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Groundbreaking Inventiveness To Be Rewarded at Rensselaer

Wed, 2006-06-21 09:44 -- Anonymous

June 21, 2006

New $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize Available in 2007 Academic Year to Undergraduate Seniors and Graduate Students

Troy, N.Y. — The spirit of invention lives and breathes within the research laboratories, classrooms, hallways, and dorm rooms at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Now, the breakthrough ideas conceived by Rensselaer undergraduate seniors and graduate students can get an additional financial boost with the new $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize that will be awarded beginning in the 2007 academic year.

The award is being offered through a partnership between Rensselaer and the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a nonprofit organization that recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. The $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize will be awarded annually to a student who has created or improved a product or process, applied a technology in a new way, redesigned a system, or demonstrated remarkable inventiveness in other ways.

“Only the unimaginative believe that there are no more important new ideas to be discovered — that everything already has been invented,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “Rensselaer has a long tradition of developing students who combine the unique skills of invention with the commitment to excellence required of those who take the risks to innovate. We are fortunate to have the Lemelson-MIT Program and the Lemelson Foundation to encourage, recognize, and reward those who share this creative spark.” 

“The spirit of invention thrives at Rensselaer, but more can always be done to encourage and support young, creative minds,” said Merton Flemings, director of the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Our goal is to help give inventive individuals the recognition and additional resources they need to turn their visions into realities.”

The winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize will be chosen by a distinguished panel of scientists, technologists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. Interested students may apply for the award by completing an online application form, which will be available this summer. The winner will be announced at a press conference early next year.

The new $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize is an extension of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, which has recognized outstanding student inventors at MIT since 1995. Recent winners of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize have invented a personal air vehicle (Carl Dietrich, 2006), new therapies for cancer and stroke (David Berry, 2005), a desktop printer-sized device to mold eyeglass lenses (Saul Griffith, 2004), swarm robots (James McLurkin, 2003), a low-cost rocket engine and aerial surveillance system (Andrew Heafitz, 2002), a “silicon-less” plastic memory chip (Brian Hubert, 2001) and a screenless grain hammermill (Amy Smith, 2000).

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign joins Rensselaer as a new partner institution, and also will begin offering a similar prize for its students.

About the Lemelson-MIT Program
The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. It accomplishes this mission through outreach activities and annual awards and grants, including the prestigious $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize and Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, a noncompetitive, team-based invention experience for high school students. Jerome H. Lemelson, one of the world’s most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy, founded the nonprofit Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. More information is online at http://web.mit.edu/invent/ and http://www.inventeams.org/.

Contacts
Jason Gorss, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, (518) 276-6098,  gorssj@rpi.edu
Melissa Makofske, Lemelson-MIT Program, (617) 452-2170, melm@mit.edu

Contact: Jason Gorss
Phone: (518) 276-6098
E-mail: gorssj@rpi.edu