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Innovation

Early in the coronavirus pandemic it became clear that a shortage of testing supplies was one of the bottlenecks that limited more expansive testing. Matthew Grayson, professor of electrical and computer engineering, assembled a team to design a patent-pending prototype for a nasal swab.

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swab diagram
An organization run by Northwestern students is working hard to keep Evanston’s small business owners afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is just one of several ways that Northwestern students are addressing needs in response to the pandemic.

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Lending a hand
Morgan Lewis ’18 MS wanted to create a storage solution to keep her guitar safe during “rest mode” — between songs or at breaks during gigs. For her Engineering Design Innovation final project, she created Auxilia, an attachable stand that stays out of the way while the guitarist is playing and deploys automatically when she sets the guitar down.

See how it works

guitar stand annotate
To help provide students with easy access to medication and other personal care items, a team of entrepreneurs created MedKit Solutions. Pre-med seniors Matthew Urban and Chris Holland, both neuroscience majors, developed the concept with Feinberg School of Medicine first-year student Ashorne Mahenthiran ’19.

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Medkit
Sahar Jamal, founder of Maziwa, is creating a battery-powered breast pump so new mothers in East Africa can return to work. Maziwa’s design includes a cooler and pump so that women can collect and store breast milk even if they have no access to electricity or refrigeration, and the pump’s sleek, compact design also allows women to pump more discreetly.

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maziwa
Student Vishaal Mali's startup puts pedal power to good use. PedalCell provides cyclists with reliable onboard power during their ride.

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pedalcell numbered
Brent Chase knows the pain and helplessness of watching a loved one go through a physically and emotionally damaging autistic meltdown. Chase’s younger brother, Alec, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was 3 years old.

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brent and alec chase gaia wearables
Americans throw away about 300 million pairs of shoes each year. Almost all of them end up in landfills, where they can take centuries to break down.

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innovation scoots numbered

People Power

Spring 2019
Kristen Sanders built People6, a digital marketing agency that employs college students to create and execute holistic marketing solutions and research for businesses and entrepreneurs. People6 has hired more than 30 students to complete nearly 20 projects, ranging from research for New Founders PAC to a new website design and branding plan for Roycemore School, near the Evanston campus.

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kristin sanders
A team of McCormick School of Engineering sophomores created the Alligator Tail, a device that is placed on the axle of a wheelchair and is used prevent the user from falling while learning to do a stationary wheelie. It allows users to practice wheelies with minimal assistance.

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alligator tail