The University of Utah has announced the recipients of its inaugural Innovation Awards, which recognize student and faculty researchers at the U who are working to translate their research into technologies that benefit the public. Two Price engineers were among this first class of recipients:

Excellence in Innovation Undergraduate Student – James Walker

James Walker is a second-year undergraduate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He joined Pania Newell’s Integrated Multi-Physics lab in the spring of 2023 and received an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (award) over the summer to investigate the effect of Representative Volume Element size, fiber cross-sectional shape, and fiber diameter on the overall mechanical properties of fibrous porous materials. Newell said on top of his intelligence and dedication, it’s his “drive, hard work, critical thinking skills, attentiveness as a listener, quick learning ability, and openness to constructive feedback that truly set him apart.”

Innovator of the Year – Jacob George

Jacob George works at the intersection of artificial intelligence, robotics and neuroscience. George is a professor in the electrical and computer engineering and physical medicine & rehabilitation departments and directs the Utah NeuroRobotics Lab where he and his lab are developing biologically inspired artificial intelligence and brain-machine interfaces to restore and/or enhance human function. George has developed technology that has been licensed by a U startup, and the resultant product will allow patients to regain their independence to improve their quality of life. George’s lab continues to develop technologies that will allow patients to fully interact with their environment. “Dr. Jacob George is a scientist who brings to reality technologies that were previously only dreamed of in movies,” said PIVOT Associate Director of Commercialization Huy Tran. “He and his team have produced the Luke Arm technology, allowing amputees to control the prosthetic arm with their thoughts. Dr. George continually strives to develop technologies that will improve the quality of life for patients.”

Read about the other recipients from across Campus here.