Nearly 250 University of Wisconsin innovators came together at UW-Parkside for the 11th annual WSTS, a two-day symposium aimed at sparking collaboration between faculty, staff, students and industry partners across the state.
The conference included scientific presentations, panel discussions and networking activities to highlight the potential for partnerships across disciplines and across campuses.
"We were proud to partner with WiSys to celebrate the intersection of science, technology and innovation," UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford said.
Keynote speaker and UW-Parkside alumnus Dr. Thomas Krummel, of Stanford University, opened the symposium with an inspiring address highlighting his personal journey with innovation.
A special Day 2 Luncheon Keynote address by Alan Yeung, Director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives at Foxconn,explored how the company plans to invest in and encourage innovation across the state.
WSTS 2018 also featured a student research poster symposium, where more than 60 student teams presented their projects to compete for cash prizes, as well as an innovation showcase, where five student teams presented their prototypes, apps, computer games and creative work.
This year's WiSys Quick Pitch State Final spotlighted 11 winning pitches from the nine regional campus Quick Pitch competitions last year. Participants faced off in front of a statewide crowd – including campus leadership and business community members - to present their research in three minutes or less.
The Faculty Open Mic session echoed the Quick Pitch, giving UW System faculty members five minutes and three slides to present on their research, successful collaborations and programs, or collaboration needs. At a parallel session, students were invited to attend a special Career Panel to hear from various industry experts providing their insight on career development and how experience in undergraduate research creates valuable opportunities.
The annual evening dinner and networking event served as an awards ceremony, where WiSys President Arjun Sanga presented the 2018 Carl E. Gulbrandsen Innovator of the Year award to Sam Hunt of UW-Green Bay and Dr. Gokul Gopalakrishnan of UW-Platteville. This was the first year two recipients were chosen for the statewide award, and the first time a student was chosen. Sanga also presented awards for the student competitions (full list of winners below).
"Each year, WSTS brings together the brightest minds across the UW System to showcase their work and form collaborations. This year, we were also fortunate to connect with so many industry partners, like Foxconn, Uline, PPG, Northwestern Mutual and Snap-On," Sanga said. "This partnership between UW innovators and industry is instrumental in furthering the Wisconsin Idea."
WSTS 2019 is scheduled to take place late July 2019, and more information will follow this fall.
WSTS 2018 Award Winners:
STUDENT POSTER SYMPOSIUM
- 1st place – Michael Schneider and Trevor Wavrunek, UW-Platteville: “Preventing Alien Colonization with First Contact™ Polymer” mentor Gokul Gopalakrishnan
- 2nd place – Sura-attha Umasangtongkul, UW-Whitewater: “Removal of Methyl Mercury from Fish Fillets using Vacuum Tumblers and Reducing Agents” mentor John Ejnik
- 3rd place – Allison Welter, UW-Eau Claire: “Analysis of Arabidopsis Thaliana Red-Light Response Mutants Identified in a Genetic Enhancer Screen” mentor Derek Gingerich
HIGGINS INNOVATION AWARD (INNOVATION SHOWCASE)
Xuan Zhu, UW-Superior: “University Mail Distribution Systems” mentor Steven Rosenberg
ROBERT R. WISE AWARD FOR COMMERCIAL RELEVANCE
Michael Schneider and Trevor Wavrunek, UW-Platteville: “Preventing Alien Colonization with First Contact™ Polymer” mentor Gokul Gopalakrishnan
WISYS QUICK PITCH STATE FINAL
- 1st place – Allison Welter, UW-Eau Claire: “Analysis of Arabidopsis Thaliana Red-Light Response Mutants Identified in a Genetic Enhancer Screen” mentor Derek Gingerich
- 2nd place – Elizabeth Laskowski, UW-Eau Claire: “Measuring "Smart" Abilities of Copolymers with PDMAEMA” mentor Elizabeth Glogowski
- 3rd place – Montana Lins and Rebecca Storlie, UW-River Falls: "Novel Cervical Artificial Insemination System for Sheep" mentor Justin Luther