Illinois Innovation Prize

Congratulations to the 2014 Winner
Canan Dagdeviren; PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering

Congratulations to the 2014 Finalists

 

  • Analisa Russo; PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Paul Froeter; PhD Candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Adam Tilton; PhD Candidate in Mechanical Science and Engineering
  • Peter Fiflis; PhD Candidate in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering Canan Dagdeviren; PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering
  • James Pikul; PhD Candidate in Mechanical Science and Engineering

 

Awarding outstanding innovation

The Illinois Innovation Prize, administered by the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering, is awarded on an annual basis to the most innovative student on campus.This year, TEC will reward and recognize the most innovative student on campus with $20,000.

This student is:

  • a passionate innovator
  • working with world changing technology
  • entrepreneurially minded
  • a role model for others

Students must be nominated by a faculty member, mentor, advisor or the like. Students cannot nominate themselves or other students. 

Congratulations to our 2013 IIP Winners: Raj Sodhi and Brett Jones


And congratulations to the 2013 Lemelson-Illinois Student Prize Winner: Eduardo Torrealba

 

Nominate

All current students are eligible to be nominated for the award regardless of college, department or major. Students must be enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign during the academic year in which the award will be presented.

This nominee is:

  • a passionate innovator
  • working with world changing technology
  • entrepreneurially minded
  • a role model for others

Students must be nominated by a faculty member, mentor, advisor or the like. Students cannot nominate themselves or other students.

FAQ's

Must the award money be used for research?

No, it's an unrestricted cash gift.

Do I have to be in the College of Engineering to apply?

No. We accept applications from any senior or graduate student on campus regardless of major or college. Winning applications are not based on your major but are based on the innovation and inventiveness you present in your application.

Who is eligible to apply?
All students are eligible to compete. Students must be enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the academic year in which the award will be presented.

When is the deadline?
TBD

Am I required to have a patent?
No.

Do I forfeit my intellectual property rights by submitting an application?
Generally, no. We use only titles and short descriptions of inventions for public relations purposes. Additionally, the judging panel will be asked to keep in mind that student applications are distributed solely for the purpose of evaluation for the Lemelson Illinois Student Prize and should not be reproduced for other purposes.
However, please be aware that you will be barred from obtaining patent protection, if the patent application is filed more than one year after a "publication" that may permit a person reasonably skilled in the field to make the invention based upon your application. In addition, you will be barred from obtaining patent protection in foreign countries.

Please consult the Illinois policies relating to intellectual property, the Office of Technology Management, and the USPTO to ensure protection of your intellectual property.


Who are the judges?
The judges' panel is comprised of Illinois alumni and entrepreneurs as well as faculty members representing diverse areas of expertise across several colleges and departments.

Previous Winners and Finalists

The Lemelson-Illinois Student Prize, administered by the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering, is awarded on an annual basis to an innovative student passionate about solving grand challenges and striving to be entrepreneurial.

2013 Winner - Eduardo Torrealba

Eduardo Torrealba, a graduate student in Mechanical Science and Engineering, created his company Oso Technologies after a simple search to keep household plants alive. His first product, Plant Link, monitors the moisture needs of specific plants and can deliver water on an as needed basis using smart valves.

Finalists

2012 Winner - Kevin Karsch

Karsch, a doctoral student in computer science, has helped develop a technique for inserting objects and special effects into photos and videos without taking physical measurements of the scene. The technique can be performed by novices in a few minutes.

Finalists

 

2011 Winner - Scott Daigle

Scott is currently working on IntelliWheels, a new product that replaces manual wheelchair wheels and adds automatic gear shifting to reduce the amount of effort required to push the chair.

2010 Winner - Jonathan Naber

Guided by his passion for helping those less fortunate, Jonathan has developed an affordable prosthetic arm for people in underdeveloped countries with the help of his team, Illini Prosthetic Technologies. Putting aside his initial focus to make a state-of-the-art prosthetic arm with electronic components, Jonathan has created an arm from off the shelf materials that is extremely functional, durable and easily manufactured.

2009 Winner - John Wright

John has developed new mathematical tools that drastically improve the accuracy of facial recognition systems such as those used at Boston’s Logan airport, the 2001 Superbowl, and by the Tampa, Florida police department.

2008 Winner - Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh is working towards changing the way 1.6 billion people light their homes. Patrick’s solar-powered LED lamps are a brighter, healthier, longer-lasting, and less expensive lighting option for people with unreliable electricity

2007 Winner - Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan hopes to assist individuals without the use of speech and mobility to communicate through the application of neuroscience.