Awards & Competitions

The Inventure Prize

The Inventure Prize at Georgia Tech was established in 2009 as a faculty-sponsored initiative to encourage inventiveness on the part of its student body. The finals are broadcast live on television with the awarding of a grand prize of $20,000 and legal sponsorship by Georgia Tech of the patenting procedures. Industrial design students have placed in several years.

  • In 2018, industrial design student Vanya Padmanabhan and mechanical engineering students Dallas Condra and Jeremy Leff won 2nd place and $10,000 for their guitar effects pedal. Called “disruption,” it is an affordable pedal that allows musicians to alter, or distort, the sound of their instruments. Their company is called PedalCreator.
  • In 2017, Veronica Young and Nora Johnson (pictured above), industrial design majors, were finalists for their transportable parallel bars, called Gaitway, used for physical therapy for children up to age 10.
  • In 2014, first place was awarded to a team, Team SafiChoo, composed of two ID students, Jasmine Burton and Erin Cobb, and a Chemical Engineering student, Brandie Banner, for their design of an innovative mobile toilet for developing countries. The team also received the People’s Choice Award.
  • In 2013, another ID major, Basheer Tome, was also selected as a finalist for his design of a toaster, “Hue,” with the capability of registering by color the degree of toast range. While Basheer did not receive one of the cash awards, his toaster design was reported on in Newsweek and eventually went viral with all of its social media exposure.
  • In 2012, Matthew Stoddard, another industrial design major, won Second Place for his design of a pressure-sensitive capacitive stylus designed for precision that he named the “Stylii.”
  • In 2011, industrial design major Daniel Chaney won First Place for his design of the “Slide-Capo,” a guitar accessory integrating the slide and the capo to allow for faster and smoother playing and the possibility of incorporating new techniques.
  • In 2010, Joyce Zou, an industrial design major, was selected as a finalist with her design of a portable coffee maker, “Express Press,” designed to improve coffee brewing techniques.

CREATE-X Industrial Design Award

In 2018 the School of Industrial Design joined forces with CREATE-X, an institute-wide program designed to give students the skills and knowledge to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. A new CREATE-X Industrial Design Award was created to encourage more ID students to participate and ensure ID students have a place in the program.

  • The first winner of the award is: Team Undertone: Kristin Andreassen and Leyla Larsson. Their winning product is a wearable that detects cervical cancer at a precancerous stage.

The Orange Sparkle Ball | Make 10 Award

The School of Industrial Design each spring presents The Orange Sparkle Ball | Make 10 Award, which recognizes entrepreneurship and innovation. It is given to the students presenting products for sale at the Make 10 event and recognizes products that exhibit innovation, manufacturability, and marketability.

The award is sponsored by Orange Sparkle Ball, an Atlanta-based multidisciplinary design firm. Many of the firm’s designers are Georgia Tech alumni who have done Make 10 in past years. The award supports Make 10 and the idea of learning by doing. 

Along with a cash award, each winner receives 3 months of free use of the Prototype Prime incubator space in Peachtree Corners. This allows them to continue to make products after they graduate.

The 2018 winners:

  • 1st Place: Tiffany Hsu for her RX Slim Pillbox
  • 2nd Place: Calvin Zhou for his Earbud Case
  • 3rd Place: Shana Farkas for her Big Book of Games

The 2017 winners:

  • 1st Place: Nicole Assini for Lil Bookshelf  -- a wood and metal bookshelf that gently rocks
  • 2nd Place: Israel Del Toro for Unwind -- a smart phone dock that helps you get to sleep
  • 3rd Place: Charles Padgham for Penchillada -- a pen pouch designed to be 100% recyclable
  • 3rd Place: Veronica Young for Trunkit -- a comfortable handle that helps to manage grocery bags

The 2016 winners:

  • 1st Place: Sonia McCall for Wiff Essential Oil Dispenser -- ceramic characters that add scent to any room
  • 2nd Place: Mallory Becker for CheckMate Travel Chess Set -- made from cement, acrylic and vinyl fabric
  • 3rd Place: Sara Allen for Mixt Bowties -- bowties with changeable fabric and a wooden tie

Richard John Livingstone Martin Humanitarian Design Award

The School also presents the Richard John Livingstone Martin Humanitarian Design Award, which supports excellence in humanitarian design for undergraduates. The award honors the memory of Richard Martin, a professor of industrial design, and founder of the Center for Rehabilitation Technology now known as CATEA, the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access. Martin was a beloved professor, dedicated to humanitarian design’s important role in society. He was well regarded for his research and outreach to the community, but his focus and dedication was to his students.

A cash award is presented through a juried competition that recognizes:

  • Design that makes an impact, with strong potential to improve the human condition
  • Innovative design that creatively solves problems
  • Strong aesthetics in both product and presentation

The 2018 winners:

  • 1st Place: Allie Haydon for her project Makes Sense, a cane that uses sensors and vibrations to help the visually impaired more safely navigate their surroundings
  • 2nd Place: Abby Tan, Belinda Zhang, and Valerie Koh for their project Brain Health: 100 Day MCI Starter Kit, for caregivers and patients in the early stages of Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • 3rd Place: Victoria Chiang, Jinah Huh, and Tayler Carter for their project DOSE, a smart water bottle that includes a pill case and uses LED lights to remind pill takers to take their medications
  • Honorable Mention: Laura Sierra Otalvaro for her project Jennys, which helps women manage their menstrual cramps through portable/re-chargeable heating pads.

The 2017 winner:

  • Nisha Naik for SAFE – Selective Audio Filtration Equipment that lessens the intensity of sounds that can cause distress for some people on the autism spectrum

Jury’s comments (edited):
Fantastic understanding of humanitarian design evident in student work!
Wonderful to see student concerns with marginalized populations – autism, dementia, disabilities and third world populations.
Thoughtful use of existing technologies. ... Strong user research developed innovative solutions. ...
There are some great benefits evident with even a wider range of audiences for these projects – beyond populations with disabilities, dementia, and autism. 

The 2016 winners:

  • Hareen Godthi, Sam Harvey, and Xueting Zhang for their Bookmobile Project

Jury’s comments:
It is a comprehensive and very sophisticated design, with a keen sense of the 21st century bookmobile’s problems and opportunities. Strong graphic strategies communicate the breadth and depth of the proposal. This is a wonderful answer to the humanitarian problem of illiteracy. We’d love to see this roll into an underserved Atlanta neighborhood and make a difference!

College of Design ADVANCE Women of Excellence Award

The College of Design ADVANCE Women of Excellence awards are presented each school year to women the College, including students, who have distinguished themselves through professional leadership, mentoring, academic excellence, and sustained service on behalf of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the College of Design. Several School of Industrial Design students have received this award.

  • 2017-2018: Lucy Kates, undergraduate student
  • 2016- 2017: Katherine Kenna, graduate student
  • 2015-2016: Allison Miller, graduate student; Maria Wong Sala, undergraduate student