SHRS Innovation Challenge


Despite logistical barriers, the school's first innovation competition went off without a hitch. This comes as no surprise considering the vast entrepreneurial experience of SHRS faculty, staff and students. Forty teams from SHRS have participated in First Gear programs at Pitt's Innovation Institute over the past three years. Eight teams of faculty, staff and students entered the school's inaugural competition on Tuesday but only two came away with top prizes of $10,000 each.

The winning teams are:

  • Universal Data Logger
    • UDL (pronounced “oodle”) is software that monitors the communication performance and goal progress of AAC device users and sends progress updates to their clinicians.
    • Team members include:
      • Katya Hill, associate professor, Communication Science and Disorders
      • Michael O’Leary, PhD student, Communication Science and Disorders
      • Rick Miller, business partner
      • Chelsea Woodworth, research assistant
  • Impulse
    • Impulse tracks and displays muscular fitness data in an easy to use interface for instant feedback and monitoring for fitness, athletic and rehab application.
    • Team members include:
      • Matthew Darnell, assistant professor, Sports Medicine and Nutrition
      • Elizabeth Nagle, assistant professor, School of Education

"Hosting an in-house competition helps us create an environment that fosters entrepreneurial growth across our disciplines," said Dave Brienza, associate dean, Technology and Innovation. "We hope to spark innovation across the school by sharing our ideas and expertise so that we can successfully and continually translate ideas into real products and services." About 45 faculty, staff and students attended the SHRS Innovation Challenge via Zoom. The competition was offered in conjunction with the Innovation Institute’s First Gear commercialization program.