The Mission of Public Invention is to "Invent in the public, for the public."

PolyVent has joined Public Invention! Meet the PolyVent Team


Ben Coombs

Invention Coach of 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.


Megan Cadena

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.


Avinash Baskaran

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.


Pranav S

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.


Veronica S

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.

David Jeschke

David Jeschke

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.


Nathan Sage

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.

He earned a BS in Agronomy from Iowa State University.  Later on his PhD work in Genetics and Genomics ended abruptly after a climbing accident, but he still hopes to finish it someday.
Nathan now volunteers as a writer for the World Infectious Disease Monitoring Foundation, tutors for Raising Readers of Iowa, and helps out at Mustard Seed Community Farm.

His hobbies include yoga, weight lifting, running, martial arts, DIY, ttRPGs, and video games.
LinkedIn (1)

Alexander Musicant

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.


Harshit Kumar

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.

Past Public Inventors:

Lauria Clarke

Lauria Clarke

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.

Christopher Ferguson, PhD

Chistopher Ferguson

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.

Joshua Hannan

Joshua Hannan

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 Chen Portrait

Morgan Chen

Morgan is currently a senior Mechanical Engineering student at UT Austin. He is interested in additive manufacturing and machine design.


Evan Bartilson

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

Keeshan Patel

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.


Halimat Atinuke Farayola

Halimat Farayola is a recent graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from New York University. She is passionate about how the different layers of computer systems – from software to electronics – integrate to create sophisticated technology. Her internship–which involved retrieving data from truck engines–and her embedded systems projects have made her interested in how IoT connects the world. Since her graduation, she has been using her embedded systems skills to improve the second generation of the Moonrat device. She dreams of working on projects where she can combine her love for technology with her creative side.
You can learn more about Halimat by checking out her online portfolio

2020 Award Winners

These 2020 Public Invention awards were presented on Jan. 10th to:


Pierre Lonchampt

Special Recognition, 2020

For QA/RA Assistance to the Entire COVID-19 Pandemic Response Community


Erich Schulz

Special Recognition, 2020

For Community Leadership to the Entire COVID-19 Pandemic Response Community


Halimat Atinuke Farayola

Best New Public Inventor, 2020

For the Moonrat Project


Marc T. Jones

Most Active Board Member, 2020

For the FDA sharing proto-license and Libre Planet 2020


Megan Cadena

Best Addition to a Research Paper, 2020

For “Modelling the impact of rise time on ventilator performance”


Avinash Baskaran

Best Academic Publication, 2020

For “Controlling a variable geometry truss tetrobot with an isomorphic puppet controller”, ICMME 2020


Juan Enrique Villacres-Perez

Best Student Contribution, 2020

For COVID-19 Vent-List and “Modelling the impact of rise time on ventilator performance”


Jerry Chang

Best Educational Media Production, 2020

For Rapd E. coli Video Production


David Jeschke

Invention Coach, Honorable Mention, 2020

For the Math Tablet Project


Chris Ferguson

Best Invention Coach, 2020

For the Moonrat and Rapid E. coli Projects


Ben Coombs

Greatest Contribution, 2020

For the PIOC, VentMon, and VentOS Projects


Lauria Clarke

Best Public Inventor, 2020

For the VentMon Project