Two Norwich Student Projects Showcase Research, Start-up Savvy

Norwich student-led research projects and start-ups showcase their ideas at competitions in Washington, DC, and Texas this weekend
Daphne Larkin
Norwich University Office of Communications

April 9, 2015

As the final weeks of the 2014-2015 academic year wind down, Norwich students are packing in as much experiential learning and service as humanly possible.

This Friday six students plus faculty mentor Tara Kulkarni, PhD, will travel to a national research competition in Washington, DC.

A civil and environmental engineering professor, Kulkarni received an EPA pilot grant in September that funds her collaboration on a student research project led by senior civil engineering student Susan Limberg.

Serving as faculty advisor, Kulkarni wrote a proposal based on Limberg’s idea of developing pervious concrete filters to control stormwater runoff. One compelling component of their project is a filtration process aimed at transforming rainwater into drinkable water.

They received a Phase I, $14,957 grant from the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability, a national-level competition organized by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

On April 11-12 the team will participate in Phase II at the National Sustainable Design Expo (NSDE) in Washington to compete for the P3 Award and a grant of up to $75,000 to take their design to real world application.

Business Start-up Competition

At the same time, Norwich student entrepreneurs are heading to Texas to showcase their idea for a business startup aimed at the maker movement. Team YETi designed a project board to simplify the electronics of maker applications and will pitch their business start-up at a Texas Christian University competition.

James Whitlock and Josh Coleman, electrical and computer engineering juniors at Norwich, and Joe Poulima, a former Norwich undergrad and current electrical engineering technology major at Vermont Technical College, designed a device to “bridge the gap between conceptual model design and finished product” for the ever-growing maker market.

Norwich faculty helped the team hone their pitch, which won the recent NU Launch! entrepreneurial business competition. Team YETi will now pitch their idea at the 5th Annual TCU Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures student business plan competition to be held at Texas Christian University’s Neeley Entrepreneurship Center on April 10 – 11.

This marks the first time Norwich University will participate in the annual competition in which undergraduate students around the world pitch plans for for-profit values-centered enterprises that impact society in meaningful ways.

 Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886, (m) 595-3613