October 31, 2013

Innovation and Saluki Idea award winners named

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 2013 Technology and Innovation Expo and Saluki Idea competition fostered and honored Saluki innovation and creativity.

The two-part event took place Oct. 25 at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center and included the announcement of the 2013 Inventor Award winners.

The winners are:

  • Inventor of the Year -- David Lightfoot, professor of plant, soil and agricultural systems, College of Agricultural Sciences, honored for his research primarily focusing on crop productivity and disease resistance.  He is co-inventor for seven patents issued since 1999 and also the inventor or co-inventor for eight pending patents.
  • Innovator of the Year -- Peter Fadde, associate professor in curriculum and instruction, College of Education and Human Services, honored for work with computer applications used for training expert perceptual skills in sports.  A patent is pending and Fadde’s research resulted in a product now being sold commercially nationwide.
  • Startup Company of the Year -- Minerals Development Technologies Inc., whose founders include Paul Chugh, mining and mineral resources engineering professor, College of Engineering.  The business is initially focusing on dust control technologies for continuous mining machines.  One patent has already been approved and two are pending.
  • Student Startup of the Year -- orderbolt, an app that is promoted as “the new premier mobile payment platform.”  The business is operated by Bryce Morrison, Tom Harness, Jonathan Bening, Geoff Veliz and Aarika Price and others, most of whom are all graduates, students, or former students at SIU Carbondale. 

The event also served as the final round for the Saluki Idea Competition in which students and student-led teams showcased their ideas for new, technology-based, commercially viable products and services. 

The theme was “Innovating for Impact,” with contestants competing for $1,000 in grant funds from the SIU Sustainability Council.  In addition, SalukiTech Computer Store and Help Desk provided a Dell tablet as a door prize.  More than 20 campus and community organizations and entities provided support for the Tech Expo and Saluki Idea Competition. 

Saluki Idea Competition winners are:

  • First place -- D.scribe, a communication eco-system that provides accurate transcriptions of conversations for the deaf or hearing impaired, by Christopher Faller and Briana Royster, seniors in industrial design.
  • Second place -- Radiation Water Pump for Developing Countries or Off-grid Communities, an affordable, solar-powered water pump/irrigation system, by Felipe Paulino Silva, and Abdiel Quetz, mechanical engineering students.
  • Honorable mention -- PowerPrice, an e-commerce, online, auction-type website allowing customers to solicit for their desired item and prices, by Azadeh Omrani-Kermani, MBA student.
  • Honorable mention -- ReNew, an interactive recycling/sustainability campaign, by senior industrial design students John Leco and Gene Park.
  • Honorable mention -- Solar for All, a solar power-sharing concept, by senior technical resource management student David Schau.   

Judges for the competition included Jim Garvey, vice chancellor for research; Dennis Cradit, dean of the College of Business; Robyn Laur Russell, SIU director of business development and international trade; Chester Wilson, associate professor at Louisiana Tech and Lawrence Cruz, chief patent council for Conair Corp. 

For more information about the Tech Expo visit www.tie.siu.edu.  To learn more about the Saluki Idea Competition, visit siu.launcht.com/.