Introduction

Creativity is born out of challenge and disruption spurs innovation. 

Virginia Tech is seeking imaginative ideas and outside-the-box solutions as it navigates the current pandemic. The university needs the creativity and inventiveness of its students to make meaningful change.

While the university is putting systems and procedures in place for a safe reopening this fall, we are looking for students and faculty mentors who will assist with this transition, creating innovative and integrated solutions for the challenges the university’s campuses face. 

This is a campus-wide competition open to every Virginia Tech student. Student creativity and innovation will be an integral part of our efforts to move into the fall semester.

The Challenge

The pandemic is affecting - and will continue to affect - all of us in various ways.  We want to safely move forward as a university community under these current conditions, but need YOUR talent and YOUR passion to help us advance.

We are looking for creative and innovative ideas in five key areas:

  1. Area #1: Minimizing Spread Across Campuses and Surrounding Communities - Students will propose novel non-pharmaceutical interventions to minimize COVID spread among the university population and surrounding communities.
  2. Area #2:  Ut Prosim and Protecting Our Communities - Students will design programs that extend the spirit of Ut Prosim, guarding and protecting the most vulnerable members of our community, particularly off-campus, from the virus. 
  3. Area #3: Supporting and Facilitating Extensive Contact Tracing - Students will develop ideas, methods, and techniques to help make contact identification more efficient, allowing contact tracers to do their jobs more quickly and effectively.
  4. Area #4:  Understanding the Extent of COVID-19 at Virginia Tech - Students will generate novel surveillance ideas to help Virginia Tech more successfully detect the presence of the virus and/or COVID cases, both on and off campus.
  5. Area #5:  Optimizing Virginia Tech Facilities - Students will design social, technical, and/or programmatic solutions for operating facilities where students gather on campus to help limit COVID-19 spread.  

The Competition

The competition will be held in three phases:

Phase I: First Concepts

  • ● Students (either individually or in groups) will download the application.
  • ● Applications will be due by July 20th.
  • ● 20 winning proposals will be announced on July 22, 2020.
  • ● Winning proposal individuals or teams will meet with university leaders and receive $500 on July 22, 2020, to help prepare for the phase II competition. Teams can be expanded and modified as needed.

Spatial Redesign Graphics
Joonyoung Kang, Architecture
Aki Ishida (faculty), Architecture

Respirators for Safe Signing
Lindsey Bezek, Mechanical Engineering
Amanda Wei, Mechanical Engineering
Araiana Wyatt (faculty), Music

Helping Hokies Stay Healthy
Jamie Nelson, Neuroscience
Christina Watt, BSE
Rafael Arbex-Murut, Computer Science
James Hargrove, Elec & Computer Engineering
Georgia Hodes (faculty), Neuroscience

Maintaining Humanity Through the Mask
Xandra Jones, Industrial Design
Grace Ryan, Industrial Design
Shahab Sagheb (faculty), Industrial Design

Preventiv
Sai Gurrapu, Computer Science
Qasim Wan, Computer Engineering
Howard Haines (faculty), Management

SERVE VT
Whit Packwood, Indus & Systems Engineering
Annabel Kleinfeldt, Indus & Systems Engineering
David Gray (faculty), Eng Ed

Hokies Give Back
Leah Thomas, Biomedical Engineering
Kate Herrema, Biomedical Engineering
Jonathan Perdue, Biomedical Engineering
Sara Arena (faculty), Biomedical Engineering

Virtual Communities
Caroline Smith, School of Public & International Affairs
Courtney Swanson, Psychology
Theodore Lim (faculty), Urban Affairs & Planning

Accessible Face Masks for Deaf and hard of hearing
Ella Rak, Vet Med
Jaclyn Abramson, Population Health Sciences
Teace Markwalter, Population Health Sciences
Sarah Work, Population Health Sciences
Sophie Wenzel PhD (faculty), Population Health Sciences

Mobile Testing Clinic
Amber Douglas, Business
Prince Wang, International Relations
Eric Martin, Accounting and Information Systems

UVC Air Sterilization
Anders Skjeveland, Computer Science
Aaron Waldman, Mechanical Engineering
Sara Arena (faculty), Biomedical Engineering & Mechanics

VT Check
Sameer Dandekar, Computer Science
Nicholas Polys (faculty), Computer Science

Hokie EZ Passport
Jackson Comer, Biomedical Engineering
Haley Galliher, Psychology
Clay Williams, Multimedia Journalism
Cooper Whiteleather, Materials Science Engineering
Sam Lightfoot, Chemical Engineering and Computer Science
Kyle Irby, Computer Science
Jorge Flores-Portillo, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. David Gray (faculty), Engineering Education

Tracking Risk and Analytics
Yaokun Lai, Physics
Yuan Chen, Computer Science
Weifan Li, HNFE
Xilei Zhu, University Studies
Siyuan Ren, Mechanical Engineering
Alma Robinson (faculty), Physics

CoviTrack
Kashyap Bhatt, Mechanical Engineering
Aayush Salot, Aerospace Engineering
Aparna Ganesh, Computer Science
Anchita Hari, Computer Science
Neel Kanjani, Aerospace Engineering
Derek Haqq (faculty), Computer Science

Hokie Passport Contact Tracing
Lauren Smith, Population Health Sciences
Jacob Nantz, Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Ryan Calder (faculty), Population Health Sciences

Fever Detection Technologies
Phillip Trupelli, Biomedical Engineering & Mechanics and Physics
Tanner Dean, Biochemistry
Matt Davidson, Computer Science
Kausthubh Gadamsetty, BME
John Domann (faculty), BME

Wastewater Testing
Abigail Bock, BME
Kailee David, BME
Clara Gambrel, MSE
Carla Finkliestein (faculty), Biological Sciences

High Efficiency COVID Pooled Sample Analysis in Dorms
Moriah Heifetz, Biological Sciences
Nicholas Russell, Neuroscience
Keely Beard, Biological Sciences
Jacob Wilson, CMDA
Kathleen Marschalko, Neuroscience
Jack Evan (Faculty), Biological Sciences

Dining Services Modifications
William Ferris, Ag & Applied Econ
Stephen Walsh, Statistics
Krista Ligouri, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Mary Kasarda (faculty), Mechnical Engineering

Autonomous Population Density Detection through IoT Networks
Akshay Akula, Computer Science
Siddharth Akalwadi, Computer Science
Howard Haines (faculty), Management

Phase II: First Prototypes

  • ● Winning projects from phase I will download the application form for phase II and develop second prototypes.
  • ● Applications will be due by August 3, 2020.
  • ● Ten winning proposals will be announced on August 5, 2020.
  • ● Winning proposal individuals or teams will meet with university leaders and receive $1,000 on August 5, 2020, to help prepare for the final phase III competition.

Spatial Redesign Graphics
Joonyoung Kang, Architecture
Kirat Pandher, Architecture + Construction
Aki Ishida (faculty), Architecture

Maintaining Humanity Through the Mask
Xandra Jones, Industrial Design
Grace Ryan, Industrial Design
Shahab Sagheb (faculty), Industrial Design

Preventiv
Sai Gurrapu, Computer Science
Qasim Wan, Computer Engineering
Howard Haines (faculty), Management

SERVE VT
Whit Packwood, Indus & Systems Engineering
Annabel Kleinfeldt, Indus & Systems Engineering
David Gray (faculty), Eng Ed

Accessible Face Masks for Deaf and hard of hearing
Ella Rak, Vet Med
Jaclyn Abramson, Population Health Sciences
Teace Markwalter, Population Health Sciences
Sarah Work, Population Health Sciences
Sophie Wenzel PhD (faculty), Population Health Sciences

Virtual Communities
Caroline Smith, School of Public & International Affairs
Courtney Swanson, Psychology
Theodore Lim (faculty), Urban Affairs & Planning

Mobile Testing Clinic
Amber Douglas, Business
Prince Wang, International Relations
Eric Martin, Accounting and Information Systems
Nate Doggett, Electrical Engineering
David Petrulis, Industrial Systems Engineering

VT Check
Sameer Dandekar, Computer Science
Nicholas Polys (faculty), Computer Science

CoviTrack
Kashyap Bhatt, Mechanical Engineering
Aayush Salot, Aerospace Engineering
Aparna Ganesh, Computer Science
Anchita Hari, Computer Science
Neel Kanjani, Aerospace Engineering
Derek Haqq (faculty), Computer Science

Wastewater Testing
Abigail Bock, BME
Kailee David, BME
Clara Gambrel, MSE
Carla Finkliestein (faculty), Biological Sciences

Phase III: Grand Prize and First Deployable Implementation

  • ● Winning projects from phase II will download the application form for phase III and develop final prototypes. Students will be asked to meet with university stakeholders and discuss their ideas.
  • ● Applications will be due by August 17, 2020.
  • ● Five winning proposals, one in each area, will be announced on August 19, 2020.
  • ● Winning proposal individuals or teams will meet with university leaders and receive $4,000 on August 19, 2020, to deploy projects.

Spatial Redesign Graphics
Joonyoung Kang, Architecture
Kirat Pandher, Architecture + Construction
Aki Ishida (faculty), Architecture

SERVE VT
Whit Packwood, Indus & Systems Engineering
Annabel Kleinfeldt, Indus & Systems Engineering
Henry Forsyth, Computer Engineering
David Gray (faculty), Eng Ed

Virtual Communities
Caroline Smith, School of Public & International Affairs
Courtney Swanson, Psychology
Theodore Lim (faculty), Urban Affairs & Planning

Accessible Face Masks for Deaf and hard of hearing
Ella Rak, Vet Med
Jaclyn Abramson, Population Health Sciences
Teace Markwalter, Population Health Sciences
Hannah Reed, Population Health Sciences
Conner Herron, Mechanical Engineering
Alex Leonessa (faculty), Mechanical Engineering
Matt Hull (faculty), Nanoscale Characterization & Fabrication Lab
Sophie Wenzel PhD (faculty), Population Health Sciences

Mobile Testing Clinic
Amber Douglas, Business
Prince Wang, International Relations
Nate Doggett, Electrical Engineering
David Petrulis, Industrial Systems Engineering
Eric Martin (faculty), Accounting & Information Systems