Collegiate Inventors Competition Winners Announced

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November 1, 2019—The National Inventors Hall of Fame is proud to announce undergraduate and graduate winners for the 2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition. Among the winners is an invention related to the automotive industry.

A glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends from the nation’s brightest young inventors were recognized and honored today at the 2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition, an annual competition for college and university students and their faculty advisers.

“For the United States to maintain our leadership role in critical STEM disciplines, we must empower the next generation of world-changing inventors,” said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). “The USPTO is proud to once again be the host and presenting sponsor for the Collegiate Inventors Competition ­— a program where the creativity of our greatest collegiate inventors foretells the future of American innovation.”

Finalist teams (five Undergraduate and five Graduate), consisting of 23 students from 11 colleges and universities across the United States, received an all-expenses-paid trip to the final round of the competition held at the USPTO’s Madison Building in Alexandria, Va. The teams presented their inventions to an esteemed panel of final-round judges composed of the most influential inventors and innovation experts in the nation — National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees and USPTO officials.

“The Collegiate Inventors Competition showcases the next generation of innovation game-changers — college inventors who are finding tangible, creative solutions to real-world problems,” said National Inventors Hall of Fame CEO Michael Oister. “These student teams earned the opportunity this week to meet and learn from the greatest role models in American history — the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.”

Established in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is sponsored by the USPTO, Arrow Electronics (People’s Choice Award), Merck, Hologic and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

First Place Winner: Undergraduate

PE-IVT (Positively Engaged, Infinitely Variable Transmission Using Split Helical Gears), University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Team Member: Ethan R. Brush; Adviser: Carl Nelson

Driving Efficiency Forward: As demand for electric vehicles rises, so does the need for manufacturers to identify a more suitable transmission. The Positively Engaged, Infinitely Variable Transmission (PE-IVT) represents a new class of transmission that combines the torque of gear-based transmissions with the efficiency of continuously variable transmissions. The PE-IVT operates at 88 to 98 percent efficiency across all gear ratios, and it could disrupt existing technologies and reduce energy losses across a range of applications and industries.

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