Conrad Teams advance to finals

Justin Kroll

News Editor

Two Milken teams will be advancing to the final round of this year’s Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards. The two teams, called Comprehensive Radiation and Micrometeoroid (CRM) Shielding and Plus Prosthetics, will be meeting with 18 other teams from around the world in Houston, Texas to participate in the Innovation Summit from April 10 to April 14. The goal of the competition, according to the Conrad Foundation website, is to “combine innovation and entrepreneurship along with science, technology, engineering and math to create commercially-viable products to benefit humanity.”

The 20 teams are divided into four distinct categories based on their product concepts: Aerospace and Aviation, Cybertechnology and Security, Energy and Environment, and Health and Nutrition. The winner of each category will receive $10,000 that will go towards research and development.

CRM Shielding is one of five teams in the Aerospace and Aviation category. Led by Josh Rusheen ’13, the team also includes Milana Bochkur Dratver ’14, Jake Davidson ’13, Jonah Schatz ’13 and Jonathan Zur ’13. Their product, XTF-1, provides shielding from radiation and micrometeoroids for satellites, rovers, space vehicles and anything else that goes in space.

“It’s a product that we feel confident enough that can compete with any current technologies and any developing technologies,” Rusheen said. “We’re really excited to be chosen as finalists, and we’re looking forward to continuing our idea and making it a reality.”

Plus Prosthetics is competing in the Health and Nutrition category with their product Grip Right. The team includes Alex Mosch ’14 and Joey Ben-Zvi ’14 and is led by Eli Patt ’14. Patt has been studying prosthetics for the last two years in Science Research, and was inspired when he toured a lab that makes pressure sensors for fingers.

“The lab had a cool invention, but there was no good way to deliver the sensory feedback to the amputee,” Patt said. “We’ve developed a device that can increase the ease with which an amputee with a prosthetic hand or arm can interact with the world.”

Both teams have spent numerous hours researching their projects, from reading scholarly articles to spending time with mentors. CRM Shielding used Dr. Edward Silverman as a mentor at Northrup Grumman, a global aerospace and defense technology company, as well as Dr. Dennis Schorr at the USC Business School. Plus Prosthetics worked with Lee S. Hong, a professor at the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute at Ohio University, as one of their mentors. They also acquired a patent for Grip Right on March 15; CRM Shielding is still working on filing their patent.

“It’s really important for people to go online and vote for us,” Rusheen said, referring to the voting portion of the competition that could get teams additional points. “That would provide tremendous help.”

Vote for CRM Shielding:

Vote for Plus Prosthetics:

Plus Prosthetics from left to right: Alex Mosch '14, Joey Ben-Zvi '14, Eli Patt '14


CRM Shielding from left to right: Jake Davidson '13, Jonah Schatz '13, Milana Bochkur Dratver '14, Josh Rusheen '13, Jonathan Zur '13