Two Mercyhurst students show projects at Erie Collegiate Innovation Showcase

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Matthew Vendeville, an intelligence studies and public health dual major, and Rebecca Cratty, an interior design major, represented Mercyhurst University at the first Erie Collegiate Innovation Showcase. The event featured eight innovative projects presented by students from Erie County’s four universities and LECOM.

Each of the finalists presented the most innovative projects as selected by their institution on Wednesday, April 23, at the Erie Insurance Atrium and Auditorium. More than $3,500 in cash and prizes was presented to the winning students by a distinguished panel of judges. (Although the Mercyhurst students did not take top prize, their innovations were well received, according to advisors David Dausey and Kathy Weidenboerner.)

Vendeville’s project, “Drop-Let,” is a mobile water filtration cart comprised primarily of natural components with a UV device to eliminate pathogens and other disease-causing agents. Drop-Let is ideal for ground level deployment in third world countries or in locations where traditional water systems are taken off line for significant periods of time.

Cratty’s project, OctaConnect Modular Student Housing, is a multi-dimensional housing alternative to the bricks and mortar model of colleges and universities.  The housing modules allow for customization, stack ability and easy mobility.  Higher education can utilize this concept to design utility and foundation infrastructures to manage the plug-and-live model offered by OctaConnect. 

The presentations followed introductory remarks by County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper.

Judges included Jim Ertl of FMC Technologies, Bob Graham of Penn Venture Partners, Keith Kennedy of Erie Insurance Group, Carl Nicolia of BlueTree Allied Angels, Karen Rzepecki of Recap Mason Jars, Robin Scheppner of American Tinning and Galvanizing and Dave Zimmer of Erie Bank.

PHOTO: David Dausey, Ph.D., Matthew Vandeville, Rebecca Cratty and Kathy Weidenboerner.

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