22:14 PM

ChemE and BioE Students Place Second in Big Idea Blitz Competition

A team of University of Pittsburgh chemical engineering and bioengineering students, led by Brenda Rea (ChemE), Danielle McDonald (BioE), and Jill Brockhoff (BioE), placed second in the recent Big Idea Blitz competition. This achievement has earned the team automatic entry into the final round of the Randall Family Big Idea Competition, with a grand prize of $25,000.

The Big Idea Blitz is a 24 hour workshop that gives student teams a chance to work one-on-one with Big Idea Center staff and entrepreneurs in residence, getting feedback on their ideas and pitches. After a week of working on their idea, teams present their work to a panel of judges.

The team's idea, "Tread Aligners," offers a sustainable and cost-effective solution to extend the life of worn out shoes. This service utilizes a 3D printable thermoplastic polyurethane filament to replace the tread on shoes, reducing waste and promoting environmental sustainability.

“I’m so proud of the team for coming up with a great idea and communicating it so well,” said Christopher Wilmer, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and William Kepler Whiteford Faculty Fellow. “They’re putting their engineering minds to work, and I can’t wait to see them shine in the Big Idea Competition.”

The Randall Family Big Idea competition runs from February through April.