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Reducing Textile Waste

When Cameron Hooyer and Taylor Dickinson were preparing for their senior thesis in the University of Utah’s Multidisciplinary Design Program, they had no idea what they wanted to do. ...

Open-Source Brick-Making

What if you didn’t need to buy building supplies? What if you could create your own? Motivated by this idea, a team of U architecture students built a machine for making your own bricks out of natural materials. ...

3-in-1 Camp Solution

It’s a chair! It’s a tent! It’s a hammock! No, it’s Bushwhack, an all-in-one tent-chair-hammock. Designed for backpackers and hikers, this product will be whatever you need it to be, whenever you need it. ...



While many believe that computer systems are the epitome of impartial, a group of students in the “When Machines Decide” Praxis Lab at the University of Utah created an app that shows that algorithms, too, can be biased. ...

Open Letter to the World

“An open letter to the world, from the people of America.” This three-minute film, produced by U students Parker Gibbons, Caroline Moreton and Sage Bennett in partnership with the Refugee and Immigrant Center of Utah, has been viewed over 1,100 times ...

STEM Clothing for Girls

After noticing a huge gap in clothing for young girls, Hillary Whitaker, a University of Utah accounting student, started Curie Wear in 2016, a company that designs custom fabrics focused on STEM. They keep their clothing designs feminine for young girls. ...


Boundary Backpacks

In the fall of 2015, Cavin Nicholson returned to the University of Utah after a seven-year break that began with the start of his first company, Coalatree Organics. ...

ColoClean Prep Kit

An estimated 22.4 million colonoscopies are performed in the United States each year. To perform an effective colonoscopy, the patient’s colon must be cleared of any organic material. ...

Improving Accessibility

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to protect those who are not ablebodied from various forms of discrimination. Some 27 years have passed since the ADA civil rights legislation was signed into law ...


Accessible Dock

A graduate student in mechanical engineering at the U, Nicolas Brown is the leading member of a team that is improving the lives of people with spinal cord injuries by creating a dock to help them participate in water activities. ...

Scrap-Metal Sorting

Jake Salgado, a senior metallurgical engineering student, works full-time in professor Raj Rajamani’s development lab. Salgado and Rajamani are working on an automatic, scrap-metal sorting machine. ...

Smart Shoes

For people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, walking can be increasingly difficult as the disease progresses. More than one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease and suffer a significantly higher risk of falling than other populations ...


Monitoring Algal Blooms

A graduate student trio from three disciplines is collaborating to develop a high-resolution, low-cost spectral imaging drone to measure urban impact on water resources. ...

Tracking Air Quality

Kyle Tingey, a computer engineer passionate about innovation, has been instrumental in the design, development and integration of a “hyperlocal” air-quality monitoring solution for the Air Quality & U project. ...

Clean Transportation

At the age of 16, Sam Hirsch became a social entrepreneur when he founded CleanFare — a mobile app that gives points to people using clean transportation by walking, biking and taking the train or bus. ...


Gnash, Bzzzt

If you suffer from bruxism, you know the symptoms. Gnashing and grinding your teeth in your sleep causes sensitivity and teeth to flatten and chip. The standard of care for this condition is to just treat the symptoms ...

Exponentially Positive

Watching positive videos helped fourth-year dental student Alex Piedra stay motivated for exams, which gave him an idea. Frustrated with a lack of cutting-edge technology in mental health, he asked himself, “Why isn’t there an app that only gives positive feedback?” ...

Simulations of the Heart

As his senior research project, bioengineering student Stuart Loertscher is fixing problems of the heart with Lucas Timmins, the principal investigator at the Cardiovascular Pathomechanics Laboratory, a multidisciplinary group of researchers studying the role of biomechanics in cardiovascular disease. ...


Tracking Virus Mutation

When the opportunity came to use new DNA sequencing technology, Thomas Sasani, a graduate student in the Department of Human Genetics, stepped up to the challenge. ...

Predicting Energy Use

Buildings consume huge amounts of energy, and as they become more wired and connected, it’s increasingly important to be able to predict how much energy they will use and when. ...

High-Speed DNA Collection

Labs across campus and the world study zebrafish, a freshwater fish that can be found at pet stores, to learn more about genetics and human disease. Strange as it seems, fish and humans have very similar development cycles ...


Recycled Mats

In August, 2017, Kaitlin McLean’s mom sent her a Facebook video about crocheting plastic yarn. McLean had been avoiding her mom’s hobby for years, but after reading an article about the number of deaths in Salt Lake City every winter ...

Prison Literacy Program

Roots is a student startup that wants to teach literacy to inmates by using music. “Reading is such an important skill to have in the modern world, and more than 60 percent of inmates cannot read above a fourth-grade reading level.” ...

HIV Prevention Clinic

Utah is home to one of the nation’s few free PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) clinics, thanks to Jorgen Madsen, who came out during his first year at the U’s School of Medicine thinking he might never date openly ...


Painting for Cleaner Air

When Casey Clifford, a graduate student in environmental humanities, moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Salt Lake City, she didn’t expect that air quality would be an issue. ...

Healing through Dance

During the first six months into her intensive dance training as a freshman, Jessica Baynes suffered a traumatic brain injury. “I slipped on both feet forward, fell backward,” she said. ...

Bridging Cultures with Music

While on a family trip to Hawaii, Christopher Bradford, a sociology and percussion performance major, discovered crystal singing bowls, musical instruments typified in many Eastern spiritual traditions to promote healing that, when struck, make a pleasant, traveling ringing sound. ...


The Airbnb of Storage

All of us are familiar with peer-to-peer marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb. These disruptive companies are changing the way we get around and travel. A University of Utah alum is now working to disrupt the way you use storage. ...

A Virtual Business Card

The Index app, created by University of Utah students, in essence is a virtual business card. It puts all of your contact information — including social media accounts — into one spot. ...


Level Up: Esports

Utah Esports competed in four well-known online video games during the past year, including “Rocket League,” “League of Legends,” “Overwatch” and “Hearthstone.” ...

Virtual Social Work Tools

Imagine walking into an unfamiliar home to assess risks and protective factors for child abuse. Now, imagine doing this without ever leaving your desk. ...

Resource Directory

Now it's your turn. Get involved by signing up for one of these programs at the U. ...

Past Issues

Student Innovation at the U

2017 Report

This report is also in a print format. Download it or request a copy
Digital Edition | Download PDF

Student Innovation at the U

2016 Report

This report is also in a print format. Download it or request a copy
Digital Edition | Download PDF

Student Innovation at the U

2015 Report

The third edition of "Student Innovation at the U." Learn about students who are making a difference.
Digital Edition | Download PDF

Student Innovation at the U

2014 Report

The second edition of "Student Innovation at the U." Take a journey through student startups, how to think like an innovator and more.
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Student Innovation at the U

2013 Report

The first edition of "Student Innovation at the U." Read about global innovators, health-care innovators and more.
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