Ideas win big at 11th UAF Arctic Innovation Competition

The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management awarded $30,000 in cash prizes after the 2019 Arctic Innovation Competition’s final presentations Saturday, Oct. 19.

The competition, now in its 11th year, invites innovators to propose new, feasible and potentially profitable ideas for solving real-life problems and challenges.

The top prize of $10,000 in the main division, for ages 18 and up, was awarded to Todd Krieg for Fish Wheel Salmon Selector. The selector improves on the classic fish wheel by safely returning coho and chinook salmon to the river to continue spawning while allowing other, more abundant species to be harvested. The process will allow Interior Alaska fishermen much longer fishing times and larger harvest numbers while still satisfying responsible management practices.

In the junior division for youth ages 13 to 17 years old, James Price took home the first prize of $1,000 for Plug-Hug, a faceplate for electrical outlets. The device’s snugly fitting shield makes accidental unplugging and weather damage less likely.

In the cub division for youth ages 12 and under, Aila Standlee-Strom won first place and $500 for Here Kitty Cat, a cat harness with a locator connected to an app. The app gives walking directions for owners to find their cats.

Top prize and honorable mention winners in the three divisions came from communities across Alaska — Anchorage, Auke Bay, Ester, Fairbanks, North Pole, Unalakleet — and from as far away as Hays, Kansas, and Hershey, Pennsylvania. A complete list of winners is available on the AIC website.

2019 Winners

Main Division (Ages 18 and up)

1st Place – $10,000

Todd Krieg (North Pole, AK)

Fish Wheel Salmon Selector

The Fish Wheel Salmon Selector improves on the classic fish wheel by safely returning coho and chinook salmon to the river to continue spawning while allowing other, more abundant species to be harvested. The process will allow Interior Alaska fishermen much longer fishing times and larger harvest numbers while still satisfying responsible management practices.

2nd Place – $5,000

Julie C. Hagelin & Janice M. Straley (Ester, AK & Sitka, AK)

Safe Scent – Guide Marine Life Away from Danger

Safe Scent is a novel method for luring high-profile marine predators away from hazards – such as oil spills or busy shipping lanes – by releasing a natural, food-related chemical cue to guide them in a safe direction.

3rd Place – $3,000

Christopher Benshoof (Fairbanks, AK)

The Class Pass: RFID Hall Pass System

The Class Pass is an RFID-enabled system that gives students the ability to sign themselves out of class and communicate their movements to the teacher in real-time. This idea also won the Fan Favorite Award.

4th Place – $1,000

Deitrich Smith (Fairbanks, AK)

The Fire Grip

The Fire Grip is a rubber clamp with a pistol grip that attaches to fire hoses. It is designed to reduce fatigue in firefighters who have to handle hoses for extended periods of time.

Kicker Prizes

•Alaska College Student Kicker – $2,000

Nathan Sanches (Fairbanks, AK)

Ski Base Repair Gun

The Ski Base Repair Gun features an attachment that allows a standard stick of P-Tex – the material used to make ski bases – to fit properly into a standard hot glue gun, which can then be used to repair the bases of skis or snowboards that have been scratched or gouged.

•Arctic Kicker – $2,000

Riley Bickford, Tom Marsik, Ph.D., Rorik Peterson, Ph.D. and Robbin Garber-Slaght, M.S., P.E. (Fairbanks, AK)

Arctic Dual Hood for Heat Recovery Ventilation

The Arctic Dual Hood for Heat Recovery combines ventilation intake and exhaust into one wall penetration and is designed to be functional in cold climates, unlike other currently available dual hoods.

•Sustainability Kicker – $2,000

Todd Krieg (North Pole, AK)

Fish Wheel Salmon Selector

The Fish Wheel Salmon Selector is a process that identifies fish by their species, safely returning Coho and Chinook salmon to the river to continue spawning while allowing the other, more abundant species to be harvested. The process will allow Interior fishermen much longer fishing times and larger harvest numbers while still satisfying responsible management practices. This idea also won 1st Place.

Fan Favorite Award – $100

•Christopher Benshoof (Fairbanks, AK)

The Class Pass: RFID Hall Pass System

The Class Pass is an RFID-enabled system that gives students the ability to sign themselves out of class and communicate their movements to the teacher in real-time. This idea also won the 3rd Place.

Honorable Mentions – $100

•Jackie Abraham (Anchorage, AK)

Backpack Canopy

The Backpack Canopy is an easily extracted and retracted canopy built into a backpack to provide shade on a hot day as well as cover from the rain.

•Riley Bickford, Tom Marsik, Ph.D., Rorik Peterson, Ph.D. and Robbin Garber-Slaght, M.S., P.E. (Fairbanks, AK)

Arctic Dual Hood for Heat Recovery Ventilation

The Arctic Dual Hood for Heat Recovery combines ventilation intake and exhaust into one wall penetration and is designed to be functional in cold climates, unlike other currently available dual hoods.

•Jeff Darby and Jamie Darby (North Pole, AK)

Magnetic Plug

The Magnetic Plug is a redesign of the outside extension cords used to plug in winterized vehicles. It incorporates magnets into both sides of the plugs, allowing them to connect and disconnect more easily and decreasing the risk of damaged or lost cords.

•Gabe Donohoe, Brian Donohoe and Katie McCaffrey (Auke Bay, AK)

Blaqqloud Trees: grid-less energy provider

Blaqqloud Trees are an off grid, self-contained, zero emissions power supply requiring no expensive or destructive environmental development for installation. Blaqqloud Trees feature vertical wind turbines atop fifty-foot tall conical poles with four solar panels and battery banks to store the collected energy.

•Parker Holterman (Hays, KS)

Surtr Fire Starter

Surtr is a hand-held fire starter that ejects and ignites a petroleum-pellet with one motion. Each pellet dispensed will stay on fire in all weather conditions and can float on water for several minutes.

•Steve Ivanoff and Kelsi Ivanoff (Unalakleet, AK)

Multi-Species Waterfowl Call

The Multi-Species Waterfowl Call can be used for seven species—swan, sandhill crane, specklebelly geese, snow geese, emperor geese, cackling geese, and the common loon—using one single call and adapter.

•Pete Johnson (North Pole, AK)

Ratchet Ladder

The Ratchet Ladder device allows a person to use a typical ladder to get a firm grip on a tree so they can safely and efficiently gain elevation. The arms of the device wrap around the tree and can then be cranked tight to hold the ladder in place, allowing the user safety, balance and speed.

•Jon Kamler, Nigel Sharp and Brian Pinkard (Anchorage, AK)

Aquagga Supercritical Wastewater Treatment

Aquagga’s innovative Supercritical Wastewater Treatment platform treats wastewater in a single, continuous process which simultaneously sterilizes and desalinates water with virtually no waste streams.

•Christopher Moore (Hershey, PA)

Harmony VAWT (Vertical Axis Wind Turbine)

Harmony VAWT is a new and unique Vertical Axis Wind Turbine design with blades that automatically furl, or close up, in high winds. The furling reduces stress on the system, allowing for normal energy outputs even during extreme winds.

•Dirk Richard (Fairbanks, AK)

Hi-Vis Fasteners

The Hi-Vis product line for the construction industry features fasteners with neutral colored heads and brightly colored shanks and tips designed to increase safety on job sites and beyond.

•Nathan Sanches (Fairbanks, AK)

Ski Base Repair Gun

The Ski Base Repair Gun features an attachment that allows a standard stick of P-Tex – the material used to make ski bases – to fit properly into a standard hot glue gun, which can then be used to repair the bases of skis or snowboards that have been scratched or gouged.

•Robert Werner (Anchorage, AK)

Alaska Bear Troller

Alaska Bear Troller is designed to replace the typical bear bells in your outdoor armament. It is a small device powered by a rechargeable battery that plays a sound file of snapping twigs.

JR Division (Ages 13-17)

1st Place – $1,000

James Price (North Pole, AK)

Plug-Hug

The Plug-Hug is a faceplate for electrical outlets that reduces the chances of accidental unplugging and freezing of cords with a sleeve to ensure a snug fit to shield the cord from the elements.

2nd Place – $500

Lazarus Porter (North Pole, AK)

Redesign of the Fat Bike

The Redesign of the Fat Bike features a ski mounted in place of the front tire, allowing the rider to bike in even deeper snow than with a normal fat bike tire.

3rd Place – $400

Kendall Swart and Phoebe Xu (Fairbanks, AK)

Arctic Paws

Arctic Paws are warm, fashionable boots based on the paw structure of arctic animals that will help keep people from slipping on ice.

4th Place – $300

Hayden McCumby (North Pole, AK)

Frosty

Frosty is a knee pad that includes long-lasting menthol for pain relief.

5th Place – $200

Wyatt Umphenour (North Pole, AK)

Grey Water Filter System (GWFS)

The GWFS reuses grey water from sinks or other appliances in the house and turns it into black water.

Fan Favorite Award – $100

Sophie Henry, Kasper Bennedsen, Adeline Hiemstra, and Amouretta Macchione (Fairbanks, AK)

Bee Box

Bee Box helps us to keep bees alive through the winter, instead of having to kill them every winter as we have to do in the north.

Honorable Mentions – $50

•Jacob Dawley (North Pole, AK)

Perfect Bag

The Perfect Bag is compartmentalized for use in airports, so TSA workers will have an easier time examining it for potential dangers.

•AnnMarie D’Hondt (Fairbanks, AK)

G.O.A.T. (Glasses of Advanced Technology)

The Glasses of Advanced Technology (G.O.A.T.) make it easier to see in the rain by acting like windshield wipers for the lenses.

•Sophie Henry, Kasper Bennedsen, Adeline Hiemstra, and Amouretta Macchione – (Fairbanks, AK)

Bee Box

Bee Box helps us to keep bees alive through the winter, instead of having to kill them every winter as we have to do in the north.

Cub Division (Ages 12 and under)

1st Place – $500

Aila Standlee-Strom (Fairbanks, AK)

Here Kitty Cat

Here Kitty Cat makes cat harnesses with a locator that connects to an app that gives walking directions for an owner to find their cat.

2nd Place – $300

Isabella Kempski and Elizabeth Weight (Fairbanks, AK)

Shoe Attachments!

Shoe Attachments! provides four different types of footwear attachments to provide more enjoyment and usefulness.

3rd Place – $200

Eve Ivanov (Fairbanks, AK)

The Swimming Snow Machine – Cross water with ease!

The Swimming Snow Machine would improve snow machine skis and tracks to help them go over water better.

Fan Favorite Award – $100

Brooks Pinney (Juneau, AK)

Lice Light-Scanner

The Lice Light-Scanner uses a special light that makes it easy to quickly scan hair and heads for lice and nits in schools.

Honorable Mentions – $50

Bridger Pinney and Brooks Pinney (Juneau, AK)

Games in the Dark

Games in the Dark uses soccer balls, basketballs, and footballs with LED lights flashing rainbow colors and light-up goals and baskets for kids to play games in the dark.

Brooks Pinney (Juneau, AK)

Guinea Pig Cancer Cure

This idea involves doing research to synthesize guinea pig Kurloff cells to make a product that humans can use in their bodies to help fight and resist cancer.

Brooks Pinney (Juneau, AK)

Lice Light- Scanner

The Lice Light-Scanner uses a special light that makes it easy to quickly scan hair and heads for lice and nits in schools.

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