Cooper ME Seniors Win $5K for Wheelchair Design

POSTED ON: April 12, 2019

Professor Melody Baglione and seniors Kavya Udupa, Morgan Wolfe, and Billy Dayan at the CREATE Symposium after winning third place in a competition to create technology for workers with disabilities.  Isabella Pestovski (not pictured) was also a member of the Cooper team.
Professor Melody Baglione and seniors Kavya Udupa, Morgan Wolfe, and Billy Dayan at the CREATE Symposium after winning third place in a competition to create technology for workers with disabilities. Isabella Pestovski (not pictured) was also a member of the Cooper team.

Four Mechanical Engineering seniors, Morgan Wolfe, Kavya Udupa, Isabella Pestovski, and Billy Dayan, led by Professor and George Clark Chair of Mechanical Engineering Melody Baglione, took the $5,000 third place prize at the 2019 CREATE Symposium, an invention competition hosted at Empire State Plaza in Albany by New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID). The symposium invites student engineers to showcase capstone projects that improve the vocational lives of workers with disabilities through assistive technologies.

Joining dozens of other students from across the state, the Cooper team presented their senior project, a prototype for a custom wheelchair attachment designed to help an employee with cerebral palsy at Grab & Go Café deliver food and drinks to customers throughout an office building. The students, who are working with the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York, built the prototype specifically to accommodate the ways in which cerebral palsy affects individuals’ coordination and ability to maintain balance.

You can watch Kavya Udupa talk about the group's project on WTEN-TV, Albany’s ABC affiliate. View the full list of competition winners.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.