Two freshmen from NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering have won funding to advance their research on how to harness solid forms of oxygen and nitrogen. The students, Patrick Nave and Patrick Gumusoglu, hope to use this technology to create a replacement for the compressed-gas tanks typically used by sport SCUBA divers.
Presently named “Solid Air,” this technology could also be used by firefighters and supplemental oxygen users nationwide.
“Standard chemical reactions are involved,” Gumusoglu explains, “and our system would be a great deal lighter, smaller and cheaper than those used now.”
The idea was created as part of an assignment for Innovation and Technology Forum, a required class lead by Professor David Lefer. Their invention was selected out of a pool of five finalists.
“My students are required to solve a problem using a new technology,” said Lefer. “The key to doing well is not just to come up with an idea, but also to test it in the marketplace. Using Lean Startup principles, students must interview at least a dozen potential customers to see if their invention is something someone would ultimately want to buy.”
Nave and Gumusoglu will use the $1,000 prize to create prototypes and develop a marketing strategy. The technology is currently patent-pending.
For more information, visit NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.