UI Student Startup wins Lemelson-MIT Student Prize

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 2:22pm

...for invention of anti-crushing tool for pork farmers...

"A recent University of Iowa alumnus and a current UI student are recipients of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize in the “Eat it!” category, which rewards students working on technology-based inventions that can improve food and agriculture.

University of Iowa alumnus Matthew Rooda graduated in December 2016 with a BA in Enterprise Leadership. Current UI student Abraham Espinoza is a Computer Science major, Mathematics minor, and Entrepreneurial Management Certificate student. The pair won the award for their creation of a real-time health-analysis tool for farmers.

From the Lemelson-MIT website:

'Matthew Rooda and Abraham Espinoza of the University of Iowa, $10,000 Lemelson-MIT “Eat it!” Undergraduate Team Winner for their SmartGuard device, a real-time health-analysis tool for farmers. Rooda and Espinoza founded SwineTech, and developed their first product, SmartGuard, a real-time health analysis for pigs, which reduces the incidence of piglet mortality due to accidental crushing by the mother pig. The device monitors the temperature in the crate and adjusts it to optimize the health environment for the piglet. The proprietary technology also detects when a piglet experiences unusual external pressure, and then communicates to a belt on the sow. It will allow farmers to receive real-time health analysis of each sow and whether any abnormal activities are occurring within the facility.'

The Lemelson-MIT Student Prize is a national collegiate invention prize program, supported by The Lemelson Foundation, which celebrates young inventors that have disgined and built prototypes of inventions to solve social problems.

The Enterprise Leadership major is offered jointly by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Division of Interdisciplinary Programs and the Tippie College of Business’ John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.

The Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics are part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 67 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students study each year in the College’s 39 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year."

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