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Innovation, Practice and Invention: IBE seniors propose new inventions to panel of judges

Students in Lehigh's Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) honors program do much ofthe same every December before a group of "tigers" — entrepreneurs, consultants and business owners associated with Ben Franklin Technology Partners. The "Tiger Sessions" culminate with an IBE capstone in the senior design program course.

At a recent Tiger Session in late December, one IBE group pitched NEATCap, a "cap" that reduces the harmful noise to which infants are exposed in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Over-stimulation caused by jet ventilators, diagnostic alarms and other noises in NICUs can inhibit an infant's sleep habits and slow brain development.

The product is similar to the "MiniMuffs," a similar product on the market, selling for one-tenth of what NEATCap would, but unlike NEATCap, must be disposed of after each use.

The four tigers judging the NEATCap presentation praised the students for a professional presentation and innovative product, but also gave constructive feedback, including a recommended reduction in price.

Other IBE products presented included a feedback tool designed to address stroke errors in rowing; "Coffee Joulies," a set of stainless steel 'beans' put into coffee to control its temperature; and an unmanned aerial vehicle prototype whose potential applications include bridge monitoring.

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