Keynote Speaker

Wes Bush, CEO Northrop Grumman

Wes Bush, CEO, Northrop Grumman

Mr. Wesley G. Bush was elected Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company effective January 1, 2010, and Chairman of the Board of Directors effective July 19, 2011. Mr. Bush served as President and Chief Operating Officer from March 2007 through December 2009, as President and Chief Financial Officer from May 2006 through March 2007, and as Corporate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from March 2005 to May 2006. Following the acquisition of TRW Inc. (TRW) by the Company, he was named Corporate Vice President and President of the Space Technology sector. Mr. Bush joined TRW in 1987 and during his career with that company held various leadership positions including President and CEO of TRW Aeronautical Systems. He serves on the board of directors of Norfolk Southern Corporation, as well as the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the Business-Higher Education Forum, Conservation International, and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation. He is past chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association board of governors.


Early Career Innovator Award Nominees

Dr. Laura Barr

Dr. Taura L. Barr, Richard Giersch, Ashley Petrone, Connie Tennant, School of Nursing

Native West Virginian Dr. Barr returned to the Mountain State as a clinical translational neuroscience nurse researcher in the WVU School of Nursing. She is continuing research she initiated at the National Institutes of Health that resulted in a provisional patent for the use of genomic biomarkers to diagnosis ischemic stroke and predict stroke recovery (Biomarkers for Acute Ischemic Stroke, PCT/US2011/025748). Her work at WVU has resulted in a provisional patent to predict the time of stroke symptom onset. With the help of colleague Richard Giersch, Dr. Barr founded a life sciences company, CereDx, to commercialize her research.

Dr. Thirimachos Bourlai

Dr. Thirimachos Bourlai, Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Dr. Bourlai’s extraordinary accomplishments in the field of biometrics have earned him recognition in this country and abroad. His expertise on the mechanisms of human identification by using their facial information under ideal and non-ideal conditions has been a major breakthrough in the efforts of our nation to improve national security. His innovative efforts resulted in Confirmix, LLC, a start-up company formed by Dr. Bourlai and a team of seasoned entrepreneurs. The company will utilize the technologies to develop products to combat the identity theft and online fraud activities that annually cause over $100 billion in losses to businesses.

Dr. Bob Britten

Dr. Bob Britten, Reed College of Media

Dr. Britten is an innovator by growth rather than personality. His time at WVU has encouraged him to grow out of his comfort zone to develop new courses and curriculum in social media, data journalism, and coding. Dr. Britten has participated in pilot programs, such as the Scripps-Howard social media externship, and has worked across disciplines at the University to bring the Reed College of Media’s skills into areas of digital design and media literacy.

Steve Cutright

Steve Cutright, BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Since Steve Cutright’s start at the College of Business and Economics in 2012, he has brought in thousands of dollars and 17+ experiential learning projects to the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His efforts include traveling around the state attending speaker series and conferences, working with private industry and state/local entities, overseeing the high school and collegiate business plan competitions, running the experiential learning center, and bringing in speakers to educate WVU students. His extensive efforts have significantly enhanced the growth and expansion of innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship at West Virginia University.

Dr. Yaser P. Fallah

Dr. Yaser P. Fallah, Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

While new electronic gadgets in cars may generate much excitement, it is vehicle safety systems that are expected to provide the true societal and economic benefits of integrating advanced computing and communication technologies in transportation systems. Mandated by the US Department of Transportation’s regulations (announced February 2014), vehicles will use communication, sensing, and computing technology to avoid collisions through automated actions or warning to drivers. Dr. Fallah’s team at WVU is contributing to this effort through industry verified scalability solutions for vehicle safety networks (currently under test for standardization), as well as vehicle onboard units and network emulation devices, which allow testing and development of the safety applications.

Dr. Guodong Guo

Dr. Guodong Guo, Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Obesity has become a serious problem in the United States and many other countries. Billions of dollars of medical expenditures are attributed to obesity annually in the United States. Studies have shown that a majority of people are not aware of their body mass index (BMI) or of the higher risks of various diseases associated with high BMI values. Dr. Guo is developing an innovative technique for BMI estimation from photo analysis, which can be integrated into a mobile app to estimate BMI and track its changes anywhere and anytime. This innovation can help combat obesity.

Dr. Yoav Kaddar

Dr. Yoav Kaddar, School of Theatre and Dance

Developed and directed by Dr. Kaddar, the WVU Summer Dance Academy (WVUSDA) is an example of innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship through the arts. The weeklong program simultaneously caters to dancers ages 5-18 and to dance educators from all sectors of the industry, regardless of their dance experience. WVUSDA gives participants hands-on experiences in dance performance techniques and in teaching methodologies. The program promotes WVU as a growing center for excellence in dance pedagogy and artistic veracity, and is a strong recruitment tool bringing statewide and national recognition to the WVU Dance Program and the University.

Dr. Kulathumani

Dr. Vinod Kulathumani, Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

The Internet of Things encompasses the idea of embedding physical objects in the world with “sensors” and “actuators,” and the ability to remotely interact with these objects. But practical deployments of such systems have been largely inhibited by their power consumption and inability to run on battery power for extended durations. Dr. Kulathumani has co-founded a start-up company, Aspinity Inc., that develops embedded sensing platforms to address this critical energy challenge. The patent-pending innovation behind this start-up is a selective wake-up technology based on programmable analog circuits that can yield up to ten-times power savings compared to all digital systems.

Dr. Ivan Martinez

Dr. Ivan Martinez, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology

The main goal for Dr. Martinez in the laboratory is to contribute innovative ideas and technologies that will elucidate further the genetic alterations that occur during the development of cancer. In the last 18 months, he has been developing several research projects examining specific types of molecules important in cancer known as “non-coding RNAs” (microRNAs, circular RNAs, etc.). In one project, he’s discovered a new pathway of microRNA processing in growth-arrest cells. He is also investigating the first circular RNAs produce by an oncogenic virus (Human Papillomavirus). Finally, Dr. Martinez is using an anti-cancer animal model to understand the importance of the non-coding RNAs.

Dr. Ashley Neuman

Dr. Ashley Neuman, Department of Oral Surgery

Dr. Neuman has been awarded a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to work with dental students, medical students, and nursing students at the Milan Puskar Health Right Center. Together, Dr. Neuman and her team will provide free oral cancer screenings to the underserved population in Morgantown. This project benefits people in her community, fosters interprofessional relationships, and increases knowledge and communication for future healthcare professionals from multiple fields to provide better overall care to the patients of West Virginia.

Gloria Oporto

Dr. Gloria Oporto, Wood Science and Technology Program

Dr. Oporto’s innovative efforts have been focused on the utilization of cellulose-based materials as templates and stabilizers for biocide nanoparticles, with emphasis on the application as antimicrobial nanocomposites in the packaging and medical industries. Her preliminary findings demonstrated that carboxymethyl cellulose can be effectively used as a starting material to synthesize in situ copper nanoparticles, and the final hybrid material had effective antimicrobial properties against the nonpathogenic surrogate foodborne pathogen E.coli DH5 . Currently, Dr. Oporto’s research is focused on using nanocellulose to graft copper nanoparticles, and the final hybrid material is being incorporated in thermoplastic resins to enhance their antimicrobial properties for food packaging.

Elizabeth Oppe

Dr. Elizabeth Oppe, Reed College of Media

March 1, 2014, was the inaugural “Once a Mountaineer, Always A Mountaineer” three-stage event combining a “Day of Play” for area children, a visit to the WVU Children’s Hospital, and a semi- formal dinner to honor the players and sponsors. It was an idea to bring former WVU/NFL football players back to Morgantown to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle to area youth. The event affected the families of 120 children and the families of several dozen patients at WVU Children’s Hospital, and garnered regional publicity.

Greg Strimel

Greg Strimel, WVU Academic Innovation

The Nest Generation Mathematics project integrates educational technology with standards- based mathematics instruction. The project will ultimately provide the complete digital content for West Virginia’s seven-course high school mathematics curriculum. This fall, teachers can access the Math I course content in a dynamic Web-based format featuring an individualized learning environment, interactive proficiency-based activities, and real-time assessment. The technology, which includes a forum to share effective practices, gives teachers the flexibility to use the content fully online or in a blended learning approach. Partners include WVU, the West Virginia Department of Education, and over 30 high school mathematics teachers.

Constance Wiener

Dr. Constance Wiener, Epidemiology, Dental Practice and Rural Health

Dr. Wiener and colleagues Dr. Richard Jurevic and Dr. Leann Long evaluated the impact of low levels of lead and dental caries (cavities). Data from a large national, complex survey was analyzed with an innovative statistical technique account for the large number of children without caries. The manuscript associated with the work has been accepted for publication with some additional analyses required. There are public health implications that the work addresses to help children remain caries-free. Their hope is to carry the work further in developing salivary diagnostics that would identify low levels of lead from saliva.

Dr. Jon Wietholter

Dr. Jon Wietholter, Internal Medicine Clinical, School of Pharmacy

Dr. Wietholter builds experiences for his students to practice pharmacy via different styles of the healthcare system, while also immersing them in an entirely different cultural atmosphere. By partnering with universities in South Africa, Dr. Wietholter’s students are not only changing their outlook on the future of global healthcare and how they can play a part, they are also imparting the importance of pharmacists as vital members of the healthcare system in a country where the concept of clinical pharmacy is just beginning to develop.

Dr. Farshid Zabihian

Dr. Farshid Zabihian, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Developing a mine, particularly a coal mine, is an extremely costly activity. However, coal mines are commonly considered useless, with no financial benefit, after their closure. The idea in this project is to use this untapped treasure to provide inexpensive and environmentally friendly means of heating and cooling for commonly poor neighborhoods surrounding abandoned coal mines. The water accumulated in these mines is at relatively constant temperature year round, between 50°-60°F, and this water can be used in residential and commercial applications for efficient heating and cooling through heat pumps.

Established Career Award Nominees

Dana Coester

Dana Coester, Reed College of Media

Dana Coester is an award-winning professor, creative scholar, and innovator, whose creative work and thought-leadership at the intersection of technology, media, and journalism has helped elevate the national profile of the WVU Reed College of Media. In her current role as creative director of the College’s up-and-coming Media Innovation Center, she has also been instrumental in cultivating a culture of innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration within the college and WVU.

Dr. Lesley Cottrell

Dr. Lesley Cottrell, Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Cottrell developed the concept and is facilitating the development of, a Web-based tool that will be used by academic researchers, industry, and community representatives (e.g., health providers, community leaders, etc.) who are interested in engaging in research projects designed to address local and regional health disparities. The program collects essential information related to individuals’ research interests and demographics (e.g., location, geographic areas of interest), readiness to engage in research, future research concepts, and current partnerships that will enhance the potential for multidisciplinary, campus-community research collaborations.

Dr. Hota Gangarao

Dr. Hota GangaRao, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Gangarao, through interdisciplinary research, development, and implementation activities, has redefined the boundaries of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials by economically applying them to civil and military infrastructure systems with innovative fabric architectures, resin systems, mass-manufacturing processes, and structural designs. During his tenure at WVU he has demonstrated great success in integrating research findings into the design and production of the next generation of materials and structural systems through field implementations on bridges, pavements, buildings, ship structures, pipelines, and many others.

Dr. Amy Hessl

Dr. Amy Hessl, Department of Geology and Geography

Dr. Hessl’s work on climate change in Mongolia has been innovative in three areas of science: 1) climate- society; 2) trans-disciplinary approaches; and 3) “upstream” reporting. Her research has demonstrated, in opposition to over 100 years of conventional wisdom, the Mongol Empire occurred during a period of persistent moisture, unprecedented in the last 1,000 years. Using trans-disciplinary methods, Dr. Hessl relates this climatic episode with high grassland productivity, which fueled the Mongol conquests and places recent climate changes in a long context. She has actively engaged the international press in this work, not just after the work was published, but in real-time reporting, upstream of publication.

Dr. Kathryn Moffett

Dr. Kathryn Moffett, Department of Pediatrics

The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Center at West Virginia University in Morgantown, under the leadership of Center Director Dr. Moffett, ranks among the very top pediatric CF centers in the United States. Center outcomes, measuring lung function and nutrition, now rank WVU as sixth in the United States. Improved patient outcomes have resulted from excellence in research, clinical trials, and national quality improvement teamwork, while adapting to growing demands for patients with a chronic disease.

Dr. Timothy Nurkiewicz

Dr. Timothy Nurkiewicz and Dr. Jinghai Yi, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Proper toxicological testing is critical to establish safe nanomaterials to advance human health. However, this process is complex, expensive, and labor-consuming. Thus, few laboratories have the capacity to perform proper nanomaterial assessments. Dr. Nurkiewicz and Dr. Yi have created a nanoparticle aerosol generator to address these problems and facilitate their ability to: 1) rapidly identify safe nanomaterials; and 2) establish safe pulmonary nanomaterial exposure limits. The nanoparticle aerosol generator has become the core of their Inhalation Facility. Ongoing collaborations with investigators from WVU, government, and industry exemplify the national and international impact of their unique Inhalation Facility.

Dr. James Smith

Dr. James Smith, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Smith has been a professor at WVU for over 30 years and a practicing engineer for more than four decades. In his career he has created numerous mechanical, medical, and energy related technologies that have resulted in the issuance of 33 US patents and numerous international patents. In this effort he has provided mentoring services to students, staff, and faculty along with numerous non-University regional residents. Currently, Dr. Smith teaches courses on advanced energy systems and a new course he co-developed on Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship. He is responsible this past year for the mentoring and creation of six new advanced technology companies based on technologies he co-invented.

Presidential Innovation Service Award Nominees

Steve Cutright

Steve Cutright, BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Since Steve Cutright’s start at the College of Business and Economics in 2012, he has brought in thousands of dollars and 17+ experiential learning projects to the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. His efforts include traveling around the state attending speaker series and conferences, working with private industry and state/local entities, overseeing the high school and collegiate business plan competitions, running the experiential learning center, and bringing in speakers to educate WVU students. Steve Cutright’s extensive efforts have significantly enhanced the growth and expansion of innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship at West Virginia University.

Robin Selinsky

Robin Selinsky, Ardell Moree, and Dr. Amber Brugnoli, Emerging Leader Institute Graduates in Mountaineer Leadership Academy (MLA)

The MLA team project, SOURCE (formally known as eBRIDGE), will facilitate greater ease of networking between University researchers and private/corporate funding sources. It will serve as the central online platform for members of government and industry to find and fund researchers doing relevant work at WVU and will allow University faculty and researchers to market their efforts and advertise their desire for partnerships. This program will also allow for more aggressive marketing and more vigorous licensing of WVU intellectual property and increase commercialization of WVU’s research efforts through the creation of more start-up companies, increased employment, bolstering of private-sector investment, and expanded revenue streams from licensing of technology.

Dr. James Smith

Dr. James Smith, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Smith has been a professor at WVU for over 30 years and a practicing engineer for more than four decades. In his career he has created numerous mechanical, medical, and energy related technologies that have resulted in the issuance of 33 US patents and numerous international patents. In this effort he has provided mentoring services to students, staff, and faculty along with numerous non-University regional residents. Currently, Dr. Smith teaches courses on advanced energy systems and Presidential Innovation Service Award The Presidential Innovation Service Award honors an administrator, faculty or staff member who has shared expertise, provided services, and/or mentored individuals to help grow and expand innovation, commercialization, and/or entrepreneurship on campus. a new course he co-developed on Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship. He is responsible this past year for the mentoring and creation of six new advanced technology companies.

Dr. Nancy Trudel

Dr. Nancy Trudel, College of Law Entrepreneurship and Innovation

For six years, Dr. Trudel has enthusiastically supported the WVU College of Law Entrepreneurship and Innovation Law Clinic as adjunct faculty. She instills a highenergy spirit that embraces objectives for entrepreneurial success and advises students to incorporate those goals when advising business clients. Dr. Trudel capitalizes on 18 years of experience in economic development as in-house counsel to the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation and its role in assisting West Virginia businesses in commercialization and growth. In mentoring students, she instills a motto that legal documents are integral and positive tools to achieving innovation and commercialization success in any business.

Student Innovator Award Nominees

Justin Chambers

Justin R. Chambers, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Justin Chambers is a PhD student in mechanical engineering with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from WVU. After graduating magna cum laude in 2012, he has continued his work as a NanoSAFE Graduate Fellow and works within diverse research settings and commercial and “start-up” environments developing his skills in design, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. Justin Chambers has founded two companies, plays a significant role in two other partnerships, and supports innovative efforts in nanotechnology research and development. He believes that he can create his own career and looks forward to working on new technologies, start-up ventures, and enterprise development.

Cho Kibum

Kibum Cho, School of Medicine

Kibum Cho’s participation in the Greenbrier CHOICES (Children’s Health Opportunities Involving Coordinated Efforts in Schools) Project as a research assistant has provided him inspiration for innovative efforts. He has found that most researchers have only focused on opt-in strategies for health-related interventions. However, experts have relied on only their experiences when they develop opt-in strategies. For this reason, he knows that people rationalize their opt-out reasons by emphasizing limited time and money. He is analyzing why people opt out of health-related interventions, even though the interventions are free and school-based. If his efforts are successful, he can make reliable opt-in strategies in order to increase the participation rate in the future, resulting in the decrease of the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are serious health problems in West Virginia.

Colin Frosch

Colin Frosch, Statler College College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Colin Frosch is improving WVU’s downtown campus through a traffic study of Grumbein’s Island pedestrian crossing in front of the Mountainlair. He has coordinated approximately 40 student volunteers to collect traffic and pedestrian data, which he used to simulate alternatives. After studying these, he looked to a more innovative solution — shared space. Shared space joins pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic, and allots each mode equal opportunity. This design eliminates traffic signals, crosswalks, and curbs in exchange for user awareness. Users become more aware of their surroundings, interact with other users, and create an efficient use of the space.

Brett Herron

Brett Herron, College of Creative Arts

The practice of running an art gallery unavoidably alters the mentality of the artist and has quickly become a learning experience. The routine installation, logistics coordination, and communication with conventional artists becomes frustrating to a creative mind, spawning the creatively vibrant retaliation that is seen in artist-run spaces. Over the past year, Brett Herron has been collaborating with artists from across the country through an experimental art gallery (STUDIO2504) that he has constructed within his graduate studio space. The contexts of the exhibitions operate on art-insider self-awareness while presenting exciting visual and conversational potential for the students, faculty, and community.

Gaylynn Johnson

Gaylynn Johnson, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Mountain State Hydroponics (MSH) was founded by owner, Gaylynn Johnson out of an enthusiasm for vegetables combined with immense local food opportunities in West Virginia. MSH focuses on “Bringing the Freshness of the State, To Everyone’s Plate” with high-quality, greenhouse grown fruits, herbs, and vegetables throughout the year. Her products will be fresh, local, and free from genetic modification (GMO). MSH will market in the Bridgeport, Morgantown, and Parkersburg metropolitan areas. Using hydroponics, crops will be grown in an organic mineral nutrient solution, rather than soil, and provide much-needed produce for the local food movement in West Virginia.

Kerissa Kuis

Kerissa Kuis, College of Business and Economics

Kerissa Kuis is the founder of the University of Wellness. The University of Wellness specializes in cutting-edge fitness and wellness education, services, and certifications. She is currently forming a non-profit to bring a cutting-edge wellness center to the Morgantown area. In addition, she invented a revolutionary online wellness education platform called Uwell that is being built by senior computer science students at West Virginia University. Her idea was also chosen in the top 10 of the statewide business plan, and the top five of the WVU APP challenge. Kerissa Kuis is in the Executive MBA Program at WVU.

Ali Lashgari

Ali Lashgari, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Ali Lashgari is working on development and deployment of a software tool for the selection of the most productive, cost-effective, and eco-friendly mining systems. The final product of his project will be an information-driven software system that will be used to help improve surface mining practices and coal recovery, as well as minimize environmental disturbances during overburden removal and coal extraction across the Appalachian region. The results of this research have been published in three peer-reviewed journal papers and three conference papers, and have been presented in seven meetings to date.

Brandon Lucke-Wold

Brandon Lucke-Wold, School of Medicine

Seven million concussions occur each year in the United States. Most of these concussions happen during contact sport events. Widespread attention has recently been focused on long-term consequences of concussions. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is an emerging disease afflicting former athletes exposed to multiple concussions. The disease is characterized by distinct mood and cognitive changes. Currently no treatment options are available for this devastating disease. Brandon Lucke-Wold designed an innovative blast model that simulates the effects of concussion, and used omega-3 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline and improve brain health. The novel application of omega-3 supplementation to prevent brain injury is promising.

Josh Matheny

Josh Matheny, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Josh Matheny, an MS student in mechanical engineering, is working on a project to develop a design methodology for manufacturing impellers used in small-scale hydro turbines with the help of his research advisor, Dr. Andrew Nix of the WVU Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. Preston Machine, Inc. of Kingwood, West Virginia, initiated this project to create a product line of turbine systems that can produce power from small streams without the requirement of a dam. A potential market exists in West Virginia because regional terrain provides numerous sites that could support a turbine. The finished product will be used in a system that can produce electric power with zero greenhouse gas emissions and minimum environmental impact.

Erienne Olesh

Erienne Olesh, School of Medicine

Approximately 800,000 individuals will suffer a stroke each year in the United States. Half of all those who survive a stroke will suffer from long term movement impairments as a direct result. The increasing cost of rehabilitation and lack of direct quantitative measures of post-stroke movement impairment creates a need for a low-cost assessment and rehabilitation system that can provide in-home therapy and accurate measurements of impairment. The goal of Erienne Olesh’s research project is to develop an easy-to-use motor assessment system that employs a lowcost motion capture device and an automated scoring algorithm to measure motor impairment.

Marco Piccirilli

Marco Piccirilli, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Mobile apps are one of the most exciting areas of innovation in technology today, with tablets and smartphones that use them in the hands of millions. The smartphone is becoming the all-in-one device that has the potential to improve our day-to-day lives. Building a portable system that can acquire 3-D data with mobile devices is a difficult and complex task, but constitutes an important breakthrough. This smartphone-based device makes it possible to create 3-D printing of a face, object, mechanical piece, or place on-the-fly as easy as taking pictures, as well as making it possible to play augmented-reality games anywhere, anytime.

Andy Rochon

Andrew Rochon, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences

Andrew Rochon is an undergraduate student in athletic coaching education who is scheduled to graduate in August of 2014. In the last year, he has been developing an application to be used by coaches at all levels for the purpose of tracking the quality of player decision-making based upon each individual coach’s philosophy.

Brandon Rumberg

Brandon Rumberg, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Brandon Rumberg is a doctoral candidate at WVU. His work focuses on reducing the power consumption of battery-powered electronic devices, such as smartphones. His custom reconfigurable electronics platform enables a wide variety of tasks at low power, such as heart-rate monitoring, temperature sensing, audio noise reduction, etc., all while being easy to use and improving overall battery life. He is president of Aspinity, Inc., which he co-founded in 2012 to commercialize the results of his research, including two pending patents and one provisional patent.

Harold Vass

Harold Vass and Alan Davis, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

Harold Vass and Alan Davis won the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math category of the 2013-14 West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition. They beat out 232 other teams around the state of West Virginia and won $10,000 seed money in the STEM category with the idea of Weld Safe Technologies LLC. Weld Safe Technologies LLC is designing with the intent of patenting, prototyping, and licensing a gas monitoring system that increases worker safety in multiple industries, including mining, oil, and gas. Weld Safe Technologies’ first product will constantly monitor and measure the lower explosive limit of volatile gases present in the environment along with a number of different harmful gases that might be present in the air. Once dangerous levels of harmful gases are detected, any welding or hot work operation will be automatically shut-off wirelessly.

Lingyun Wen

Lingyun Wen, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Lingyun Wen verified correlations between facial features and the body mass index (BMI) using statistical analyses on a large face image database. The conclusion provides the basis to predict the BMI using face images. Then, she developed a BMI prediction system using machine learning methods: least squares regression, Gaussian process regression, and support vector regression. This is the first work to predict BMI from face images automatically. Furthermore, Lingyun Wen adapted the BMI prediction system in Android platform to capture face images and predict BMI in real-time automatically, which provides an easy way to calculate body fat.

Louis Zheng

Keji “Louis” Zheng, College of Business and Economics

Developing personalized fashion solutions, Louis Zheng, MBA and M.S. Finance at WVU is leading FitgooTech’s team in developing a revolutionized online shopping solution with a taste-driven database and 3-D simulation. He and his team explore personal taste and simulate 3-D try-on effects through complex algorithms so that everyone will obtain a unique package of solutions containing the clothing and accessories that fit them best. His role at FitgooTech is to initiate an idea, organize a team, design the operating strategy, and expand the concept into a business model.