March 1, 2016

NDSU Innovation Challenge '16 winners announced


Winners for NDSU's Innovation Challenge '16 were announced during an awards luncheon March 1.

The annual competition features new, unique or re-imagined products and services developed by NDSU students. The Innovation Challenge is presented by the NDSU Office of the Provost, in partnership with the NDSU Research and Technology Park.

Winners in each of four tracks will receive $5,000, while second-place finishers will receive $1,000 and the third-place prize is $500. The recipient of the People's Choice Award receives $1,000.

The recognized projects, students and their advisers include:


First place – "Clean the Cluck Up," a project to de-color corn gluten meal, by Bonnie Cobb, graduate student in agricultural and biosystems engineering from Omaha, Nebraska, and Joseph Kallenbach, graduate student in cereal science from Dickinson, North Dakota. Their advisers are Scott Pryor, NDSU associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Clifford Hall, professor of plant sciences.

Second place – "Ward Enterprise," a project for a self-centering grain storage device, by Gary L. Ward, a graduate student in music education from Motley, Minnesota. His adviser is Warren Olfert, NDSU associate professor of music.

Third place – "ConveySure," a project to prevent bacterial biofilm growth in food processing plants, by Meredith (Irsfeld) Schroeder, a doctoral student in molecular pathogenesis from Fargo. Her adviser is Birgit Pruess, associate professor of veterinary and microbiological sciences.


First place – "Protesthetics," a project to create 3D printed artificial limbs for children, by Cooper Bierscheid, a December graduate in manufacturing engineering from Watertown, South Dakota. His adviser is David Wells, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Second place – "Advanced Bone Technology," a project to develop artificial bones. The team includes Felicia Marquez, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Rochester, Minnesota; Mary Hedrick, a senior majoring in chemistry from Hope, Indiana; Reed Erickson, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering from Fargo: Andrew Dalman, a graduate student in mechanical engineering from Minneapolis; Ben Ferguson, a junior in mechanical engineering from Alexandria, Minnesota; and Joel Hedlof, a senior in mechanical engineering from Willmar, Minnesota. The team adviser is David Wells, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Third place – "T&T Innovative Solutions," a project for a ramp for ATVs, golf carts and dirt bikes, by Tyler Toepke-Floyd, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Wishek, North Dakota, and Tyler Donner, a junior in mechanical engineering from Clara City, Minnesota. Their adviser is Fardad Azarmi, associate professor of mechanical engineering.


First place – "Opti-M3D," a 3D-printed cell culture apparatus to help screen chemotherapeutic agents on tumor cells from cancer patients, by Prajakta Kulkarni, a graduate student in pharmaceutical sciences from Pune, India; and Matthew Confeld, a pharmaceutical sciences major from Winsted, Minnesota. Their adviser is Sanku Mallik, professor of pharmaceutical sciences.

Second place – "Gone Rogue Travel Co.," a customized low-budget travel planning business, by Meghan Battest, a senior in hospitality and tourism management from Beulah, North Dakota. Her adviser is Paul Brown, senior lecturer of management and marketing.

Third place – "JobFairy," a project to match job seekers with the best positions possible, by Amanda Christianson, a senior in mechanical engineering from Fargo, and Karlie Matejcek, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from Lakota, North Dakota. Their adviser is Joel Hanson, director of the Student Support Center in the NDSU College of Engineering.


First place – "Carbon Negative," a system to reduce carbon emissions, create new revenue streams and enhance ecosystem services, by Jade Monroe from Faulkton, South Dakota; Alexis Steinman from Bismarck, North Dakota; and Jesse Riley from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team's adviser is Jack Norland, associate professor in the NDSU School of Natural Resource Science.

Second place – "One Hawk," a project to develop a dehydrated traditional buffalo stew, by Petra Reyna One Hawk, a student in the Master of Public Health program from Fort Yates, North Dakota. Her adviser is Donna Grandbois, NDSU associate professor of nursing.

Third place – "KidSmiley," a non-profit framework to help underprivileged children in developing nations, by Israt Jahan, a graduate student in software engineering from Fargo, and Sayeed Sajal, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering from Fargo. Their adviser is Kendall Nygard, NDSU professor of computer science.

People's Choice

"Opti-M3D," by Kulkarni and Confeld.

The winners were chosen from a list of 25 finalists in the four tracks.

"The purpose of Innovation Challenge is to encourage students to be innovative thinkers," explained Chuck Hoge, interim executive director at the NDSU Research and Technology Park. "We want to enhance student awareness for innovation as a precursor to entrepreneurship and empower them to pursue entrepreneurship as a career choice. At the same time, this is an effort to engage the business community with our students."

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

Submit Your News Story
Help us report what’s happening around campus, or your student news.