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INVENTORS SPOTLIGHT

Updated: Mar 6



Inventor Daniel Williams

When Daniel Williams suffered his back injury, it was debilitating. Williams, who is co-founder of Simply Crafts – Creative Hands, LLC, was forced to deal with severe pain while continuing his daily life.


“He couldn’t sit. He couldn’t lie down,” said his wife and co-founder Sarah Williams. “But he still had to work. And so he started designing a solution.”

As Daniel developed his idea for a device to alleviate his back pain, it led him to the Chicago Inventors’ Organization (CIO). There he connected with bioengineering professor Joe Bradley, who directed Daniel to the Department of Bioengineering’s Senior Design course and a resource to further his dream of testing and refining his device–the Simply Crafts Creative Hands BackSupporter–that could help manage back pain.


Joe Bradley and Daniel Williams


“The course is fortunate to be connected with the Chicago Inventors’ Organization. This is a rich opportunity for our students to practice design with entrepreneurs from the state and to be involved in projects on the path to commercialization,” says Professor Holly Golecki, instructor of the senior design course.


This capstone design course gives bioengineering undergraduates and M.Eng students the opportunity to design and develop practical medical devices, often with the assistance of an industry sponsor. The students who worked with Daniel on this project met regularly with him to get a good understanding of his vision, to share their own ideas, and ultimately to work with him to design and produce an updated prototype of a product with real potential commercial value. This updated product was displayed at the recent senior capstone symposium, where all senior design students had the opportunity to show their work and discuss it with the public.


Left to right: Students Ancheng Liu, David Lee, Romir Singla, project sponsors Daniel and Sarah Williams, students Sohom Dash and Darsh Gupta at the capstone symposium.

 

“I am overwhelmed with how well the students have done with the project,” said Daniel, who traveled from Chicago in order to attend the capstone event. “It’s incredible. Young people have a different perspective–every time I met with them, I left so inspired. It’s been a great journey from our first meeting, and I’m amazed by how much impact these projects will have on the real world if they make it into the market.”


It’s a tall order for just one semester, but over the years the students have consistently designed, created, and presented exciting future devices that address a host of different real-world problems. This semester was another successful display of student ingenuity.

“Getting these projects to a space where you can show them off over the course of three months is very impressive,” said Eliot Bethke, a teaching assistant for the class. “The students have been fantastic.”


The projects taken on this semester in the Senior Design course ranged from the BackSupporter to an ultrasound-guided lumbar puncture device, an automated pneumatic tourniquet control system, and all kinds of other innovative designs. Any of them have the potential to go on and become marketable products.


Original Article: Bethan Owen | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign The Grainger College of Engineering | Bioengineering capstone design course connects students and sponsors to create real-world solutions | Bioengineering | UIUC (illinois.edu)

 

Inventor Frantrice Mcmillan-Riley




Inventor Frantrice Mcmillan-Riley

One such project is Ntegribox, a bedside box designed to keep nurses in compliance with protocol that requires medical professionals to never leave medications unattended by a patient’s bedside. Project sponsor Frantrice Mcmillan-Riley came up with the idea to help nurses after experiencing firsthand that it can be very difficult to maintain medication protocol, particularly when handling multiple different kinds of medications at once. She shared her concept for a safe medication storage method with the senior design course and the group made impressive progress together, modeling a prototype at the capstone symposium.


“I have thoroughly enjoyed the process,” Frantrice said. “It’s been amazing. In my opinion, these are some of the state’s top students. They have been professional, they have followed up and followed through, and their application and analysis has been excellent.”

The course is not only an opportunity to make connections and develop new products, but a valuable hands-on learning experience for the students.


“Through this project, we got to see how our devices interface with bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering, and more,” said Romir Singla, who worked on the BackSupporter. “We got to utilize a wide range of methods and learning experiences, and it all culminated in this project. It was very satisfying.” The senior design course is available every fall and spring semester, and the list of incredible capstone projects continues to grow. If you have an idea for a medical device or bioengineering tool that you want to see realized, consider learning more about sponsoring a senior design project.



Left to right: Students Chase Hari, Erin Kinaci, Madison Louis, project sponsor Frantrice McMillan-Riley, students Mia Takekawa, Claire Kawiecki, and Emma Juffernbruch at the capstone symposium.


Original Article: Bethan Owen | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign The Grainger College of Engineering | Bioengineering capstone design course connects students and sponsors to create real-world solutions | Bioengineering | UIUC (illinois.edu)






Inventor Shawn True


Chicago Inventors Organization (CIO) member Shawn True, a dedicated personal trainer, has transformed the realm of fitness for individuals with disabilities. With over 15 years of experience in personal training and a master's degree in counseling psychology, Shawn specializes in assisting clients with diverse needs, ranging from those recovering from spinal

cord injuries to high-level athletes. Understanding his client's unique challenges,


Shawn has created several adaptive fitness devices. His TruAgility and TruSlide are not equipment; they are keys to unlocking fitness possibilities for people often left on the sidelines. These inventions display his deep commitment to making fitness accessible and adaptable for everyone. The TruAgility is a versatile tool consisting of posts connected by adjustable bungee cords, aiding in various physical training activities. Meanwhile, the TruSlide offers a low-impact, resistance-based workout platform for multiple strength training exercises. Shawn's creations have been featured on Fox 32 Chicago, highlighting his ability to turn personal training into a fully inclusive experience. His client's success stories, overcoming limitations and achieving their fitness goals, stand as testaments to the effectiveness of his inventions. CIO is proud to spotlight Shawn True, a true innovator whose dedication and creativity are changing lives and reshaping the fitness landscape for individuals with special needs.


Shawn True, an esteemed member of the Chicago Inventors Organization and a dedicated personal trainer, has transformed the realm of fitness for individuals with disabilities. With over 15 years of experience in personal training and a master's degree in counseling psychology, Shawn specializes in assisting clients with diverse needs, ranging from those recovering from spinal cord injuries to high-level athletes.

Understanding his client's unique challenges, Shawn has ingeniously created several adaptive fitness devices. His TruAgility and TruSlide are not just equipment; they are keys to unlocking fitness possibilities for people often left on the sidelines. These inventions display his deep commitment to making fitness accessible and adaptable for everyone.


The TruAgility is a versatile tool consisting of posts connected by adjustable bungee cords, aiding in various physical training activities. Meanwhile, the TruSlide offers a low-impact, resistance-based workout platform adaptable for multiple strength training exercises.

Shawn's creations have been featured on Fox 32 Chicago, highlighting his ability to turn personal training into a fully inclusive experience. His client's success stories, overcoming limitations and achieving their fitness goals, stand as testaments to the effectiveness of his inventions.


At the Chicago Inventors Organization, we are proud to spotlight Shawn True, a true innovator whose dedication and creativity are changing lives and reshaping the fitness landscape for individuals with special needs.








Learn more about Shawn's inspiring journey and game-changing fitness equipment on at Truability.net










Contributing Author: Tahwanda Carter

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