they attend. The prizes, including electronics and computing equipment, 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.

Competition schedule

Thursday, February 10
8:45–9:00 a.m. … Opening Remarks from Dean Paul Peercy and competition director Alicia Jackson

Early-morning presentations
9:00–9:15—Downspout Hydropump (Nate Cira and Alex Rio)
9:20–9:35—Obsedis (David Michaels, Tim McGowan and Nicolas Clarens)
9:40–9:55—Master Key (Steve Wisser)
10:00–10:15—The MicroMag Stent Deployment System (Tom Gerold)

Break for prototype judging
10:20–10:50 a.m.—Prototype judging

Late-morning presentations
10:55–11:10—Stud Gun (Scott Johanek)
11:15–11:30—Five Finger Friend (Jeff Inhofer and Scott Johanek)
11:35–11:50—Glide Luggage (Jeff Inhofer and Scott Johanek)

Break for lunch

Prototype judging
12:30–1:00—Prototype judging

Early-afternoon presentations
1:15–1:30—Longboard Sling (Sean Kelly and Tyler Pihl)
1:35–1:50—Automotive Laser Lines (Stefan Jedlicka)
1:55–2:10—Plane Balance (Ray Uhen)
2:15–2:30—General Purpose Multi-directional Ultrasonic Ranging System (Gustave Granroth)

Break for prototype judging
2:35–3:00—Prototype judging

Late-afternoon presentations
3:10–3:25—Breast Milk Filter for HIV-1 (Laura Zeitler and Kimberli Kamer)
3:30–3:45—Light-emitting Door Viewer Communicator (Kevin Ripley and Brandon Kryger)
3:50–4:05—Automated Snowblower System (Abilesh Seshedri and Antonio Puglielli)
4:10–4:25—Masdex (Tim McGowan)

Break for prototype judging
4:30–5:00—Prototype judging

Friday, February 11
8:30—Opening comments from competition director Alicia Jackson

Early-morning presentations
8:35–8:50—The NAVI System (Erkin Otles, John Cheadle and Patrick Gruenwald)
8:55–9:10—Brew Fresh (Ben Schneider and Victoria Yakovleva)
9:15–9:30—Paper (Wayne Bontrager)
9:35–9:50—Innovative Diet Plan and Charitable Food Donation System (Tyler Lark)


Late-morning presentations
10:05–10:20—Direct Flow Value Train for Internal Combustion Engine (Nick Falk)
10:25–10:40—Proper Tear Paper (Joe Vosters)
10:45–11:00—Bubble Banger (Joe Vosters)

Awards ceremony
2:00—Awards ceremony and door prizes  

James Beal