Innovators’ Expo Celebrates the Work of PhilaU Seniors

Expo2In a wide-ranging display of talent, Philadelphia University’s largest Innovators’ Expo ever showcased some 300 senior student projects May 9-13 in the Gallagher Athletic Center.

The expo celebrated the creativity of PhilaU seniors in animation and digital media, architecture, communication, engineering, fashion design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, law and society, sustainability and textile design. It featured 90 projects that received the Eileen Martinson ’86 Fund for the Undergraduate Capstone Experience Grant.

“Visitors always say it’s so inspiring to be in this space,” said Michael Leonard, David and Lillian Rea Dean’s Chair and academic dean, School of Design and Engineering, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. “You can see more work on display from all the disciplines than at any other exhibition during the year.”

Mechanical engineering students Davin Pagan and Gussan Alkulaibi won a Nexus in Action award for their Dehumidifying Backpack that generates drinking water; engineering professor Muthu Govindaraj is on the left.

Mechanical engineering students Davin Pagan and Gussan Alkulaibi won a Nexus in Action award for their Dehumidifying Backpack that generates drinking water; engineering professor Muthu Govindaraj is on the left.

For her senior capstone, industrial design student Cecilia Griffin created the Daypack+, a day pack for hikers that has a built-in tent that can be deployed in case of emergency along with other survival essentials, including a flashlight, first aid kit, fire starter, whistle and matches in a waterproof case.

“Hikers need to be prepared, but a lot of them aren’t,” she said, noting that when a search-and-rescue mission exceeds 24 hours, the survival rate drops to 76 percent for adults and a dismal 38 percent for children.

With his Project Pollinator, industrial design student Jeffrey Piotrowski hopes to help find out why half the commercial honeybee colonies have disappeared over the past 30 years. “There’s no good way to study pollinators,” he said. “We just don’t know enough.”

Rather than make this painstaking research solely the work of scientists, his system allows average gardeners to monitor pollinators like bees and butterflies in their own backyards and to contribute their findings to a widely accessible database.

Industrial Design student Nicky Topete won an Entrepreneurship Award for her magnetic soft toys Ambigos.

Industrial Design student Nicky Topete won an Entrepreneurship Award for her magnetic soft toys Ambigos.

Other projects on display included a rowing shell using engineered composites to reduce weight, improve strength, lower costs and make repairs easier; kinetic buoys that harvest energy from the motion of the waves and change the water landscape by adding light and fostering interaction between the waves and the surrounding structures; a vision clearing system for motocross riders; an accessory for blind people to enhance social interaction; and a bar that features vintage arcade games for millennials.

 

Student winners included:

Entrepreneurship Awards
Nicky Topete, BS Industrial Design–Ambigos
Jeanlouise Hornberger, BS Industrial Design–Flash the Firefly
Caroline Noebels, BS Graphic Design; Veronica Llamas, BS Graphic Design; and Nicole Meyer, BS Graphic Design–Chess at 3

Approximately 300 senior student projects were on display.

Approximately 300 senior student projects were on display.

Nexus in Action Award
Gussan Alkulaibi, BSE Mechanical Engineering; Maihtab Malhi, BSE Mechanical Engineering; and Davin Pagan, BSE Mechanical Engineering–Dehumidifying Backpack

Change the World Award
Suvir Hira, B. Architecture; Feras Alsaggaf, B. Architecture; and Dylan Catino, B. Architecture–LOOP

2016 PhilaU Innovation Fan Favorite
Nick Artale, BS Industrial Design–RISE Smart Sleep System

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