This year marked the first year of the IDEAS Competition, a design competition targeted at innovations that help the community.
The contest is sponsored by the Edgerton Center and the Public Service Center with funding for the awards provided by grant from the Alex and Brit d'Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education and the Lemelson-MIT Program. There were 22 final entries and six winners. The awards were presented on May 9 by Dr. Ashok Gadgil, an inventor from the Lawrence Berkeley Labs whose research focuses on energy issues in developing countries. This year's winners are as follows.
The $5,000 IDEAS Prize was awarded for "Pure Water for Nicaragua," a project by Rebeca Eun Young Hwang , a senior in chemical engineering from Buenos Aires, Argentina; Murray Height , a graduate student in chemical engineering from New Lambton, Australia; and Bruno Miller , a graduate student in aeronautics and astronautics from Escazu, Costa Rica.
The $3,000 IDEAS Prize went to Andrew Heafitz , a graduate student in mechanical engineering (on leave of absence) from Newton, and Carl Dietrich , a graduate student in aeronautics and astronautics from Sausalito, Calif., for "Gasoline Storage Tank Leak Detection."
A $2,000 IDEAS Prize was awarded for a project on "Salvation Army Data Collection System" to six graduate students in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS): Ji-Jon Sit and Ben Leong from Singapore, Indraneel Chakraborty from Lucknow, India, Lik Mui from San Leandro, Calif., Steven Richman from Reseda, Calif., and Archit Shah from Bourbonnais, Ill.; a graduate student in chemical engineering, Cynthia Lo from El Cerrito, Calif.; and John Pittard and Leo Lloyd of the Salvation Army Cambridge Corps.
Another $2,000 IDEAS Prize went to the project titled "EASE (Expediting Access to Standard Education)" by Monami Chakrabarti , a junior in management from Richland, Wash.; Arthur Musah , a sophomore in EECS from Sunyani, Ghana; Muhammad J. Noor , a sophomore in management from Lahore, Pakistan; Regina Sam , a senior in EECS from Cape Coast, Ghana; Curtis Vanderpuije , a freshman from Accra, Ghana; Ebenezer Woode , a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Accra, Ghana; and Penny Rosser , the assistant director of the International Scholars Office, who served as advisor on the project.
The $5,000 Lemelson International Technology Award was made to the "Passive Incubator for Premature Infants" project designed by Aileen Wu , a junior in chemical engineering from Denville, N.J.; Yael Maguire , a graduate student in media arts and sciences from Toronto; and Prasanga Hindima Lokuge , a graduate student in mechanical engineering from Galle, Sri Lanka.
The $5,000 Lemelson International Technology Award went to "Innovative Drinking Water Technology for Bangladesh, West Bengal and Nepal" by Tommy Ngai , a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering from Scarborough, Ontario; Debu Sen , cofounder, iDL Systems Inc; and Heather Lukacs , a graduate student from Morgantown, W.Va.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 2002.