Collegiate Inventors Competition® Announces 2014 Finalists

Forging the Future of Innovation, Undergraduate and Graduate Students Compete at United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

NORTH CANTON, Ohio, Oct. 2, 2014 — (PRNewswire) — The Collegiate Inventors Competition announced today its 2014 finalists, up-and-coming leaders and the future of American innovation. Established in 1990, this nationwide Competition encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity by recognizing and rewarding undergraduate and graduate college students for their cutting-edge inventions. The Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of Invent Now and the National Inventors Hall of Fame and sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and AbbVie Foundation.

Each year, individuals representing a broad cross-section of technological fields serve as first round judges, selecting the finalists based on originality of the idea, process (or technology used), level of student initiative, as well as potential value and usefulness to society. The finalists will travel to Alexandria, Va., to present their inventions on Monday, November 17, 2014, to an esteemed panel of final round judges, comprised of the most influential inventors and invention experts in the nation - National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, USPTO experts and AbbVie scientists.

"The Collegiate Inventors Competition advances the innovative spirit in higher education by recognizing students for their emerging ideas and encouraging them to remain on the path to entrepreneurship," says Competition judge and National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff, Jr., Co-Inventor of the Microprocessor. "From my own experience, I know how important it is to receive recognition for the inventive spirit at a young age, especially when I was considering my career. As a National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee, I feel honored to be part of the process as students evolve their ideas and develop prototypes and to see this next generation of inventors first-hand." 

Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of USPTO, will host the Collegiate Inventors Competition Awards Ceremony in which the winners will be announced. The top undergraduate winner will receive $12,500 and the top graduate winner will receive $15,000. Second and third place winners will also be recognized with cash prizes.

As part of the evolution of the Collegiate Inventors Competition, this year an all-new Expo will be held to feature the finalists' prototypes and research. The Collegiate Inventors Competition Expo is free and open to the public. It will be held on November 17, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the USPTO Madison Building Auditorium. All Expo attendees are encouraged to post a comment, photo, or video and tag #CICExpo for a chance to win a $250 gift card and Collegiate Inventors Competition prize packages.

Follow the Collegiate Inventors Competition on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for live updates and additional information.

The 2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Finalists are:


Anvesh Annadanam, Ravi Gaddipati, Luis Herrera, Eric Xie
Johns Hopkins University
Invention: AccuSpine
Spinal fusion surgery requires pinpoint accuracy. That's why AccuSpine is designed to provide surgeons with unprecedented real-time, continuous feedback for the accurate placement of surgical screws. The result: fewer damaged nerves and arteries due to misplaced screws. All at lower cost and greater safety for doctors and patients.
Advisor: Robert H. Allen

Katherine Cagen
Harvard University
Invention: Ferrotouch
Ferrotouch is about to give people with visual impairments the graphic equivalent of braille: the ability to feel an image. The Ferrotouch display uses iron-fluid-filled pixels, each controlled by a tiny magnet. Turn on the magnet and the pixel forms a bump – one of many that puts a diagram literally at your fingertips.
Advisor: Daniela Faas

Emily Cen, Forrest Miller, Elsa Swanson, David Xing
Columbia University
Invention: TKAone 
The post-surgical infection of artificial knee joints is a major reason why knee replacement surgery fails. TKAone is the first orthopedic implant that can detect such infections and immediately alert patients to the need for treatment. This early warning system will reduce failed surgeries and have patients walking again sooner.
Advisor: Aaron M. Kyle

Will Doniger, Brian Pekron, Eric Ronning
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Invention: Remex Mixer
When engineers mix materials, whether making pharmaceuticals or in wastewater treatment, they need the perfect flow. The Remex Mixer provides a gentler, energy efficient flow that optimizes mixing. It's the industrial equivalent of a countertop mixer that produces the perfect smoothie - with applications from petrochemicals to fragile biotechnologies.
Advisor: Thomas R. Mackie

Chase DuBois, Jorge Martinez-Blat, John Pamplin, Christopher Roberts  University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Invention: VoluMetric: High-Accuracy, High-Precision, Low-Cost, Handheld Drug Delivery
Adding just the right dose is critical when it comes to mixing chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment. VoluMetric is putting advanced volume-measurement technology in nurses' hands. A special sensor attached to a syringe measures the amount of fluid to within less than one-percent of weight. It's the right dose, every time.
Advisor: Devin Hubbard

Taylor Fahey, Charles Haider, Cedric Kovacs-Johnson
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Invention: Spectrom: Low-Cost, High-Precision, On-Demand Full Color 3D Printing
Industrial 3D printing is about to get a lot more colorful. Spectrom is the first device that enables Fused Deposition Modeling, or additive 3D printers, to print in full, variable color. The technology leverages the precise application and rapid changing of proprietary dyes to create crisp, multi-colored objects.
Advisor: Tim A. Osswald

Ryan Gedney, Charles Laughlin, Nicholas Marais, Taylor Pate
Clemson University
Invention: Insita Pro: Arthroscopic Surgical Tool to Enhance the Repair of the Rotator Cuff
Surgeons usually fix a torn shoulder tendon (rotator cuff repair) using arthroscopic surgery, working through just a button-hole-sized incision. Now, Insita Pro provides the first standardized method to hold, fold and deliver repair materials through this tiny incision. The technology will reduce operating times and increase surgical success rates, all at minimal cost.
Advisor: John D. DesJardins                                           


James Allen, Martin de la Presa, Ahrash Poursaid, Nate Rhodes
University of Utah
Invention: LIGHT LINE Catheter™
Catheters–thin plastic tubes–are among the most commonly used and important medical tools. Yet, catheter-related bacterial infections kill thousands of American hospital patients every year. LIGHT LINE Catheter will go a long way to preventing this. The light-therapy sterilization system targets and kills the bacteria that cause these infections.

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