D2P was proud to present its first Undergraduate Commercialization Awards at the Undergraduate Symposium at Union South on Thursday, April 14. This year’s recipients were Alex Buehler and Kiersten Haffey.
The Undergraduate Commercialization Awards recognize undergraduate research projects that have commercial potential to deliver value to society or the marketplace. Each winner receives a cash prize of $500.
Alex Buehler of the Faustin Prinz Undergraduate Research Fellowship designed a new approach to the design and manufacturing of saxophone mouthpieces for unique tonal qualities. He proposed methods of 3D printing to produce unique mouthpieces with complex internal structures that were previously impossible to manufacture. The unique mouthpieces would allow a dramatic change in tonal quality, opening up new opportunities to saxophone players who play more than one style of music, with the potential for a “customizable” sound. Not only is there a lot more potential for sound range, the mouthpieces are much less expensive than traditional manufacturing processes.
Kiersten Haffey of the Hilldale Fellowship designed a tissue-engineered retinal model for Age-related Macular Degeneration. Her device can be used to study neovascularization as well to screen novel treatments in a physiologically relevant cell culture model. This innovation can be used to provide a 3D model that allows researchers and companies to better visualize the mechanisms of angiogenesis in a platform that is more physiologically relevant than traditional 2D tissue cultures.
A special thanks to all our applicants this year. Our review committee enjoyed seeing all the proposals and ideas!