The Lemelson-MIT Program has announced the winners of the Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition (NCSPC), a nationwide search for the most inventive team of undergraduate and individual graduate students. The Lemelson-MIT Program awarded $65,000 in prizes for inventions in the healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, and consumer device spaces. Each winning team of undergraduates received $10,000, and each graduate student winner received $15,000. The winners of this year’s competition were selected from a diverse and highly competitive applicant pool of students from 28 colleges and universities across the country.

“This year’s Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition winners are inventors who recognize pressing issues and are pioneering concepts that will translate into impactful solutions,” said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “Their work is as remarkable as their passion to mentor and inspire creative thinking among youth.”

Carl Schoellhammer, born and raised in Santa Monica, who received his bachelor of science from UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemical Engineering, was named Lemelson-MIT’s National Collegiate Student Prize Competition graduate winner in the “Cure-it” category and awarded $15,000.

Schoellhammer is developing two inventions that will drastically enhance pain-free drug delivery in patients via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. His first invention, the Microneedle Pill (mPill), allows medicine that is traditionally administered by painful injection to be ingested orally. The ingestible capsule has small micron-scale needles protruding from it, which introduce the drug directly into the GI tissue in a painless and safe manner. His second invention, the Ultrasound Probe (uProbe), enables the fast, local delivery of therapeutics to the GI tract by using low frequency ultrasound to physically drive medication into tissue painlessly.

Applicants were evaluated by screening committees with expertise in the inventive categories as well as a national judging panel of industry leaders — who also select the annual $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize winner — from a variety of inventive disciplines. Screeners and judges assessed candidates on breadth and depth of inventiveness and creativity; potential for societal benefit and economic commercial success; community and environmental systems impact; and experience as a role model for youth.

The competition, supported by The Lemelson Foundation, builds on the legacy of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, which has served as a springboard for collegiate inventors for 20 years.

“It is both incredible and inspiring to learn of the societal contributions being made by our Student Prize applicants and winners,” said Dorothy Lemelson, chairman of The Lemelson Foundation. “It is a privilege to be associated with each of them.”

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