INNOVATE-O-thon offers students experience, exposure to career possibilities

 

When one of Josiah Campbell’s professors at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) told him about an opportunity to take part in the most recent INNOVATE-O-thon at The Ohio State University, he didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance.

 

“I couldn’t just let it pass me by,” he said.

 

Campbell recently reflected on his experience as one of the winners of the three-day INNOVATE-O-thon externship, organized by the Institute for Materials Research (IMR).

 

Each semester, IMR challenges undergraduates studying a variety of disciplines to work with each other, as well as faculty, industry and government representatives to a solve real-world problem.

 

In November, students were asked to help shape DriveOhio’s technology strategy by imagining a future with autonomous shuttles on the Columbus campus of Ohio State, then build value propositions for projects of that scope.

 

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From natural rubber to medical glove: CFAES research team’s creation fends off allergies, blocks radiation

IMR member Katrina Cornish, an Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Bio-based Emergent Materials at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and her team were recently highlighted by both Ohio State News and The Ohio State University’s student newspaper, The Lantern.

 

Her team created the first medical glove that meets federal guidelines and blocks radiation while not triggering allergic reactions. The federal guideline mandating medical professionals to protect themselves from bloodborne pathogens and radiation forces some to wear two sets of gloves, while others settle on wearing just one. The former option restricts hand mobility, the latter is risky.

 

Cornish’s team answered with the development of a radiation attenuation medical glove created with guayule natural rubber. The glove was developed with partner EnergyEne Inc., a Cornish-led startup company in Wooster, Ohio.

 

Read more from about Cornish and her team at Ohio State News.

 

More info about their research and medical glove can be found at The Lantern.

 

Students at INNOVATE-O-thon explore potential value of self-driving shuttles on Ohio State’s campus

 

Columbus residents and visitors now have the chance to ride Ohio’s first self-driving shuttles.

 

The Smart Circuit shuttles began humming their way along the Scioto Mile in Downtown Columbus on Dec. 10. The low-speed, electric vehicles make stops at COSI, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Bicentennial Park and Smart Columbus Experience Center. The service offers free rides to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

 

The initiative bringing self-driving shuttles to the Buckeye state is driven by Smart Columbus and Ohio Department of Transportation’s DriveOhio, in partnership with The Ohio State University. The Smart Circuit demonstration will help engineers, researchers and policymakers from this partnership inform future deployments of self-driving vehicle technology throughout the state.

 

Columbus won the Smart City Challenge in 2016, earning $40 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as a $10-million grant from Paul G. Allen Philanthropies. With that seed funding, Columbus was dubbed “America’s Smart City,” a designation bringing with it the challenge to reinvent mobility in the capital city and serve as a model for connected urban areas of the future.

 

“The Ohio State University has been integral to the design of the project and the ambition for what we are going to achieve with self-driving vehicles in this community,” said Jordan Davis, director of Smart Columbus. “Ohio State has been involved since the very, very beginning — since the grant. And we have continued to work with them as we design the research and try to identify other research opportunities with faculty for this project.”

 

And, as the community can look forward to riding the self-driving shuttles downtown, undergraduate students at Ohio State set their sights on the potential value of bringing smart mobility to a campus setting.

 

Ohio State’s Institute for Materials Research hosted a three-day INNOVATE-O-thon event in November with DriveOhio, an initiative working to advance smart mobility in Ohio. Each semester, IMR challenges undergraduates studying a variety of disciplines to work with each other, as well as faculty, industry and government representatives to a solve real-world problem.

 

At the most recent INNOVATE-O-thon, students were challenged to help shape DriveOhio’s technology strategy by imagining a future with self-driving shuttles on the Columbus campus of Ohio State. Students built value propositions for that project and pitched them to government representatives, faculty and other subject matter experts.

 

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IMR offering grant development support to researchers interested in upcoming NSF opportunity

The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) encourages faculty members interested in submitting an NSF Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) proposal to reach out to the institute’s grants developer with inquiries.

 

IMR will host an open house Dec. 6 at Nanotech West Laboratory, on West Campus, to offer more information about the proposal development process to researchers at The Ohio State University wishing to join or complete a DMREF team.

 

Joanna Gardner, IMR administrator and grants developer, will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about the DMREF program and grant opportunity. Nadeane Howard, with the Proposal Development Office, will discuss available resources through her office.

 

Researchers are encouraged to present their expertise and areas of study during a series of informal, mini presentations (two minutes each), following Gardner and Howard. The majority of the open house will be dedicated to allowing visitors an opportunity to network.

 

DMREF Open House:

Thursday, December 6, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Innovation Lab, Room 218 at Nanotech West: 1381 Kinnear Road

RSVP: gardner.306@osu.edu

 

This NSF solicitation is not restricted to specific topics of materials research, though the NSF identifies four of particular interest: 1) Synthetic materials biology, 2) Structural materials under extreme conditions, 3) Recyclable plastics and alternative materials for sustainable development, and 4) Robotic materials.

 

IMR works with its faculty members and their teams to find methods to advance their research proposals. Joanna Gardner, IMR administrator and grants developer, assists in finding the right external funding opportunities and provides full-service support through the grant proposal and award process.

 

Feel free to contact her with questions: gardner.306@osu.edu

 

DMREF awards are forecast to range from $1,000,000 to $1,750,000 for a duration of four years. NSF anticipates $36 million in funding for an estimated 20 to 25 awards. The submission window for proposals is Jan. 28 to Feb. 04, 2019.

 

The NSF program solicitation and additional award information are available here.

 

Upcoming INNOVATE-O-thon with DriveOhio to identify how autonomous shuttles could meet transportation needs on campus

With self-driving shuttles already deployed along the downtown Scioto Mile loop, the drive toward smart mobility in Columbus is only gaining speed.

 

And the Institute for Materials Research (IMR) and DriveOhio are hosting an opportunity for undergraduate students at The Ohio State University to help pave the way for on-campus autonomous and connected vehicles at the upcoming INNOVATE-O-thon, running Nov. 9 to 11.

 

INNOVATE-O-thon is a weekend-long event that challenges undergraduates to work with each other, as well as faculty, industry and government representatives to solve real-world problems. Several times a year, a selected organization’s representatives come to the IMR Innovation Lab and challenge undergraduates from various majors to dissect a problem, and then devise and propose a suitable, executable solution to some of those representatives, faculty members and other subject matter experts.

 

This semester, IMR is asking students to help shape DriveOhio’s technology strategy by imagining a future with autonomous shuttles on the Columbus campus of Ohio State, and then build a value proposition for a project of that scope.

 

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