David Sengeh, a doctoral student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, has won a $15,000 Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition (NCSPC) award. Sengeh is designing a socket that improves comfort and mobility for lower-limb prosthetic users. His approach, which uses quantitative and human data, merges magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 3D printing for customized prosthetic interfaces that reduce socket pressure. Prototypes have been tested by veterans and civilian patients, including amputees from the Boston Marathon bombings. Sengeh’s NCSPC award was given in the “Cure it!” category for technology-based inventions that can improve healthcare.
“This competition celebrates students who are translating research discoveries into groundbreaking inventions, and fostering creative and inventive thinking among youth,” said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “This year’s winners are at the forefront of technological invention in healthcare and consumer products.”
The Lemelson-MIT Program awarded $50,000 in prizes, with winning undergraduate teams receiving $10,000 in two categories and graduate student winners receiving $15,000 in two categories. Applicants were evaluated by screening committees with expertise in the inventive categories as well as a national judging panel of industry leaders. Screeners and judges assessed candidates on the breadth and depth of inventiveness and creativity, the potential their invention has for societal benefit and economic commercial success, and their experience and ability to serve as a role model for youth.