Engineering Announces Storer Business Start-up Award Winner

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The University of Iowa College of Engineering has announced that the student business plan for a company named "Iowa Smart Switch" is the winner of its 2012-13 Hubert E. Storer Engineering Student Entrepreneurial Start-up Award. 

The company plans to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by developing high technology devices. These devices include an intelligent switch that can recognize a range of inputs from hospital patients with physical communication disabilities, and enables these patients to better communicate and experience a greater quality of care.

Iowa Smart Switch personnel include: Blake Martinson, a senior UI mechanical engineering student; Ben Berkowitz, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering; Zihan Zhu, a senior UI biomedical engineering student; Vince Hahn , an MBA student at the UI Henry B. Tippie School of Management; and mentor: Professor Richard Hurtig from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. 

The annual award, established in 2002 and funded by an endowed gift from College of Engineering alumnus Hubert E. Storer (BS 1959 industrial engineering), currently provides $10,000 of initial financial support for a College of Engineering student technological business plan.  Storer is president, owner and founder of Storer Equipment Company, Shreveport, LA.