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Congratulations 2019 Educational Award Winners!

Norman Edmund Inspiration Award

Norman Edmund Inspiration Award Winner

The Norman Edmund Inspiration Award is awarded to the program that best embodies the legacy of Edmund Optics' founder Norman Edmund.

University of North Carolina Charlotte, USA – submitted by Cobey McGinnis

This project focuses on developing a single-pixel hyperspectral imaging camera that can identify malignant tissue and allow for real-time margin assessment by surgeons. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and that over 600,000 people will die from the disease. Surgery remains the primary treatment for solid mass tumors with the objective being to remove malignant tissue while minimizing damage to adjacent healthy tissue. This project demonstrates an impactful, applicable research opportunity in the field of optics that could lead to more positive outcomes for cancer patients who require surgery.

First Place America - University of Colorado

Gold Award Winner - America  America — $10,000 in Products

University of Colorado Boulder, USA – submitted by Emily Bedell

For the design of an in-situ fluorimeter to detect microbial risk levels in drinking water sources in real-time. The application will be in low-income contexts where fecal contamination of drinking water is prevalent. Currently, approximately 780 million people in the world lack access to an improved water source, and unsafe drinking water is a leading cause of preventable disease and higher mortality. Cost effective, real-time assessment of microbial water quality is needed to provide early warning alarms of contamination risk. View a summary of this research here.

First Place Europe - Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institute of Applied Physics

Gold Award Winner - Europe  Europe — €7,000 in Products

Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Institute of Applied Physics, Germany – submitted by Jan Sperrhake

In neonatology and pediatric intensive care medicine, it is very important to continuously observe the vital signs of newborns. But existing technology relies on sensors that have to be attached to newborns, which cause restriction of movement and sometimes even painful skin irritations. Reliable data on vital signs is essential in order to prevent lung and heart failure or even sudden child death. The project aims to solve these problems through the development of an all-new multipurpose, contactless medical sensor device. A high-resolution 3D imaging system is being developed that allows collecting data on the movement of patients. Additionally, spatially resolved multi-spectral imaging is being used to detect and map different vital signs at once. The success of this project could be a door opener for more contactless medical technology, revolutionizing many processes currently in place.

Second Place Americas - University of Arizona

Silver Award Winner Americas - University of Arizona   Americas — $7,500 in Products

University of Arizona, USA – submitted by Travis Sawyer

For the development of a novel endoscope for early detection of esophageal cancer. The device uses optical coherence tomography (OCT) to analyze tissue structure and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) to probe metabolism. This endoscope will be the first to integrate OCT and HSI in a clinically-translatable device for esophageal cancer screening.

University of Bern

Silver Award Winner - Europe   Europe — €5,000 in Products

University of Bern, Switzerland – submitted by Andreas Riedo

Reliable in-situ detection of signatures of life on extra-terrestrial bodies within the solar system is extremely challenging and depends on various parameters, including the application of robust and sensitive measurement techniques for the detection of biological signatures. This project aims to develop a robust and sensitive detector for the reliable in-situ detection of such signatures of life on these bodies within the solar system. This will be done using a novel and sensitive miniature laser desorption mass spectrometer, a system not yet applied in space science, which is coupled with a nanosecond laser system operated in the UV. Amino acids relevant to life, drop casted on a stainless-steel substrate, can be gently desorbed and identified down to trace level concentrations. The sensitivity and robustness of the system is being designed to outperform other available space systems designed for life detection and is being considered by NASA for its upcoming mission to Europa.



Third Place America - University of Central Florida

Bronze Award Winner - Americas   Americas — $5,000 in Products

University of Central Florida, USA – submitted by Guanjun Tan

For the resolution of several remaining optical challenges in head-mounted display systems, including virtual reality and optical see-through augmented reality. This project uses advanced active liquid crystal elements to solve several challenging issues of near-eye displays.

Third Place Europe - Vrije Universiteit Brussels

Bronze Award Winner - Europe   Europe — €3,000 in Products

Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium – submitted by Alejandro Madrid Sánchez

The slow speed of current two-photon polymerization (TPP) for printing 3D structures makes it an inefficient technique for manufacturing wound dressings at a centimetre scale. This project proposes a novel solution to reduce the printing time by producing tailored voxels which can enable large-scale 3D structures to be implemented in biomedical applications. The idea is to use beam shaping optics to redistribute the irradiance profile of the laser beam, optimize the use of the laser energy, and produce larger voxels that compose larger 3D structures. This has the potential to lead to a substantial increase in 3D printing speed and could have wide-reaching impact across many different sectors.

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15 Regional Finalists | Americas

15 Regional Finalists | Europe

 Norman Edmund Inspiration Award

30 global EO Educational Award finalists will be eligible for the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award – an additional $5,000 USD in product donations.

The Norman Edmund Inspiration Award will be determined at the sole discretion of the Edmund Optics Board of Directors Committee and awarded to the program that best embodies the legacy of Edmund Optics' founder Norman Edmund. Mr. Edmund has been the creator and entrepreneurial spirit behind Edmund Scientific, which later evolved into Edmund Optics. He is credited with inspiring many generations of young talent to become interested in science and engineering through his thought-provoking catalog of optics, science experiments, and learning tools. He is remembered by all for his generosity, curiosity, and love of science.

Edmund Optics will announce the winner of the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award on November 8, 2019. All terms and conditions listed above apply to the redemption of the Norman Edmund Inspiration Award.

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