Five Wichita State University Student Teams Win Second Annual Koch Innovation Challenge

Article ID: 686307

Released: 6-Dec-2017 11:05 AM EST

Source Newsroom: Wichita State University

  • Credit: Samantha Corcoran

    One of the winning student teams, with team members Christian Ammerman, Mikah Betterton, Maggie Brown, Noah Foster, Thanh Nguyen.

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Newswise — Five student teams from Wichita State won the university's second annual Koch Innovation Challenge.

The annual competition was held Friday, Dec. 1, and supports the College of Engineering in fostering a culture of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and teamwork among students.

The goal is to help prepare students to become real world-ready graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset.

The winning projects / teams are:

  • "Firefighter SpeedSuit" - A one-piece fire suit that slides on in 25 seconds. Team members: Tyler Espinoza, Yasen Kolev, Thinh Nguyen, Colton Watters, Joshua Williams.
  • "Vision X" - An eye-tracking system that alerts distracted drivers. Team members: Alexa Mercer, Hamad Alsaeed, Nathan Ruby, Ryan Swint, Shaedon Wedel.
  • "School Safety" - A new type of lock for classroom doors to keep students safe. Team Members: Christian Ammerman, Mikah Betterton, Maggie Brown, Noah Foster, Thanh Nguyen.
  • "T-Rash" - An innovative trash can design that simplifies loading trash bags. Team members: Rianna Cazabat, Luke Ewertz, Thilanka Gamalathge, Lorraine Lowrey, Alexa Mercer.
  • "Moving Van Storage System" - A lug bar that protects fragile items inside a moving truck. Team members Denver Jackson, Lance Kelley, Ryan Stuempfig, Andrew Torres, Ridge Towner.

Each of the five winners will receive up to $1,200 in investment capital to pursue their ventures during their second semester. Additionally, students on the winning teams will be awarded a $1,000 Koch Innovation Challenge scholarship for their second semester.

Each winning team will be paired with a faculty innovation mentor.

The teams will go on to compete in May at the annual Engineering Open House, where one team will be named Grand Champion. This team will then compete at a national pitch competition.

The challenge is organized from the Introduction to Technology & Innovation freshman seminar general education course.

Team members are first-year freshmen and transfer students from majors all across campus, including engineering, theater, vocal performance, game design, elementary education, exercise science, sport management, pre-med, psychology, chemistry, biology and international business.


The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling nearly 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wichitastate and Facebook at www.facebook.com/wichita.state.

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Contact: Samantha Corcoran, engineering educator, 316-978-6301 or samantha.corcoran@wichita.edu


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