HATTIESBURG – The
University of Southern Mississippi announced Tuesday the winners
in its “Invent Your Future!” contest sponsored by the
College of Science and Technology.
The contest, held April 27 in Hattiesburg, featured
designs and inventions created by students and staff of Southern
Miss. The top three competitors will share $10,000 in prize money
and will get the chance to develop their ideas from innovation to
“We’re making a broad-based effort
at Southern Miss to incorporate economic development and entrepreneurship
into all aspects of the educational process,” said Dr. Cecil
Burge, vice president for research and economic development. “This
contest allows for participatory learning by our students in the
competitive innovation process.”
Stacy Trey, Alicyn Rhoades and David Weldon placed
first in the competition, sponsored by Noetic Technologies Inc.,
the Southern Miss Research Foundation and the Office of the Vice
President for Research.
The group’s project, titled “NuBone:
Hip Replacement Stem,” focused on a modified hip stem that
could reduce or eliminate infections, surgeries and pain endured
by some patients who undergo a total-hip replacement.
“We are very excited about winning,”
said Rhoades whose team was awarded $5,000. “We are glad to
have the money so that we can move forward and prove our concept.”
Vijayaraj Nagarajan and Venkata Thodima finished
in second place with “Improved MCC: An Efficient Method for
Clustering Gene Expression Data.” The duo believes lumping
together genes with similar behaviors could lead to a potential
tool in discovering candidate drug targets for deadly diseases like
Third-place honors went to Southern Miss staff member
John Anderson, whose “Race Ramp” creation was inspired
by his son Hayden. The Race Ramp is a toy made for small cars like
Hot Wheels. It has four lanes, a starting block and a slope for
cars to race down. Thinking like a true parent, Anderson made a
toy that could also fold up to hold several cars to make it for
storage and travel.
While only three groups could be rewarded for their
efforts, many contestants managed to walk away a winner as they
got a chance to learn from and network with prominent business leaders
and venture capitalists during the competition.
Dr. Les Goff, president and CEO of Noetic Technologies
Inc. said, “The ‘Invent Your Future!’ competition
is a continuation in building the entrepreneurial atmosphere at
Southern Miss. Noetic is proud to support opportunities like these,
and we look forward to next year’s competition.”
For more information, please contact Leslie Butler
at (601) 266-6133 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.