NDSU graduate students work to solve problems in innovative ways. Doctorate students Hanaa Mansour and Matthew Crouse, for example, invented a product to assist with their research.
Mansour and Crouse both study animal sciences. Mansour works with placenta cell biopsies as she researches pregnancy in animals. Her 3D-printed flask holder invention saves time in the lab, allowing her to study more cells. It holds up to ten flasks and ten test tubes, rather than the usual one flask and test tube.
“I work with live cells, so it’s important to save as many as I can. The flask holder allows me to do this,” said Mansour, who grew up in Cairo, Egypt. “It saves me two to three hours a day in the lab.”
Mansour teamed up with Crouse to help her market the invention for NDSU’s Innovation Challenge. Student participants develop their ideas over the course of a semester-long competition and compete for prizes. They’re coached by the NDSU Research and Technology Park, faculty and area business leaders. Students present to judges who are professionals in a variety of fields.
“We’re used to speaking to a scientific audience but in the competition, we explained our work to people who had no idea what we were talking about,” said Crouse, from El Paso, Texas. “That’s how we should be talking about our research all the time. I will use those skills in job interviews and everything later in life.”
Mansour is working on patenting the invention and seeing if other departments at NDSU are interested in using it.