Innovative Sternheimer Awards announced

Mark A. Sternheimer Capstone Design Award

Seven senior design teams whose projects demonstrate outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship will receive 2018-2019 Mark A. Sternheimer Capstone Design Awards.

The prestigious awards were established in 2012 by Mark A. Sternheimer, a benefactor and a board member of the VCU College of Engineering Foundation. The award recognizes Capstone projects that have strong commercialization potential and helps foster the college's entrepreneurial culture.

Of the 24 teams that applied, 14 finalists recently presented their projects before a panel of judges from Richmond-area companies and startups. The winners will share $8,800 in funding.

Capstone Design is a two-semester course that represents the culmination of an engineering student’s undergraduate education. It concludes with the Capstone Design Expo, on April 26, 2019, when student teams will present their work to the public at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia. Sternheimer Award winners will showcase their projects to local engineering industry professionals before the Expo.

Bennett Ward, Ph.D., director of project outreach for the VCU College of Engineering, said he was impressed by the work of all the finalist teams. “The quality of these projects is outstanding and we are looking forward to seeing excellent presentations at the Capstone Expo in April 2019,” he said.

Award winners are:

DepartmentProjectTeam MembersFaculty AdviserSponsor
Biomedical Engineering Redesigning the Nasogastric Tube, and Simulation of Pediatric Tube Insertion Aamna Ikram, Neha Potdar, Guari Sharma Thea Pepperl, Ph.D.

University of Miami Internal Medicine


Biomedical Engineering Weighted Sensory Integrative Vest for Pediatric Dentistry Mahira Ali, Aishwarya Saikumar, Keerthana Shankar, Kira Vu René Olivares-Navarrete

VCU Department of Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical Engineering Objective Quantification of the Universal Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) Chris Brunkhorst, Madeline Hays, Sarah Moore, Julia Smith, James Vance Paul Wetzel, Ph.D.

VCU Department of Biomedical Engineering


Chemical and Life Science Engineering Cardiac Markers for Heart Attack Rapid Diagnostic Device Noor N. Al-Mulla, Rachel C. Judge, Kaitlin E. Kay Nastassja Lewinski, Ph.D.

Division of Nephrology, VCU Medical Center


Computer Science Wireless Vital Sign Monitors for Infants Jonathon Headley, Justin Miller, Austin Sarmento Carol Fung, Ph.D.

Department of Pediatrics, VCU School of Medicine


Electrical and Computer Engineering Subcutaneous Continuous Glucose Monitor Rob McNamara, Tabryn Palmer, Alexander Ricart Erdem Topsakal, Ph.D.

VCU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Hyperloop Propulsion Tyler Brayton, Daniel Owen, Patrick Welch, Maggie Zerr Charles Cartin, Ph.D.