Federal-Mogul and Philadelphia University announce winners of 2nd annual student innovation competition

AscentiveTech News from the Ascentive team

An interdisciplinary team of seven students in Philadelphia University’s College of Design, Engineering and Commerce have been named winners of the second annual student innovation competition sponsored by Federal-Mogul Corporation.  The students were challenged to develop an innovative and commercially viable product using the company’s QuietShield noise suppression material.

The winning team designed a new acoustic application of QuietShield GRN for the industrial sector.  The team, which received a $5,000 cash prize, included senior business students Marissa Freilich, an accounting major, Dana Mazzella, a marketing major, and Lauren Timko, a marketing major; engineering seniors Jeffrey Kopczynski and Brad Krohl; and industrial design graduate student John Pickard and junior Michael Shannon.

“We were pleased to work with Federal-Mogul again this year on this innovation competition that showcases the strengths of our College of Design, Engineering and Commerce,” said Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli Jr.  “Innovative learning projects such as this one reinforce Philadelphia University’s signature Nexus learning approach — active, collaborative, connected to the real world and infused with the liberal arts — which gives our students a competitive edge in the real world.”

Lauren Timko, a senior marketing major, said it was challenging but rewarding to work with students in different disciplines, and that is just the kind of collaborative approach she expects to find in the work place once she graduates.  “This was definitely a learning experience, with a real goal and something that can be implemented for a real client, in this case Federal Mogul,” she said.  “It has absolutely prepared me for the work place.”

In all, a total of 56 students working in eight teams tackled the challenge of using an existing Federal-Mogul material to develop a new product while following a set of specific customer requirements.  Each team submitted a comprehensive business case that clearly presented their proposed offering, a detailed market analysis and supporting financial details.

“Although only one winning team could be chosen, we were very impressed by all of the students’ efforts,” said Janice Maiden, vice president and business director, Federal-Mogul Systems Protection. “Each team displayed leadership, creativity and problem solving that we strive to promote through the innovation competition.”

Brad Krohl, an engineering major on the winning team, said the project added insights into how large corporations work and designing with a commercial goal in mind.  “Federal-Mogul was helpful and informative during the project and gave us a great look at how real companies operate,” he said.  “And our professors put a lot of time and effort guiding us throughout the semester.”

Once again, this year’s competition promoted interdisciplinary collaboration, creative thinking, leadership development and innovative problem solving–all key themes in the University’s College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

“By immersing students in multi-disciplinary projects for sponsors such as Federal Mogul, we are able to show the real power of our Nexus Learning approach,” said Michael Leonard, academic dean of the School of Design and Engineering in the College of DEC.  “The students acted as extensions of the Federal-Mogul team, sharing their disciplinary training to innovate, and worked at a pace similar to that which they will experience in the working world.”

Federal-Mogul, recognizing the importance of fostering product innovation in a commercial context with industrial leaders of tomorrow, has had a long and productive relationship with Philadelphia University that includes technology knowledge sharing, co-development projects, internships and employee recruitment.  In addition to the cash prize, winning students will have the opportunity to present their business case to Federal-Mogul senior executives at the company’s world headquarters in Southfield, Mich.

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