Student teams presented their prototype devices designed to solve a societal problem for the chance to win a monetary prize and gain recognition from industry leaders
Malvern, Pa., April 17, 2017 – Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University, known for its academic and research excellence, hosted the finals of the Saint-Gobain Student Design Competition on April 13, during which five student finalist teams presented their prototypes designed to solve a societal problem. Following the final judging by representatives from Saint-Gobain and Case Western Reserve, team PulseOx, was named the overall winner of the competition.
“This competition is an example of industry-university collaboration at its finest, and it’s exciting to see the products and technologies our students were able to develop by working together in interdisciplinary teams with mentors from Saint-Gobain,” said Jim Pae, Director of Corporate Relations at Case Western Reserve and an organizer of the competition. “The competition provides our students with an invaluable experience to engineer and design within the context of business drivers, preparing them for their next step as they enter the workforce. Through this competition, they have all applied their knowledge gained in the classroom and developed products that could potentially be put on the market.”
The winning team of Steve Aviton, Imshan Dhrolia, Ashley Djuhadi, Amanda Noonan and Thomas Thornton, pursued the development of a new device to obtain reliable blood oxygen level measurements of infants. Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target of ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under the age of 5 by 2030, the team’s unique and redesigned approach reduces the vulnerabilities common to existing technologies and is intended to be reusable, unlike many other low-cost technologies currently deployed in resource constrained health facilities.
Over the past several months, student teams have been tasked with designing and building a prototype device that takes an existing material and, using principles of materials science and engineering, creates a new and innovative use for it that solves a problem for society. To enter the competition, students submitted project proposals detailing the societal problem they aimed to solve as well as background research supporting the need for their prototype in the marketplace. Students were then given three months to work on their prototypes and, during midterms, presented 10-minute overviews of their projects in front of a panel of judges who provided feedback on their project direction. Based on this feedback, student teams then had an additional month to work on their projects in preparation for the final presentation.
“As the sponsor of the Saint-Gobain Student Design Competition at Case Western Reserve for the last seven years and as a major employer in the Greater Cleveland area, this competition provides Saint-Gobain with access to like-minded potential future employees with a passion for pushing the boundaries of innovation,” said Anne Hardy, Director of Saint-Gobain’s Research and Development Center in Northborough. “By providing students with practical experience developing a prototype to fill a gap in the marketplace while working in interdisciplinary teams, the competition helps to prepare young people for work at a company like Saint-Gobain that believes diversity in thought contributes to innovation.”
About Saint-Gobain in North America
Saint-Gobain, the world leader in sustainable environments, has designed and manufactured high-performance building materials that improve the lives of people all over the world. From the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles and the glass pyramid at the Louvre, to The Statue of Liberty and The World Trade Center, and even components that allow the Mars Rover Curiosity to seek out life on another planet, Saint-Gobain has been a part of the fabric of human history, advancement and improvement.
In North America, the company upholds this rich history of innovation by making a material difference in the spaces where people work, live, play, heal and learn. Along with its North American headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Saint-Gobain has approximately 150 locations in North America and more than 14,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $5.8 billion in 2016. Experience our innovation, wonders and advancements by visiting www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with Saint-Gobain North America on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Saint-Gobain Northboro Research and Development Center
Saint-Gobain’s Northboro Research and Development Center (NRDC) is a multi-disciplinary research and development center located in the Greater Boston area. Since 1985, NRDC has been actively supporting existing businesses as well as helping to develop new Saint-Gobain businesses and nurturing future talent. The center develops and interfaces with other research and development centers across the world to help accelerate Saint-Gobain’s business growth.
About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country's leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 5,100 undergraduate and 6,200 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.
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