The Technology Transfer Office at Marshall Space Flight Center has selected winners for a contest held in summer 2021, awarding five cash prizes to civil servants who entered new technology reports with the most commercial potential. Commercialization experts carefully reviewed entries, which were judged based on their ability to transfer technology to commercial sector areas like automotive, manufacturing, sensors, materials and coatings, and health and medicine.
The goal of the New Technology Contest is to broaden the inventor pool at NASA, which could increase partnerships with cutting-edge technology entities. The contest both engages and incentivizes employees to utilize their creativity in the development of unique technical innovations.
“We’re very excited about the commercial potential of these new inventions and hope they will turn into future NASA spinoff success stories,” Terry Taylor, chief of Marshall’s Technology Transfer Branch, said.
The technologies are currently patent-pending; therefore, only limited information can be shared at this time.
The winners, chosen from among 21 entries, were:
First place ($3,000 prize): Amy Keith – Hyperspectral Imaging for Detecting Polyfluoroalkyl Substances/Perfluorooctanoic Acids and Volatile Organic Compounds in the Environment
Second place ($2,500 prize): Jonathan Lee – Universal Heat Dissipating Apparatus for Disc Brake Rotors
Third place ($2,000 prize): Robert Berry, Rebecca Williams, Frederick Gant, Jeffrey Lindner, and John Townsend – Lateral Ballast Fluid Damper
Fourth place ($1,500 prize): Andrew Smith, James Richard, David Eddleman, and Jason Sheth – High-Speed Digital Valve
Fifth place ($1,000 prize): Ian Small, Terry Rolin, and Austin Fox – Novel Logarithmic Capacitance to Analog Converter Circuit for use with Marshall-Developed Humidity Sensor
Inventors interested in future contests should be prepared to submit their new technology report for the next round, which starts February 2022.
Any Marshall civil service employee can submit a new technology report either individually or as a group. Cash prizes are awarded for first- through fifth-place winners with group entries splitting the award evenly.
Editor’s note: Tee Quillin, a Media Fusion employee, Supports Marshall’s Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications.