Education, training, acquisitions and medical manufacturing
2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition Finalists
National Inventors Hall of Fame

Education, training, acquisitions and medical manufacturing

Stryker’s 4th acquisition in 2019; Lincoln Electric’s joint education program; 2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition winners; ProShop USA supports student-run Eagle Manufacturing


Fall is a time for open houses, visits with manufacturers, and apparently more acquisitions for Stryker, who’s been busy scooping up orthopedic companie, the latest being Wright Medical. Now, even though MFG DAY was in early October, educational programs and competitions continue to build the future workforce in manufacturing. Scroll down to learn how about one high school in Indiana that has a student-run job shop and how Lincoln Electric and ASM Int’l are training future welders who are in high demand throughout manufacturing. 

Stryker to acquire Wright Medical

Stryker announced a definitive agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Wright Medical Group N.V. for $30.75 per share, or a total equity value of approximately $4.0 billion and a total enterprise value of approximately $5.4 billion (including convertible notes). Wright Medical, which was founded in 1950, is a global medical device company focused on extremities and biologics.

Wright Medical brings a highly complementary product portfolio and customer base to Stryker’s trauma and extremities business. With global sales approaching $1 billion, Wright Medical is a recognized leader in the upper extremities (shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand), lower extremities (foot and ankle) and biologics markets, which are among the fastest growing segments in orthopedics.

Wright Medical’s leading upper extremity portfolio and advanced preoperative planning technology will significantly add to Stryker’s offering. Additionally, Wright Medical’s lower extremity and biologics will complement Stryker’s portfolio and strengthen the company’s position in this high-growth segment.

“This acquisition enhances our global market position in trauma & extremities, providing significant opportunities to advance innovation, improve outcomes and reach more patients,” said Kevin Lobo, chairman and CEO, Stryker. “Wright Medical has built a successful business, and we look forward to welcoming their team to Stryker.” 


4 student teams win 2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition

A glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends from the nation’s brightest young inventors – from water conservation to reducing eyedrop medication waste – were recognized and honored today at the 2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition.

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, Virginia. The teams presented their inventions to a panel of final-round judges composed of 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,” says 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 winners ($15,000 prize)

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% efficiency across all gear ratios, and it could disrupt existing technologies and reduce energy losses across a range of applications and industries.

Infinite Cooling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Team Members: Maher Damak, Karim Khalil; Adviser: Kripa Varanasi
Recycling an Essential Resource: Freshwater sources are in great demand as regions fall into drought. Because 39% of all freshwater withdrawals in the United States are attributed to power plants, Infinite Cooling can ionize and collect water from power plants’ cooling towers so it may be reused as industrial and drinking water. If this invention was used in all power plants across the country, it could save as much as 200 billion gallons of water per year.

Runner-up winners ($5,000 prize)
PeritoneX, Johns Hopkins University
Team Members: Tejasvi Desai, Sarah Lee, Eugene Oh, James Qin; Adviser: Elizabeth Logsdon
Advancing the Safety of Dialysis: End-stage renal disease can be fatal, and with the limited availability of kidney transplants, hundreds of thousands of people require renal replacement therapy to survive. Peritoneal dialysis (PD), a convenient, at-home form of this therapy, carries a high risk of infection. To reduce this risk, the PeritoneX is designed to disinfect PD systems. This syringe-based mechanism can improve lives by minimizing the potential for infection without increasing the time or dexterity required to perform PD.
The PeritoneX team also received the Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award ($1,500 prize).

Nanodropper: Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine/University of Washington
Team Members: Mackenzie Andrews, Allisa J. Song, Jennifer Steger; Adviser: Raghu Mudumbai
Small Drops, Big Vision: For millions of people with eye conditions such as glaucoma, the unregulated size of eyedropper tip openings poses significant problems. Oversized drops dispensed from these bottles result in wasted medication, leading many patients to run out before their insurance will cover a refill – and each missed dose can contribute to vision loss. Nanodropper is a universal adapter for eyedrop medication bottles that creates smaller and more efficacious droplets to reduce waste, decreases per-dose costs, and ultimately increases access to expensive, essential medications. 


ProShop USA supports student-run “Eagle Manufacturing”

ProShop USA, provider of digital manufacturing management systems, is donating ProShop ERP software to the student-run Eagle Manufacturing business at Brown County High School in Nashville, Indiana.

ProShop software is a comprehensive web-based, paperless shop management system engineered to benefit small to medium-sized manufacturing companies. ProShop USA describes the software as a Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem comprised of integrated modules for managing a shop’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) operations as well as MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and QMS (Quality Management Systems) functions, among others.

Eagle Manufacturing is in its second full year of operation, with 26 students “employed” in the business for the 2019-2020 school term. Brown County High School created Eagle Manufacturing to provide students with the employability and technical skills they need to succeed after high school. As in a traditional manufacturing company, the student business offers a wide range of positions and opportunities to learn. The business operates during the regular school day and as a full time internship in the summer.

"We are incredibly excited to implement ProShop in Eagle Manufacturing,” says Chris Townsend, Eagle Manufacturing advisor. “From a business perspective, ProShop will allow us to go to the next level of efficiency and productivity in order to help better serve our customers. From an education perspective, ProShop will allow our students to engage with real-world, industry management software on a daily basis and further develop their technical and employability skills to prepare them for the workforce.”

Paul Van Metre, president of ProShop USA says, “We’re thrilled to work with Eagle Manufacturing. We believe deeply in investing in the future of manufacturing in North America and especially in showing students how exciting manufacturing careers can be. This mutually beneficial partnership will give the students a solid understanding of how enterprise software works – experience they can bring to future employers – while they in turn will provide us with feedback on how easy ProShop is to learn and use and how we can make it even better and more user-friendly.


Lincoln Electric, ASM International joint education program

Lincoln Electric, in partnership with ASM International, announces the development of a Certificate Program: Welding Technology and Materials Science. The Joint Education Program (JEP) will provide learners the opportunity to advance their material science knowledge and obtain hands-on training with various welding technologies.

The certificate program provides a platform for advancement of scientific expertise. To ensure rigorous training and education standards are being applied, all coursework has been previously accredited with The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

Professionals entering the program will come from a variety of industries and backgrounds, most appealing to engineers, materials science professionals, technicians, and those working in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

The certificate is based on completion of eight total courses. The foundational curriculum consists of five pre-set required courses that offer a deeper dive into the subject matter of metallurgy, mechanical testing, welding inspection and control, welding economics and steel weldments. The remaining three courses offer the learner the ability to tailor their certificate to one of 15 desired industry focus areas.

The program is typically completed over a two-year period, committing between 210 and 220 course hours to the hands-on, educational programming.

Welding courses will be facilitated in Lincoln Electric’s Welding Technology & Training Center, offering comprehensive, multi-sensory learning experiences. The facility also features more than 150 welding and cutting stations, and robotic cells.