News & Media

WiSys gathers ideas from Wisconsin innovators to improve life during the coronavirus era

MADISON—In April, WiSys challenged UW System faculty, staff, students and alumni to develop fast, functional solutions that address the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing in your local community. 

And UW System innovators responded. 

WiSys selected 14 concepts submitted to the WiSys Innovation Challenge: COVID-19 and offered $100 to the innovators to create a proof of concept or start implementing the idea.

The selected ideas include: 

  • Promote donation of stimulus funds
    Julie Lee, Executive Assistant to the Provost & Vice Provost, UW-Parkside

  • Collaborative Facebook group to deal with pandemic issues
    Mike Dalecki, Professor of Sociology, UW-Platteville
  • Intubation box to protect doctors and nurses
    Eric Russell, Student, Mechanical Engineering Major, UW-Platteville
  • Better protective masks for the general public using hydrogels
    Ozgur Yavuzcetin, Associate Professor, Physics, UW-Whitewater
  • Software to collect and analyze treatment datasets
    Arghya Kusum Das, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Software Engineering, UW-Platteville
  • Library program for the underserved to access coronavirus resources
    Matthew Leikness, Student, Accounting Major, UW-La Crosse
  • Neighborhood connection hub
    Kevin Tharp, Professor, Information and Communication Technologies, UW-Stout
  • Connect students to meditation app
    Stephen Williams, Student, Marketing Major, UW-La Crosse
  • Nose piece for medical mask comfort
    Katrina Hendrickson, Student, Technology Education Major, UW-Stout
  • Volunteer request app/website
    Trang Tran, Student, Computer Science Major, UW-Superior
  • System to mold personal protective equipment from recycled water bottles
    Jodi Prosise, Chair and Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, UW-Platteville

Three selected ideas are being kept confidential to preserve intellectual property rights. Those ideas were submitted by:

  • John Obielodan, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UW-Platteville
  • Dinesh Yadav, Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts, UW-Green Bay
  • Xiaoguang Ma, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, UW-Platteville

UW-Platteville supported the innovation challenge by offering additional resources towards prototype development and implementation of selected ideas.

To learn more about challenge and background on some of the ideas, visit

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.