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Innovation Challenge '14 finalists named

The finalists have been named for NDSU’s Innovation Challenge ’14. The third annual competition focuses on innovative work of students. It is a featured event of NDSU’s Innovation Week, sponsored by the Office of the Provost in partnership with the NDSU Research and Technology Park, scheduled for March 3-6.

The 20 finalists, including nine entries in the product track, six contenders in the service track and five teams in the corn track, will give an oral presentation to be judged on Wednesday, March 5. The Innovation Challenge ’14 awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, March 6.

Projects in the product track include:

• “Team Bio-Sports” has a goal to create sports equipment made from a variety of natural fibers, including flax and bio-resins. Team members include senior Mitch Nordahl from Elk River, Minn., and graduate student Emily Imdieke from New London, Minn. Chad Ulvan, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is the team adviser.

• “Common Thread” wants to develop a die set for plastic, and possibly metal, extrusion machines to allow the creation of wrapped features like screw threads on long products. Team members include senior Derek Holt of Fargo, senior Kathryn Kirkevold of Fargo, senior Will Jury of Harwood, N.D., and senior Colton Arries of Hutchinson, Minn. David Wells, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, is the team adviser.

• The “NewCure” entry works on a cure for neurobastoma, a commonly diagnosed tumor in children and infants, by targeting cancer stem cells. Graduate student Shuang Zhou, who is from Chifeng, China, conducts the work. Her faculty adviser is Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences.

• “Torch Table Development Group” is developing an adjustable propane fire table, with such features as detachable rotisserie and grill sets. The entry is the idea of freshman Michael Brewer of Long Beach, Calif. Wells is his adviser.

• “To The Sky” focuses on the development of the QuadraBike, a futuristic mode of transportation similar to a motorcycle, except it is not confined to asphalt or pavement. The concept of senior Alex Sinclair of Morris, Minn., the QuadraBike would use a rotary wing to generate lift and thrust to function like a helicopter. His adviser is Robert Pieri, professor of mechanical engineering.

• “Wash Warden” uses ultraviolet light to illuminate an additive in soap to indicate how well workers wash their hands. The system is envisioned for such places as hospitals, restaurants and schools. The project is the idea of senior Waylon Lindseth from Bemidji, Minn. He is advised by Daniel Ewert, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

• “Cellulation” is developing a device for testing methods for an experiment. Team members include senior Lucas Budzien of Blaine, Minn.; senior Dustin Mueller of Rochester, Minn.; and sophomore Jacob Larson of Breckenridge, Minn. Wells is their faculty adviser.

• “µVenture Jaw Development” is working on a porous ceramic dental implant and artificial jaw structure. Team members include junior Andrew Dalman from Minneapolis; junior Joel Hedlof from Willmar, Minn.; and senior Cong Liu. They are advised by Wells.

• “WTM Ballistics” is developing a laser and interface for the average sportsman to practice marksmanship safely and cost effectively. Team members include senior Mark Christiansen from Bemidji, Minn., senior Waylon Lindseth from Bemidji, Minn., and senior Taylor Lee from Buffalo, Minn. Ewert is their adviser.

The projects in the services track include:

• “Aqua Motion International” project provides water safety education and drowning rescue training to help prevent drowning deaths in low- to moderate-income countries. Team members include senior Jonathon McCarthy of Coon Rapids, Minn., and sophomore Andrew Moe of Pequot Lakes, Minn. Their faculty adviser is Paul Brown, senior lecturer of management and marketing.

• “CollegeCity” proposes services called Bison Professor and Bison Involvement, which provide information to students so they can choose the right class and organization or activity. The project is the idea of junior Drew Spooner of Fargo and junior Timothy Hanson of Plymouth, Minn. Their adviser is Shontarius Aikens, the AASCB accreditation manager for the College of Business.

• Spooner also was involved in “UServe,” a mobile application to assist in volunteering for charities and community service. He teamed with junior Robert Kringler of Fargo to come up with the idea. Their faculty adviser is Chris McEwen, graduate teaching assistant.

• ”ScoutHealth” is a personal mobile health platform to analyze cancer risk and help users recognize early warning signs. It is the idea of junior Madison Christensen from Fargo, who is advised by Jin Li, assistant professor of management and marketing.

• “Students_4_Students” is an application that allows students to exchange textbooks in an efficient and safe manner. It is the idea of senior Michael Graff of Luverne, Minn., whose faculty adviser is Fred Riggins, associate professor in the accounting and information systems department.

• “VEDMI” is a blood test that assists in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. It is the idea of senior Lindsey Latozke from Winnipeg, Canada. Her faculty adviser is Alison Graham-Bertolini, assistant professor of English and women and gender studies.

In the corn track:

• The “4D Food” group’s idea is a beverage prepared from a powdered mixture that meets all the human body’s daily nutritional needs. Corn byproducts would be used to solidify and texturize the mixture, using a 3-D printer. Team members include junior Mariana Lopez Jaimez of Toluca, Mexico, and junior Zach Triplett of Bismarck, N.D. The faculty adviser is Mark Schroeder, assistant professor of practice in electrical and computer engineering.

• “CornCo.Inc” works with a Zein protein extracted from corn and it byproducts. Graduate student Kirty Wadhawan of Fargo is doing the work. She is advised by Pushparajah Thavarajah, assistant professor in the School of Food Systems.

• “Healthy Cake Co.” uses corn to produce healthier version of desserts. The project is by Paul Fenlason, a graduate student from Sartell, Minn. His adviser is Thavarajah.

• “Kiddies’ Sweet Iron Supplements Inc.” suggests using corn-based supplements that resemble candies to combat iron deficiency anemia. The project is the work of graduate student Nilushni Sivapragasam of Colombo, Sri Lanka, who is advised by Thavarajah.

• “Hum-HealthyPlus” has a goal to provide more nutritional and cost effective hummus products to customers who consume gluten-free products. The team includes senior Tyler Lewandowski from Foley, Minn., senior Dwight Anderson from Hankinson, N.D., and Ekanyake Lukshman from Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. They are advised by Dilrukshi Thavarajah, assistant professor in the School of Food Systems.

For more information on Innovation Week ’14, visit

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Last Updated: Thursday, April 08, 2021 9:38:21 AM
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