Members of the Bison Microventure innovation team recently shared information on their award-winning research with colleagues from the University of Minnesota.
The team, which is working on such things as a porous ceramic dental implant and an artificial jaw structure, gave a seminar at the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics Oct. 31.
Sarah Lindblom, a senior majoring in zoology from Fergus Falls, Minn.; Shelby Schields, a senior zoology major from Dodge, N.D.; and Andrew Dalman, a junior from Minneapolis who is majoring in manufacturing engineering, presented to an audience of 25 University of Minnesota faculty, researchers and graduate students. Their work has won top prizes at NDSU’s annual Innovation Challenge competitions.
“It was a unique and immensely beneficial opportunity to be able to share our passion for dental implant research,” said Lindblom. “Stepping out of the audience to present to a group of people that do such exciting dental research was not an experience that I would have expected to have during my undergraduate career at NDSU.”
Lindblom and Schields gave a summary of their study, “Infiltration of Osteoblasts into Open Structure Implant Samples,” while Dalman discussed his research, “Development of an Artificial Jaw.”
“It's extremely exciting for us to experience the level of interest that our research generates,” Dalman said. “Cooperating and meeting in person provides feedback from experts in the field and allows us to make improvements; try new ideas and designs. This gives us a new energy and drive that we can use to make an even better design. Being able to do all of this as a student is a wonderful, unique opportunity.”
“It is not often that professors are so thoroughly fulfilled by performance of their students. This team of young people created a peer-level scientific and engineering dialogue with faculty and grad students in a highly regarded research center – and did so with style and grace. Their performance reflects enormous credit on everyone at NDSU,” said David Wells, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering and a mentor to the Bison Microventure group. “I am looking forward to other opportunities for our undergraduates to share their work and thoughts with high-grade researchers at other schools and with a wider professional community.”
Three additional members of the Bison Microventure innovation team provided supporting information for the seminar, including Lucas Budzien, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from Blaine, Minn.; Jacob Larson, a sophomore from Breckenridge, Minn., who is majoring in manufacturing engineering; and Kyle Sandberg, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from Buffalo, Minn. Prior to the seminar the six students toured the renowned Artificial Resynthesis Laboratory at the center.
“Having the opportunity to be able to present our research to big names in dental research was pretty amazing, but to have them respond so positively was surreal,” said Schields. “The fact that we're undergrads doing progressive research is unbelievable. We wouldn't have been able to get to this point without Dr. Wells, who really keeps us motivated and inspired on a daily basis. Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity.”
During the trip, the student team also attended the Medical Device Manufacturing Exposition and Conference in Minneapolis and toured the research and production facility at MTS Systems Corp. in Eden Prairie, Minn. At MTS, the team heard a presentation on advanced technologies for characterizing mechanical behaviors of biomedical devices.
The trip was supervised by Wells and Lewis Dailey, research technician in the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory.
Bison Microventure provides a learning experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. In its 13 semesters of operation, some 73 students have registered for at least one semester, representing 17 different major fields The intent is to create an environment that encourages the development of intellectual property and student-led enterprises, while pursuing learning on the leading edge of technology.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.