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Spring 2015

Here’s a snapshot of some of the research and products created 24/7 across West Virginia University.

Students w/headsets

Headsets for All Seasons

WVU is booming with innovation in headsets at the moment.

Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, research assistant professor in the School of Medicine, and colleagues are developing a mobile, molecular PET scanner. This helmet – using much less radioactive material than in a normal PET scan – would allow patients to receive medical scans while moving about their day talking to friends, walking or playing a musical instrument. When used in research, this scanner could help understand and treat neurological conditions from stroke to depression. The project has received $1.5 million from President Barack Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. Learn more at:

Over in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, associate professor Frances Van Scoy is developing software for the existing Emotiv EEG headset that is expected to help patients with brain injuries involving stroke or aphasia communicate better. Aphasia inhibits someone’s ability to understand speech, speak, read and write. So far Van Scoy and her students have been able to recognize five words using the headset and their thought-to-speech program. Learn more at:

At the Reed College of Media, associate professor Joel Beeson and his students are exploring the use of commercial headsets with augmented reality and virtual reality to create journalistic immersive storytelling. Over the course of the project, students have used Google Glass, Epson Moverio, smartphone headsets such as Zeiss VR One and Google Cardboard, and smart-device mounted 3-D scanners such as the Occipital Structure Sensor, which scans objects and environments into 3-D for use in immersive narratives. Learn more at:

Selfies Secured 

Computer science undergraduates Alex Dunn, Steven Amerman and Walter Ferrell had one week to develop a prototype that would keep the data on our phones safer. After that one week the students and assistant professor Thirimachos Bourlai launched the beginning of SecureSelfies, an app that uses a photo of your face to secure photos, financial information and other data stored on your phone. Bourlai is cofounder of Confirmix, a new company that is commercializing SecureSelfies. At the end of 2014 the Morgantown-based company raised $1.25 million in angel investment to bring SecureSelfies one step closer to your phone. Learn more at:

A Power Plant of Your Own

Justin Chambers, BS ’12, Mechanical Engineering, launched a company, WindPax, with his senior design project. Chambers designed a portable wind turbine, originally with the military in mind. These collapsible, portable and efficient turbines are ideal for hiking, emergency preparedness and any situation where people could use a renewable energy source away from the power grid. Chambers, currently a doctoral student at WVU, and University professors, students and alumni make up WindPax, which is currently taking pre-orders for the turbines. Learn more at:

Innovation at Work Archive

Fall 2014

Catch up with sneak peeks and snapshots of some of the creative research, ideas and products incubating 24/7 across WVU.

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Fall 2015

This year international headlines proclaimed the news that a WVU report led to the discovery that Volkswagen had installed defeat devices in potentially millions of diesel vehicles. Catch that developing story and more here.

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Fall 2016

Our people are working on one of the seven Wonders of the World, renewing the nation's dams and creating wireless networks.

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Fall 2017

Sniffing moths and fighting malware make up this edition of Innovation at Work.

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Spring 2015

From securing your selfies, to creating mobile PET scanners, WVU is making inventions that affect your life.

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Summer 2016

Our people are preparing for working on asteroids, predicting how many fish will be in your local stream and designing tomorrow's fuel cell.

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Summer 2017

A doctor created a new way to repair hearts that leads to better health outcomes and engineers came up with a composite system that could prevent damage from earthquakes and hurricanes.

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