Andrew Williamson, an Oklahoma State University mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate student at OSU Tulsa, has been named a finalist in the Collegiate Inventors Competition (CIC), an annual competition that rewards innovations, discoveries and research by college and university students and their faculty advisors.
This year’s finalists and their inventions provide a glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends — from alternative energy to safer aerial transport. Through their research, these students have harnessed their “inner inventor” to make working prototypes that can positively change our world.
College teams from across the country submitted their ground-breaking inventions for the 2019 CIC. Williamson was selected as first-round finalists by judges representing a broad cross-section of technological fields. Teams were judged based on originality of the idea, process, level of student initiative and potential value and usefulness to society.
Williamson has been conducting research on how the future of heating and cooling will be determined by the ability to increase efficiency, minimizing cost and widely adopting green energy alternatives. His invention “Compressor-Turbine Fusion” has the potential to achieve each of these goals. Directly integrating a turbine into a compressor within a single device, “Compressor-Turbine Fusion” increases the efficiency of thermodynamic cycles and power equipment, decreases the production of greenhouse gases and can make alternative energy more competitive with traditional power sources.
“Improving the efficiency of energy conversion devices is one of the most important goals of Mechanical Engineering,” said Dr. Khaled Sallam, mechanical and aerospace engineering professor and Williamson’s advisor. “Andrew’s invention moves us one step forward in this direction by simultaneously improving the efficiency of both the compression and expansion processes. This will have applications in many power and refrigeration cycles.”
“I teach multiple courses in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department to help my students to become leaders in the field of Energy Conversion and I am proud of Andrew’s accomplishment,” said Sallam.
“I am honored that my invention was selected to be a finalist in this competition,” said Williamson. “One of the most important undertakings for an engineer is improving power generation and storage. My hope is that this invention will be the first of many to reduce the cost and byproducts of power generation throughout the world.”
Competition finalists will travel to Alexandria, Virginia to present their inventions to an esteemed panel of final-round judges composed of the most influential inventors and invention experts in the nation — National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials. Finalist will showcase their inventions and interact with thousands of attendees at the CIC Expo. The expo is free and open to all in the community, and will be held on Wednesday, October 30 at 2 p.m. in the USPTO Madison Building, Upper Atrium. A private Awards Ceremony will take place later that day in Alexandria.
Established in 1990, the CIC is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the USPTO, Arrow Electronics (People’s Choice Award), Merck, Hologic and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
The Collegiate Inventors Competition encourages and drives innovation and entrepreneurship
at the collegiate level. A program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, this competition
recognizes and rewards the research, innovations and discoveries by college students
and their advisors for projects leading to inventions that have the potential of receiving
patent protection. Introduced in 1990, the competition has awarded more than $1 million
to students for their innovative work and scientific achievement through the help
of its sponsors.
For more information, visit invent.org/events/cic-event.
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