“Through the whole process, I actually began to see my design turn into a prototype, and now my prototype might actually become a patented reality. By the end, I was so happy that I had chosen to take a chance on myself and do something that brought my engineering and hooping life together.”
“I thought of this product two years ago—I wrote it down and kind of forgot about it for awhile. And I realized that if I didn’t do it, I’d always regret it, so I just decided to pursue it. The competition is a great outlet for anyone interested in innovation and development. The experience gives you the tools to develop the idea and the confidence to continue.”
Runway Rescuer: A device to remove aircraft with flat tires from the runway
“The process of picking a project was a difficult one. One of our group members got his private pilot's license at Wisconsin Aviation, so one weekend we went and talked with his flight instructor. We chatted about some problems they face at the airport, and he told us of a real, major issue that all airports have: removing aircraft with flat tires from a runway. At first, the topic didn't seem that cool, but as we delved more deeply into the issue we realized how much money is lost through aircraft just sitting on a runway and how beneficial our device could be for both commercial and military aviation.”
What advice would you give someone who is entering the competition next year?
“Make sure you develop a market for your invention. It’s one thing to have a stellar idea, but it’s completely different when you have to convince other people that you can sell it!”
Innovators: Becky Broberg, Zach Courter, Dan Kuehn, Peter Shafe and Rob Wilson
Second place, Schoofs Prize for Creativity