Icelandic ash spewed from deep within the earth making the morning headlines as Henry and Alberta Strage awoke to learn their flights, indeed all flights from Europe, were cancelled. Not to be deterred, they tried every option available to get to America for the 5th annual Strage Innovation Awards competition at WPI. More than five days later their flight was cleared for takeoff and they arrived late Friday afternoon to a beautiful New York weekend. Skipping forward to Tuesday, April 27, they were shuttled from Boston to Worcester by a good friend and confidant. Along with judges Harold Lake, '54, Paul Street, and Walter Salmon, Henry, '54 and Alberta framed a classic work of art - this fine panel of expertise second to none.
Grey skies and a light rain could not deter WPI students from arriving at the Higgins House Library that morning to make their fifteen minute presentations - ah! their moment in the sun! Everything from infusing Bluetooth technology into existing measurement technologies, to a new alarm clock system, to a device to prevent loss of external paraphernalia, to creating a new online social community for scientists and engineers, to incorporating entrepreneurship into FIRST, to a new text book exchange community, to a new guitar teaching technology was presented. Seven screened teams competed for three cash prizes to help them get closer to commercializing their innovations. And a wonderful job they did. Much thought went into their first class presentations. One of the judges even remarked that over the years, they are getting better and better.
Congratulations to this year's winners: 1st Place: Digitar, Inc. (James Montgomery and Pat DeSantis) 2nd Place: Bluetooth Digital Voltmeter (Omar Kiyani and Mairaj Malik). 3rd Place: Preventing Loss of External Storage Devices (Nathan Olivarez). Honorable Mentions were awarded to: FIRST Chances (Michael Tidd), SmartStart Alarm Clock Device (Paul Malmsten), Textbook Exchange.com (Evan Duderewicz, Pat DeSantis, Manu Bhalla, and Alan Lazaros) and ClueClue.com (Yichao (Joy) Xu)
Pat DeSantis and James Montgomery, Digitar, Inc
Omar Kiyani and Mairaj Malik, Bluetooth Digital Voltmeter Device
Nathan Olivarez, Preventing Theft and Loss of External Devices
Alan Lazaros, Pat DeSantis, Manu Bhalla, Evan Duderewicz, Textbook Exchange Team
Paul Malmsten, SmartStart Alarm Clock Device
Michael Tidd, FIRST Chances
Yichao (Joy) Xu, ClueClue.com