In a celebration of creativity, skill and ingenuity, the University’s Innovators’ Expo brought together a record-number 225 senior projects from May 2-9 in the Gallagher Center.
The weeklong event showcased students in a wide variety of programs at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), including animation and digital media, architecture, engineering, fashion design, geospatial technology for geodesign, graphic design communication, interior architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainable design, textile design, and for the first time, environmental sustainability. The expo featured more than 30 projects that received the Eileen Martinson ’86 Fund for the Undergraduate Capstone Experience Grant—also the most ever.
Michael Leonard, academic dean of the School of Design and Engineering and the David and Lillian Rea Dean’s Chair, congratulated all the students who put countless hours into developing their projects for this exposition of capstone and collaborative designs. “It’s a labor of love for everyone,” he said.
Graphic design communication student Charlotte Rymar developed Her Story, a virtual and physical community platform that encourages girls to grow out of their comfort zone and find the value of their voice by sharing stories and new experiences.
“I was inspired by my own personal journey growing up, where I always struggled and defined myself as a passive and indecisive person,” she said. “I realized that by trying new things and getting out of comfort zone I was able to figure out for myself my strengths, weaknesses and passions.”
B.S. in industrial design students Weston Rivell and Josiah Harris developed a cleat attachment for a blade-style prosthetic to increase the performance of high-level athletes on the field. Rivell said they benefited greatly by working with an adaptive athlete for testing.
“The whole process changed from simply imagining what would work best to pumping out iteration after iteration to see how we could improve his performance on the field in a tangible way,” he noted.
Environmental sustainability student Brandon Quaranta sought to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent on East Falls Campus by changing from traditional gas-powered to electric landscaping equipment.
“It gives me hope to work on a project like this,” he said. “Members of the younger generation like myself have so much of an effect on what will happen for our future.”
After researching sustainability issues within the textile industry, textile materials technology students Devon Willard and Peter Salera wanted to create a process-based approach to sustainable footwear design.
“Footwear is a global need for all humans,” Willard said. “However, modern ways of producing athletic and lifestyle footwear are inherently unsustainable. We found that the impact of athletic shoe production is largely due to end-of-life processes and materials used to make the shoe. Our hope is that our new approach will serve as a way to educate others on the subject by discussing alternative methods of material sourcing, designing and manufacturing while also building a community around sustainable footwear design.”
Other projects at the Innovators’ Expo included: a portable solar water heater for rural Southern Africa; a low-Earth-orbit magnetic field mapping cube satellite; a mobile workstation for traveling barbers; a bag for rucking—a new form of weight training; a smartphone case system that enhances user productivity by leveraging battery life; a lightweight, rapidly deployable, all-terrain rescue craft; a circadian nursery light for gentle and natural sleep training; a design of a restorative and sustainable landscape for a residential community in Conshohocken; a trekking backpack to meet the rigorous needs of a professional adventure photographer; an adaptive reuse of the Jacob Rittenhouse Home in Fairmount Park as a boutique hotel; and an innovative helmet for youth football players to improve safety and prevent head injuries, which was recently featured on CBS3.
B.S. in industrial design student Matthew Selnick won the Innovation Fan Favorite Award for Embrace, a four-part modular shoe system for preventing injuries in skateboarders.
“Matt performed an extensive study of the type of wear and tear and the potential for injury to which skateboarders’ feet are subjected,” Leonard said. “He studied materials, structures and manufacturing processes to address an array of problems that are not addressed by currently available skateboard footgear. In selecting Matt, the panel of Innovation fans saw that in addition to answering problems, he also created a signature product that has the right look for the market.”