Stevens has expanded the frontiers of American technological innovation for more than 140 years by educating the next generations of innovators to tackle the most challenging technological problems of our day.
On Oct. 16, two groups of standout Stevens students who are currently in training to be the nation’s future inventors, business leaders and entrepreneurs showcased an impressive display of innovative firepower at an event and poster session on the Stevens campus called “The Launch: From Design to Successful Start-up.”
“About 80 percent of America’s GDP comes from the creation of technology, but only about 4 percent of the workforce is responsible for the development and application of technology,” said Stevens Provost George Korfiatis in his welcome address. “You should be very proud of your contributions to the nation’s wealth and prosperity.”
“The Launch” event presented the research of this year’s I&E Summer Scholars and Stevens Scholars.
The I&E Summer Scholars Research Program, led by the Stevens Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), engages outstanding Stevens students in summer research projects, guided by a faculty advisor, that have commercial potential, while also providing seminars on intellectual property, the technology-transfer process, and writing and presenting research.
The Stevens Scholars Program is a competitive, year-round, invitation-only research and design program which engages high achieving students in cutting-edge, applied discovery to solve important and challenging global problems, also under the guidance of a faculty advisor.
This year, both groups of scholars made remarkable research achievements in a wide variety of fields. Many research projects have progressed to the next level through patent filings, journal publications and research grants.
One scholar, Kevin Barresi, developed a method to visualize large data sets, which makes it simple to look at hundreds of webpages simultaneously. Five others—Nicole Miller, Jeffrey DeVince, Tara Callahan, Emily Nardone and Radhika Kasabwala—investigated neuron signals associated with the movement of extremities, with the goal of enabling a brain-computer interface to control a prosthetic limb without the need for surgery. Michelle Little and Julian Chavez’s work supported visual arts and design research to develop mobile apps to enable students to learn calculus, tour the Stevens campus, and discover art in the Museum of Thessaloniki.
Thomas Tate worked on an electromechanical device to stimulate bone cells in knee replacement surgery—rather than more invasive battery technology. Adam Carabba studied the impact of Hudson River boat traffic on living shorelines, which can combat erosion. Sean Kelty helped create analytical algorithms of UV light data, which can increase understanding of the effects of global warming and aerosols on the environment. Paul Dubuke helped create timelines and animations to document how the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy flooded Hoboken, helping inform future storm protection and mitigation strategies.
Fred Florio conducted research to characterize and quantify different sources of error in gyroscopes, key components in many modern-day technologies, ranging from missile guidance to smartphones. Tyler Rishell’s research focused on improving the accuracy of a system to predict rip current activity. Mary Ann Collins investigated improving laser-induced blood coagulation methods for use during surgery. Julian Sexton worked on a program to analyze the security of Android apps. Another scholar, Matthew Bombard, developed a model to predict the movement of a currency’s price using news and social media data.
Scores of other projects ran the gamut from arts to finance to medicine and more.
Also on hand for “The Launch” event was technology entrepreneur Ariane Fisher ’95, a Stevens alumna who turned her Stevens senior design project into a high-profile start-up company. Fisher, a mother of six who studied mechanical engineering at Stevens and participated in the Cooperative Education program, worked as an engineer at Ford Motor Company before founding Storymix Media with her husband. Named to the Entrepreneur Magazine “100 Brilliant Companies” list in 2013, Storymix Media enables anyone to easily crowd source photos and videos from friends into unique, edited videos.
In a keynote address entitled, “"From Senior Design to Successful Start-up: Taking Your Stevens Experience from Theoretical to the Real World,” Fisher shared key insights from her own, bold entrepreneurial journey and offered tips to budding Stevens entrepreneurs on leveraging a classroom education in the competitive start-up arena and getting into a business incubator.
Fisher said Stevens students have unique advantages as entrepreneurs, given their experience handling a substantial and difficult workload during college.
“That really does prepare you for the start-up world, where you have to be everything for your company, from sales to payroll to IT to social media,” Fisher said.
She also said Stevens prepares budding entrepreneurs to think through problems, conduct research, analyze data, and change course when necessary.
“At Stevens that is called the scientific method, but in the start-up community that’s called ‘fail fast,’ adjust, correct and move on,” she said.
With 38,000 living alumni—each one a potential customer—the network you gain through Stevens is yet another asset of Stevens innovators, Fisher said.
Learn more about research at Stevens at stevens.edu/research.