2024 Final Awards

Congratulations to UMass Lowell's 2024 DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge Winners!

Prize categories and winners are as follows:


Rist Campus-Wide DifferenceMaker (Sponsored by Kim and Brian Rist '77, Manning School of Business), $6,000 Rist

SparkCell Technologies - A portable device that can measure the health of cement structures in a more efficient and affordable manner.

  • Joshua Landis - Graduate, Mechanical Engineering

Commitment to a Sustainable Environment (Sponsored by Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy), $4,000 environment

Next Gen Testing - An invention that increases the concentration of impurities in water to make cheaper test kits for harmful substances such as PFAs.

  • Levon Markosyan - Undergraduate, Computer Science

Jack. M. Wilson First Product to Market Award, $4,000 market

EduX - An AI scheduling system that provides a comprehensive and personalized schedule that considers not only course availability but other factors such as students' academic goals, learning styles and outside commitments.

  • Ahmed Ibreljic - Graduate, Electrical Engineering
  • Daniel Maienza - Graduate, Electrical Engineering
  • Joseph Nguyen - Undergraduate. Computer Science

Sutherland Innovative Technology Solution (Sponsored by Andrew Sutherland '94, Manning School of Business), $4,000 innovative

EV Guardian - A product that is installed directly with electric batteries that deploys automatically when a fire is detected.

  • Abdullah Jasim - Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering
  • Amanda Mello - Undergraduate, Civil Engineering

Contribution to a Healthier Lifestyle, $4,000 (Sponsored by Enterprise Bank) healthy

ZipperBuddy - An innovative clothing device designed to aid individuals facing dressing challenges by transforming conventional zippers into user friendly one-handed accessible closures. 

  • Sandi DeRuntz - Undergraduate, Liberal Arts
  • Valerie Heath - Undergraduate, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

Significant Social Impact, $4,000 (Sponsored by Joy Tong Women in Business) significant

ZENYAI - AI sound software that creates a soundscape to foster emotional growth, intelligence and connection.

  • Saicharan Muduiraj Banda - Graduate, Computer Science
  • Arun Kumar Coimbatore Dada - Graduate, Computer Science
  • Julia Marino - Undergraduate, Finance & Marketing
  • Oluwatomisin Oladunjoye - Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering
  • Michael Reppucci - Undergraduate, Accounting
  • Palak Sharma - Undergraduate, Computer Science

Honorable Mentions, $2,000 honorable

DifferenceMaker expresses gratitude to Reddy Godula '93, Francis College of Engineering, for partial sponsorship.

BeanHub - An AI system that automates drive-throughs to enhances convenience for both customers and employees.

  • Aiman Baig - Graduate, Computer Science
  • Anirban Dasgupta - Undergraduate, Business Administration
  • Ibrahim Haroon - Undergraduate, Computer Science
  • Emir Kaplan - Undergraduate, Bioinformatics
  • Mohammad Khan - Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering
  • Shafaat Osmani - Undergraduate, Computer Science

RAVI (Robot to Aid the Visually Impaired) - A seeing eye robot for the visually impaired that is a more affordable and convenient alternative to seeing eye dogs with safety features and navigation functionality.

  • Jacob Breen - Undergraduate, Computer Science
  • Daniel Kusmaul - Undergraduate, Computer Science
  • Trevor Landurand - Graduate, Mechanical Engineering
  • Ian McLeod
  • Alexander Nunes - Undergraduate, Computer Science

Sober Solutions - An app to aid in addiction recovery with a "Lifeline" feature where users can press a button to receive a randomly generated activity when they feel like relapsing along with and SMS to a designated support contact.

  • John Carozza - Undergraduate, Business Administration
  • Zachary Richard - Undergraduate, Business Administration

Socket Tech Solutions - A device that creates a sub-network that allows users to lockdown existing smart home devices with enhanced security features.

  • Hayden Dolan - Undergraduate, Computer Science
  • Tyler Fanuele - Undergraduate, Computer Science
  • Coleman Nee - Undergraduate, Computer Science & Cybersecurity
  • Caleb Oakley - Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering
  • Sarah O'Meara - Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering
  • James O'Sullivan - Undergraduate, Computer Science
  • Nishanth Potturu - Undergraduate, Computer Science
  • Devansh Sethia - Graduate, Mechanical Engineering
  • Justin Tarnowski - Undergraduate, Computer Science

Fan Favorite, $1,000 fan

TurtleTours - A robot that can process images/objects, speak, navigate designated areas and use the elevator between floors to be a top tour guide.

  • Myron Chee - Graduate, Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology
  • Vulindsky Fanfan - Graduate, Computer Engineering
  • Michael Fisher - Graduate, Computer Engineering
  • Trevor Landurand - Graduate, Mechanical Engineering
  • Nathan Uhunsere - Graduate, Computer Engineering