College of Engineering FogKicker Aims to Defog Windshields Everywhere

After winning the UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge and its $25,000 top prize on March 30, a team of UMass graduate students is opening eyes and defogging windshields with a clever invention known as FogKicker. On April 10, Team FogKicker presented its product, a coating technology with potential applications for millions of people, during the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council 2015 Innovation Tour. Made from natural materials, the FogKicker coating is biodegradable, easy to apply, low-cost, and long-lasting. FogKicker creates a film on a surface, which prevents condensation from beading and scattering light. Instead, it distributes light evenly, and the user is able to see more clearly. Members of the FogKicker team include third-year chemical engineering doctoral student Kristopher Kolwe and YinYong Li, a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering. Read Mass Live article: http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2015/04/local_business_leaders_hear_about_fogkic.html

Heather Demers, Director of Scholarship and Alumni Programs at the College of Engineering, said FogKicker is one of about 80 teams that have received more than $700,000 in funding through the Innovation Challenge. It's all in an effort to encourage and reward students with marketable ideas.

MassLive.com, a website of the Springfield Republican, calls itself “the No. 1 news and information web site for Western Massachusetts and provides an essential 24/7 news, information, and social interaction network.”

By The Republican
Fog can be dangerous for drivers, athletes, manual laborers and anyone else who relies heavily on clear vision during risky tasks.

As part of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council 2015 Innovation Tour on Friday, a UMass Amherst student presented a product called FogKicker, a coating technology with potential applications for millions of people.

After winning the UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge and its $25,000 top prize last month, the FogKicker team is looking to keep moving toward capturing a piece of the market.

YinYong Li, a PhD candidate at the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, described FogKicker's potential and how it works.

Made from natural materials, the coating is biodegradable, easy to apply, low-cost and long-lasting. Li said it creates a film on a surface, which prevents condensation from beading and scattering light. Instead, it distributes light evenly and the user is able to see more clearly.

Li said future markets for the product include 254 million vehicle windshields, 181 million pairs of glasses and 115 million household mirrors.

When it comes to convenience, effectiveness and lifespan, "FogKicker is better than most commercial products," and it's cheaper than similar solutions like Rain-X, said Li.

An audience member asked Li if his team's product could even have military applications, like night vision goggles used in special operations. Li said they haven't explored that, but, "That's a really good idea."

Heather Demers, Director of Scholarship and Alumni Programs at the College of Engineering, said FogKicker is one of about 80 teams who have received more than $700,000 in funding through the Innovation Challenge. It's all in an effort to encourage and reward students with marketable ideas.

Participants are expected not only to have a product, but a business model, as well. They have partnered with groups like Valley Venture Mentors and Venture Well. The primary goal is educational, even though Demers said she was "pleased" it forms businesses and creates jobs in the Pioneer Valley. (April 2014)

post from sitemap