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Grand Challenge Scholar takes on big problems, starts business venture
This spring Markey Olson became the Grand Challenge Scholar Program’s second graduate. The biomedical engineering major engaged in research on reverse-engineering the brain, one of the 14 Grand Challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering. GCSP  serves as the Fulton Schools of Engineering Scholar Academy and includes research, community service, and entrepreneurial efforts. Entrepreneurship classes enabled Olson and two other biomedical engineering seniors, Alyssa Oberman and Robert Valenza, to turn their senior capstone project into a startup company called VisiBraille. The venture team is now at work on the manufacturing and distribution systems needed to get the VisiBraille device into the marketplace.

In the news

Do sunscreens’ tiny particles harm ocean life in big ways?
(National Geographic)

As use of tiny nanoscale particles in consumer products increases, engineers and scientists are studying – and debating about – the potential impacts of nanoparticles on the environment and human  health. A National Geographic magazine article focuses on whether microscopic amounts of metal being used in sunscreens could have harmful affects on sea creatures. Paul Westerhoff points out that to accurately assess the risk, further research is necessary to measure the concentrations of particles to which ocean life are being exposed and to establish connections between exposure levels and verifiable hazards. Westerhoff is a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. Read the article.


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