University of Pittsburgh
March 4, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Mar. 5 -- The University of Pittsburgh has contributed two of the 16 inventions selected for an exhibit at the third annual National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) conference March 11 - 13 in Washington, D.C.

The event features the most promising prototypes of 16 teams of student inventors selected from 91 NCIIA member colleges around the country.

"The University of Pittsburgh's School of Engineering takes great pride in the creative success of these exceptionally talented students," said Gerald Holder, dean of Pitt's School of Engineering. "They represent the entrepreneurial spirit that we try to instill in all of our students. The fact that Pitt has two 'sweet sixteen' teams demonstrates an outstanding commitment by both faculty and students."

The two Pitt "E-teams" (for "excellence") are from the School of Engineering, one from mechanical engineering and the other from electrical engineering.

The mechanical engineering students developed a Wear Simulator for Testing Ankle Joint Replacement. This machine will test the durability, strength and performance of ankle prostheses before they are implanted into patients.

The Active Remote Sensor, developed by electrical engineering students, is an electronic device which will provide power and eliminate the need for bulky, awkward wires or batteries for EKG and other medical applications and for electronic inventory control.

The exhibition, known as "March Madness for the Mind," is administered by the Lemelson National Program at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. The NCIIA provides grants to support student "E-teams" working on inventions with commercial potential.

"Just as the best college basketball players gather at the Final Four in March, the best college inventors will gather at the Smithsonian this month," said Phil Weilerstein, program manager of the NCIIA. "This event is the climax of months and months of their preparation and hard work. These students are entrepreneurs who have put theory into practice in a really exciting way."

Media are invited to preview the exhibition and meet the inventors at

9 a.m. on March 11. Call Kristian Knight at (202) 357-3129 to attend.

For more information, photos and sketches of the Pitt projects, call John Fedele at (412) 624-4148.

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