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April 12, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Winners announced in UTC’s inaugural “FLY for Researchers Faculty Pitch Competition”

Hamdy Ibrahim, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Ahmed Korra, a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, captured first place and $20,000 by winning the inaugural “FLY for Researchers Faculty Pitch Competition” held yesterday afternoon at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).

Their pitch was titled “Dissolving and patient-specific fixation implants for broken bones.”

Second place and a $10,000 prize went to David Giles, Associate Professor of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science, who presented “Resistance is futile: Developing a ‘Trojan Horse’ strategy for battling bacterial infections.” Third place and $5,000 in prize money was awarded to Farah Kandah, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, who was joined by Brennan Huber, a PhD student, Computational Science, to pitch “A System and Method for Trust as a Service in Smart Cities and other Large-Scale IoT Deployments.”

Other competitors were:

  • Zibin Guo, Professor of Medical Anthropology, pitched “Wheelchair/Adaptive Tai Chi Chuan.
  • Erkan Kaplanoglu, Associate Professor of Engineering Management and Technology and Ahad Nasab, Professor and Department Head, Engineering Management and Technology Department, presented “Developing Active and Passive Force Controlled Wearable Device for Upper Extremity Essential Tremor.”
  • Nagwan Zahry, Assistant Professor of Communication; Marissa McElrone, Assistant Professor of Health and Human Performance, and Chang Phuong, Lecturer in Computer Science and Engineering, pitched “FoodConnect App: A User-Centered Healthy Eating App.

The event was sponsored by UTC’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, UTC’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), UT System, and the Office of the UT Vice President for Research. The competition was held in the CIE space in the MAPP Building, 410 East 8th Street, a facility we spotlighted in this November 2021 article.

Later this afternoon, UTC’s Rollins College of Business will host the “Undergraduate FLY Pitch Competition” that, as its name implies, is focused on undergraduate students. The event will also be hosted in the CIE space, and the prize package includes $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $50 in “Scrappy Cash” for all others who pitch in the event. The top two winning teams will also receive additional non-cash prizes including free accounting and legal consulting.

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