2018 Differencemaker Idea Challenge Winners

Student receiving award

Congratulations to UMass Lowell's 2018 $50K Idea Challenge Winners! Challenge categories and winners are as follows:

campuswideCampus Wide DifferenceMaker

Iron Legion - $6,000

Facilitates the creation of drone programs for government and private partners by providing procurement consultations and value-added services to ensure their drone investment lasts and remains effective. IL also provides advising on counter-drone strategies and tactics and realistic training on interactions with drone operators.

  • George Le, Senior, Computer Science
  • Peter Maitland, Junior, Homeland Security/Criminal Justice

Significant Social Impact sigsocialimpact

ClassRoots - $4,500

Please note that this was a collaboration effort with Middlesex Community College.

A peer learning platform that aims to bring classmates together in order to make friends and utilize each other as tools for academic success.

  • Nicholas Norcross, Junior, Business Information Systems
  • Kevin Seery, Sophomore, Supply Chain and Operations Management

conthealthlifeContribution to a Healthier Lifestyle

Lead-Ex Filter - $4,500

An effective lead removal device for water distribution system. The device will be enabled with highly absorptive nano-materials-embedded polymeric fiber that will be packed in a readily de-ployable cartridge in the water distribution line. This cartridge that is directly de-ployable in the distribution line will be one of the first-of-its-kind for lead removal.

  • Arsalan Khalid, Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Lewis Rowles, Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering (University of Texas, Austin)

inntechsolInnovative Technology Solution

Dexter - $4,500

A pre-programmed small-footprint robotic arm that is able to exactly spray doses of pesticides in complex farming environments such as apple, plum and cherry trees (branched trees).

  • Thanh Hoang, Senior, Electrical Engineering
  • Trung Nguyen, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

firstomarketFirst to Market

Mass Heartbeat - $4,500

Mass HeartBeat is an organization dedicated to bringing affordable and convenient heart screening services to students directly at their school, camp, or university. Mass HeartBeat uses state-of-the-art ECG technology to screen students for undetected cardiac conditions that could lead to sudden cardiac death if left untreated.

  • Pat Cusanelli, Alumnus, Medical
  • Shane Lavoie, Graduate, Master of Business Administration
  • Jack Nealon, Graduate, Law

honorableHonorable Mention

ETRALock - $2,000

ETRALock is a device that could be attached to any door in order to help people easily and safely access their homes key-free.

  • Robinson AriasGonzalez, Senior, Electrical Engineering
  • Michael Silva, Senior, Electrical Engineering
  • Edwin Taveras, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Personalized Learning - $2,000

This project is focused around utilizing students personality traits and learning styles to match them with the most optimal professor for each of their classes based off of their teaching style.

  • ManojReddy Dumpa, Graduate, Computer Science
  • Daniel Falcone, Junior, Business
  • Jennifer Lee, Junior, World Languages
  • KavyaKumar Vallurupalli, Graduate, Computer Science

Playtlist - $2,000

The focus of this project is to create an app for people with dietary restrictions whether it be health, cultural or religious, to find restaurants near them that suit their needs.

  • Isaac Brown, Graduate, Computer Science
  • Sebastian Pascal, Freshman, Business

SASS - Solo Adventurer Safety System - $2,000

Provides reliable GPS tracking and communication with a timed checking system to make sure the adventurer is always safe.

  • Cameron Edmonds, Senior, Electrical Engineering, Robotics minor
  • Matthew Pelland, Sophomore, Computer Science and Math
  • Curtis Sargent, Marketing
  • Jackson Seal, Sophomore, Computer Science and Robotics

SolXtrack - $2,000

The project revolves around the concept of solvent oil extraction, a simple yet effective chemical process that can extract oil from spent coffee grounds. This oil has applications in bio diesel as well as other industries, such as cosmetics.

  • Abhiram Authipudi, Graduate, Energy Engineering
  • Ankitha Sushma, Graduate, Energy Engineering

fanfavoriteFan Favorite

T.A.P. - $1,000

T.A.P, an acronym for teach-a-pal, is a concept to address an insufficiency by introducing and utilizing a peer to peer study solution in hopes of increasing performance in exams.

  • Hilton Carboo, Junior, Computer Science
  • Cassandra Francois, Junior, Art
  • Bernard Tay, Senior, Marketing and Entrepreneurship