Mechanical engineering's Menold an ASME Innovation Showcase finalist

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Mechanical engineering graduate student Jessica Menold is one of 10 finalists who will compete for $50,000 in prize money during the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Innovation Showcase (ISHOW) June 16 in Washington, D.C.

The contest offers social entrepreneurs the opportunity to demonstrate their products that offer the potential to remedy environmental, economic and social problems afflicting the globe.

Menold is helping to develop a prosthetic socket that is easier and cheaper to make than current options. The interface between a prosthetic device and the amputee’s limb, sockets have to be made by a specially trained prosthetist and custom fit to the amputee so they are the most expensive part of a prosthetic limb.

“A lot of work has been done in prosthetic knees and feet, but there hasn’t been much work in sockets, especially for developing countries. We have discovered that not only is it difficult and very time consuming to make sockets, but the amputees have to come back to the clinic many times,” explained Menold.

Excited to be competing on behalf of Amparo, she added, “ASME ISHOW is a fantastic competition and is providing my team with an amazing opportunity to learn from and work with industry experts. As an engineer it’s really refreshing and eye-opening to work on aspects of the company other than the product or technical details, and I’ve really enjoyed developing a business model and working in areas so outside my own.”

In addition to the competition, Menold said she looks forward to participating in workshops and learning from leaders in social entrepreneurship, design and engineering.

“ASME launched ISHOW because research shows the lack of support for hardware innovators seeking entry into global markets,” said ASME President Julio C. Guerrero in a June 6 press release. “The products in the competition all demonstrate the potential for making a social and environmental impact, while showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of tomorrow’s engineering problem-solvers and business leaders.”

More information about the competition and a complete list of finalists are available at the ISHOW website.

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Last Updated June 21, 2016