The Kalenian Award, established in 2006 through the generosity of Alba Kalenian in memory of her late husband Aram (Class of 1933), provides seed funds to support and advance the ideas and inventiveness of WPI students, faculty, and alumni.
Aram Kalenian was an inventor who had numerous useful ideas and reduced many of them to practice. The purpose of the Kalenian Award is to encourage similar innovation and entrepreneurship at any stage of development from the WPI academic community. The award's focus is to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit through annual funding of a single viable invention.
This award will be given annually. The duration of the award shall not exceed 18 months and will be a grant of up to $25,000. It may be given to an individual or group involved in the invention of a product in order to assist in the process of moving the invention toward commercialization. The award may be given to support innovative ideas or the development of commercial products. Ideally, the recipients should be either a part of an existing small business enterprise or in the process of trying to establish a small business. This is not a business plan contest. Many diverse and high quality proposals are received making it difficult to select one winner. Applicants may resubmit proposals if they do not win an award in the previous year.
2 Award Categories:
- Undergraduate winner - up to $25,000
- Graduate Student/ Alumni/ Faculty Members Winner - up to $25,000
Value Creation Workshop for Kalenian Award Applicants
Join our workshop specifically customized for Kalenian Award applicants. The purpose of the workshop is to help applicants learn about the process for designing solutions that create value rather than simply being interesting. Value creation helps you solve problems that matter and how you develop innovations that change the world. When you solve problems that make a difference to others, you deliver value—what your end-users and other stakeholders want.
Workshop Registration deadline is July 26th, 2022
Value Creation Workshop:
July 27th, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Curt Carlson - Founder & CEO of Practice Innovation, WPI Distinguished Executive-in-Residence & WPI Trustee
Curtis Abel - Executive Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Workshop: 1 hour
Q&A (Optional): 30 minutes
Kalenian Award Application Deadline 2022
The 2022 competition will open for applications from WPI students, faculty, and alumni on May 11, 2022.
Read the Application Guidelines (pdf) and keep the following deadlines in mind.
Value Creation Workshop (Optional) will be held on July, 27th, 2022
Intent to Compete Form is due no later than August 8th, 2022
Three-page narrative is due no later than September 14th, 2022
Winners will be announced on Thursday, November 10th, 2022
Any questions, please contact Jasmine Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past Kalenian Award Winners
Two teams split the 2016 Kalenian Award. Kinetic Batteries, which seeks a new way to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, and Autonomous Cargo Aircraft Project (ACAP), which hopes to build autonomous civilian aircraft, will share the $20,000 prize.
Kinetic Batteries team members included PhD candidate Aaron Birt and Ali Valamanesh '19. Mechanical engineering professor Diran Apelian advised the group.
ACAP team members included Nicholas Cyganski ’17, Benjamin Gillette ’17, Killian Henson ’18, Xavier Little ’19, Erik Nadel ’17, Tyler Nickerson ’17, and Keshuai Xu ’18. Advisors were Fred Looft, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Mike Ciaraldi, senior instructor of computer science.