Public Inventor, Moonrat Portable Incubator Project
Melanie Laporte studies Computer Science and Art at Columbia University. She is working on the Portable Incubator with Public Invention, as well as on a NASA innovation for the International Space Station's Universal Waste Management System. Her ultimate ambition is to harness technology to create innovative solutions for the betterment of society. She is dedicated to encouraging more women to pursue STEM careers and has created an after-school program as well as a social media channel to teach coding and circuitry to girls. Melanie aims to redefine perceptions of engineers and challenge preconceived notions of what they look like. She embraces diverse interests such as fencing, sailing, robots, writing science fiction stories, DJing, and exploring the connection between art and technology to create unrealized beauty.
Public Inventor, Unscrew Propeller Project
I am a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University. During my senior year, I worked for a company called Intermed Labs in West Virginia where I was one of the forerunners on a team responsible for developing many award-winning medical devices. After working in my field for two years, I decided to gain more experience by traveling as an engineering consultant. In my free time, I love researching new machine learning and control techniques with hopes of implementing them into my problem-solving capabilities.
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Judith Weng Zhu
Public Inventor, VentOS API
Judith Weng Zhu is a recent graduate from Swarthmore College, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a minor in Philosophy. Her focus has been on medical imaging and devices, and she aspires to develop safer and more affordable medical products. She is currently also a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developing a self-supervised approach to x-ray computed tomography that decreases the amount of radiation needed to image a fragile sample.
Judith is also interested in fashion and enjoys upcycling clothes during her free time. Her favorite side hustle is selling her upcycled and thrifted clothes online.
Lisa Kotowski (she/they)
Public Inventor Working on the FerroFluid Valve Project Continuation
M.S. Physics, San Francisco State University
Lisa has a Master's degree in Physics from San Francisco State University where she did her thesis work on a radiofrequency resonant cavity perturbation technique to measure body composition. This later led to her being the inventor and founder of Body Composition Systems (BoCS). She currently works as a health physicist, and continues to develop her research techniques and system engineering methodologies.
Victor Suturin (PhD)
Co-founder and Invention Coach of PolyVent
Victor is the co-founder and project leader of PolyVent. He is an entrepreneur and an inventor in the healthcare field, currently running Aliform - a medical device startup based in Aachen, Germany. He has a strong leadership and interdisciplinary science background with expertise in biomedical sciences, physiology, and medical device design. (Base: Germany)
Mechanical Design of PolyVent
Antal is an active member of PolyVent. Antal earned his Master’s degree in biological and soft matter physics from Leiden University. During his final project he started prototyping, building a custom backlight to improve high-speed filming of bouncing hydrogels. Since then, he’s worked many innovative projects from his workshop near the Hague in the Netherlands, including PolyVent. As lead designer of PolyVent Antal oversees the overall architecture of the ventilator, including mechanics, pneumatics and electronics. (Base: Netherlands)
You can find more of his work on his YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/antalz
Invention Coach of the General Purpose Alarm Device (GPAD) Project
Bachelors in Computer Science from the University of Oklahoma, 2009
Lawrence Kincheloe has worked with the Sustainable Progress and Equality Collective since 2021 bringing hardware experience to SPEC’s mission of “Sharing Knowledge. Building Communities.” Active in the DIY/Maker movement, as a founder of CoLaboratory Makerspace and OK-Open Source Hardware, as well as a past volunteer, organizer, event coordinator, and class teacher; Lawrence works towards a vibrant tech savvy Oklahoma with a focus on community.
Professionally, Lawrence has worked for 10 years as an Applications and Systems engineer, developing designs in advertising, telecommunications, and energy. In 2009, he worked at Factory e Farm where he developed open source hardware for emerging communities which was reported about in Make Magazine (Make: 21).
My Github: https://github.com/LokiMetaSmith
(Forest) Lee Erickson
Public Inventor of the General Purpose Alarm Device (GPAD) Project
B.S. Physicist University of Minnesota.
I am the luckiest person to have ever lived because when I was ten years old, I was taken to the moon by Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neal Armstrong (as were about five billion other persons watching television.)
I have had a career doing elementary analog circuit design for audio, video and deflection systems and embedded system with some focus on electro- magnetic compatibility. I worked for a high volume consumer electronic company where I learned the importance of design for manufacturing and project management of medium- to large-multidisciplinary teams. I also ran my own company for 12 years where I had to take on almost all roles from time to time.
With Public Invention I have helped with the General Purpose Alarm Device (GPAD) project especially with Schematic Capture and PCB Design and testing. I wrote and simulated firmware for factory testing of the Version 1 PCB. From my Public Invention involvement, I have improved my understanding of how to use GitHub (and GitLab) for managing product development from my team mates. My short term interests are to document well the GPAD as a template to help Public Invention and others.
I am a refugee from the winters of Minnesota and live in East Tennessee where snow is sufficiently infrequent that it is mostly received as decorative when it happens. My supper power is NOVEL SPELLING ( and diverse spelling). My Github is found at: https://github.com/ForrestErickson
Oluseyi 'Seyi' Adeniyi
BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies from the University of Liverpool, 2022.
Since childhood, Oluseyi has been captivated by flight and the heavier-than-air machines that dominate today’s skies, which has driven him to pursue his degree. Driven by a boundless curiosity and a natural inclination towards creativity, Oluseyi has ventured into a wide range of disciplines, cultivating an analytical yet imaginative approach.
In 2016, he won the ‘Endeavour’ award at The Big Bang competition (Newcastle, U.K.) for the ‘Piano Sleeve’, a flexible piano worn on the arm. In the first year of university, he won the ‘Pilot Studies Student of the Year’ award after completing a 20-hour flight training course. As a previously active member of the university’s Flight Simulation Group (UoLFSG), Oluseyi's involvement in the upgrading of four static, full-cockpit flight simulators earned him a promotion to the head of one of the simulators. His final year project involved the designing and manufacturing of a Flight Management Computer.
Oluseyi is also a multi-instrumentalist and indie artist, known as ShayKeyNote, and has produced music for independent films. His dedication to his craft and his unwavering pursuit of excellence have earned him a reputation as a versatile and talented artist and creator.
Invention Coach of the Oxygen Concentrator Project
Ben has a range of professional engineering experience from healthcare project management to software development. Ben holds a Master of Engineering (Honours) in mechanical engineering from The University of Auckland, New Zealand where he researched sustainable aerospace composite materials and manufacturing methods.
Ben is a self-taught programmer and electrical engineer from a young age, designing and building an award-winning wearable laser tag game at high school. Ben has been making indie video games since he was a teenager, with multiple self-published titles.
In 2018-2020 he was the founder and Technical Director of Big Boy Pants Studio, making retro mobile video games where their debut title Robot Crusher was featured on Google Play Store. In 2020 Ben founded Digital Tech Academy with the aim to combine his engineering and game development experience into a new STEM EdTech platform to address the UN SDG #4 - education.
In his spare time Ben tinkers in his garage lab with interests in manufacturing, robotics and materials science with ideas towards a sustainable future through technology.
Public Inventor of the SoftRobot Project & a Simulink Lung Circuit Model
Megan Cadena is a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin. She studied for a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. She currently works as a volunteer researcher with Public Invention and is currently our Public Outreach Coordinator. She specifically develops and amends mathematical and computational models of complex and real-world systems.
She partnered with Dr. Robert L. Read to develop an analytical solution for representing the degree of tilt of a top plane of a soft-robotic "Stewart Platform" for Public Invention. This analytical solution was accepted to be implemented as a design of a soft-robotic "Stewart Platform" prototype in a UT design Competition, called Create-a-thon. This prototype physically demonstrates how to alter a soft robotic effector arm in shape in order to perform configurations not currently feasible by common soft-robotic mechanisms. Megan hopes to later optimize the modeling of this system and its particular design to later benefit future advance applications, in vivo, such as in future endoscope designs & arterial plaque removal procedures.
She has also worked on a research paper studying the impact rise time has on proper ventilation using MATLAB Simulink tools with a modified MIT lung circuit model.
Public Inventor of the GlussCon Project; SoPH Org Representative; PhD Candidate at Auburn University
Avinash is driven by his desire to leverage science and technology to restore the function, independence, and quality of life of people with disabilities. His research interests include assistive robotics, telepresence and human robot interaction. In his spare time, he enjoys painting, listening to music and completing DIY projects.
Public Inventor of the FerroFluid Valve Project
Veronica is a graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, earning a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Business Administration. Her interests lie primarily in medical devices, focusing on Solidworks and mechanically related aspects of such devices. Post-graduation, she works as an R&D Engineer, developing resecting devices and hysteroscopes for polyp and fibroid removal in the intrauterine lining. Her main contribution to Public Invention lies in the Ferrofluid Check Valve project, designing a microfluidic channel by taking advantage of the properties of ferrofluid and magnetic field lines to create a one-way valve. Her experience ranges from the makerspace to the wet-lab. Past projects and work, unrelated to Public Invention, include an autonomous intubation system, T-cell antigen research, and macrophage response in progressively stiffened environments, mimicking tumor progression.
Past Public Inventors:
Co-founder Lead Engineer of PolyVent
Nathaniel is a designer and prototyper for PolyVent, being with the team since the beginning. He spends most of his free time working on engineering projects, involving robotics, 3d printing, avionics, and other fields. He’s interested in helping people with technology. Nathaniel is a self-taught prodigy and the team’s main powerhouse in the electronics department. (Base: Canada)
Ranging from ~100 nanometer SARS-CoV-2 virions to 12 foot high sorghum plants...
Over time, Nathan Sage has worked with many tiny and tall curiosities in the areas of virology and plant breeding.
His hobbies include yoga, weight lifting, running, martial arts, DIY, ttRPGs, and video games.
My name is Harshit Kumar and I did my masters from Columbia University in the city of New York. I am working on the Moonrat project as a Mechanical Design Engineer. Past projects include optimizing the number of Photovoltaic and Wind panels based on past data to reduce overall electricity fluctuation using machine learning algorithms and establishing the importance of piezoelectric layer thickness in cantilever-based energy harvester. In my final project for my Bachelor's degree, I had developed a prototype of an Automated Guided Vehicle for the industrial assembly line of Rimtex Industries which was fully funded by the company itself.
Alexander Musicant is a graduate of Colorado College, where he majored in English literature. His education culminated in a thesis on gender identity in the Sound and the Fury and Lolita. Alex became interested in Public Invention because of their unique approach to humanitarianism. Though his education is rooted in the humanities, Alex is deeply curious about the intersection of several disciplines, including the interplay between science and media. Alex helps the Public Invention team through the development and management of various social media accounts designed to unite likeminded individuals and further the reach of Public Invention’s work. Alex is currently enrolled in the University of Oregon School of Law, where he hopes to explore many of his diverse interests. While his contributions so far have been focused on social media and communication, Alex hopes his education will help him contribute to Public Invention in other ways moving forward.
Hi, I am Pranav. I completed graduate school at Columbia University with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a concentration in Robotics and Controls. Currently at Public Invention, I have been working towards developing a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control module for an oxygen concentrator to control pressure and controlling pressure in a ventilator actuated by bellows. I hope to continue working on more projects with Public Invention in the future. My interests in robotics became profound when I developed a bipedal robot during my time at Columbia University. I am also keen towards developing human - assistive robots and medical robots in the future.
In my free time, I like to listen to music and go for long walks with my friends.
David is the founder of XtraMath, a nonprofit offering a free online supplementary math education program. Prior to XtraMath, David worked at a variety of startups, including a couple of his own, and spent several years at Microsoft. David has a Master's Degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from New York, University. Originally from Goshen, Indiana, David now lives in Seattle.
Lauria Clarke is an engineer and artist living in Boston, MA. She enjoys playing outside, making things, and computer architecture. Lauria holds a M.S. in Computer Engineering from Northeastern University. She has been a major volunteer on the VentMon project for pandemic ventilator verification.
Dr. Ferguson is a thoughtful visionary who thrives in exploring scientific possibilities at the intersection of health and technology. Dr. Ferguson earned his Ph.D. in the Biological Sciences from Johns Hopkins University studying olfactory neuroscience and sensory transduction. To increase his impact on people in the real world, Dr. Ferguson transformed his passions into a career in health and life science consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. At Booz Allen, Dr. Ferguson leads cutting-edge projects at the interface of life science, technology, and management across multiple government agencies.
Josh completed his B.Sc from Purdue University in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2015. Post-graduation, Josh worked in verification engineering for the Apple Mac performance team and for IBM server hardware. In 2017, he started working in the blockchain space and is currently working on building and promoting a new smart contract programming language for the Flow blockchain. At Public Invention, Josh helped with the initial design and testing of the GlussCon.
Morgan is currently a senior Mechanical Engineering student at UT Austin. He is interested in additive manufacturing and machine design.
Evan Bartilson provides mechanical engineering solutions for the aerospace, medical, amusement park, heavy equipment, and consumer product industries. He is a primary design resource on Engineers without Borders Armadillo V2 and contributor for PubInv glusscon projects.
Keeshan Patel is a student at The University of Texas at Austin who completed his bachelor’s in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Software Engineering. He has a passion for robotics and embedded systems. Specifically, his interests lie in rehabilitation robotics where he has conducted exoskeleton research in the Non-Invasive Brain-Machine Interface Lab at the University of Houston and the RENEU Lab at The University of Texas at Austin. Throughout his undergraduate experience, he has interned at Viasat, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, and Apple and has continued his pursuit to extend his knowledge of the tech industry. His various projects can be found on his website.