Finalists named for upcoming “Fly for Researchers Faculty Pitch Competition”
Hosted by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Chattanooga, the second annual event spotlights promising faculty inventions, and there's money to help the top ones advance their ideas.
Five finalists will compete on the afternoon of April 19 in the second annual “Fly for Researchers Faculty Pitch Competition” hosted by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).
Similar to last year’s inaugural event, the competition spotlights ideas that have the potential to be commercialized or licensed. A total of $35,000 in internal grants will be awarded — $20,000 for 1st place, $10,000 for 2nd place and $5,000 for 3rd place — and winners will be able to use the money to accelerate the success of their ideas, innovations and commercialization objectives.
In addition, audience members can vote for their choice of the best innovation, with the leading vote recipient winning a $1,000 grant to accelerate commercialization progress. The “Audience Choice” grant is sponsored by Thomas Lyons, the Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence in Entrepreneurship in the Rollins College of Business.
The five finalists are:
- Whole Homes, an innovative method to ease the burdens and costs of construction when using prefabricated sections to build a full-scale house, shortening the process into days instead of weeks. The team includes UTC students Andrew Eubanks and Connor Mackey along with Sungwoo Yang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Chemical Engineering.
- Modular and Pneumatically Actuated Balance Platform, a self-contained, machine-operated platform that uses a wearable device to measure the muscular control of patients with balancing and walking problems due to chronic low back pain or sports-related concussions. Data from the platform can be used to treat the physical issues. It is a collaboration among Erkan Kaplanoglu, Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Technology; Max Jordon, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy; Dr. Jeremy Bruce, Orthopedic Surgeon at Erlanger Hospital; and Ahad Nasab, Professor and Head of the Department of Engineering Management and Technology.
- Drone-based Artificial Intelligence System to Detect and Assess Damaged Solar Panels, a system that detects and assesses damaged solar panels — cracks, corrosion, dust clouds, etc. — to ensure performance and longevity. Faculty collaborators are Abdul Ofoli, UC Foundation Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Vahid Disfani, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering.
- Audio Quality eXtreme, a method of adjusting digital audio that improves sound quality, especially with hearing aids, creating a more natural experience for those who wear them. Graduate student Joshua Tyler and Donald Reising, UC Foundation Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, are the collaborators.
- Clear Insulator For Energy Efficient Windows which involves the development of a gel that will be lower in cost, easier to apply and still as energy-efficient when compared to current methods of retrofitting single-paned windows. It will be presented by Sungwoo Yang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Chemical Engineering.
Judges for the competition are:
- Kristina Montague, Managing Partner of The JumpFund;
- Rebekah Sharpe, Founding Partner of Transparency Health; and
- Tasia Malakasis, Chief Executive Officer of CO.LAB.
“Fly for Researchers Faculty Pitch Competition” is sponsored by the UT System and the UTC Vice Chancellor’s Office.
Scheduled for 3:30 to 5 p.m. April 19 in the Mapp Building on campus, the event features five-minute presentations by each of the finalists followed by up to eight minutes of Q&A from the judges.
To register to attend, click here.