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"Invisible Glass" Wins Top Prize in Create the Future Design Competition
[October 10, 2018]

"Invisible Glass" Wins Top Prize in Create the Future Design Competition

NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of scientists from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory is using nanotechnology to eliminate optical reflections from glass, silicon, and plastics. "Invisible Glass" - designed to enhance solar energy-conversion efficiency, eliminate glare from smartphone and computer displays, and provide anti-fogging, water-repellant properties for car and aircraft windshields - has been awarded the grand prize of $20,000 in the 2018 "Create the Future" Design Contest, produced by Tech Briefs Media Group.

Initially developed for silicon, it was discovered that the technology eliminates reflective glare, resulting in a highly durable product that withstands 3x more optical energy per unit area than commercial broadband antireflective coatings.  "There are a lot of places where this [glass] can be useful, and that's what has us most excited," said Charles Black and Andreas Liapis, members of the nanoscience team at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Engineers and students from 60 countries submitted new product ideas to the contest, which was established in 2002 to recognize and reward engineering innovations that benefit humanity, the environment, and the economy. This year's contest was co-sponsored by COMSOL ( and Mouser Electronics ( Analog Devices and Intel were supporting sponsors.

"COMSOL is thrilled to support innovators and to recognize their achievements through the Create the Future Design Contest," said Bernt Nilsson, Senior VP of Marketing with COMSOL, Inc.  "The winning designs represent remarkable new products with great potential for commercial success."

"Mouser congratulates the 2018 Create the Future Contest winners, and we thank all of the participants for entering their creative ideas. Part of our mission is empowering innovation, so we are excited to support this global design contest that spotlights technical ingenuity," said Kevin Hess, Mouser Senior Vice President of Marketing. "The world is seeing amazing advancements in electronic design thanks to forward-thinking engineers and innovators."

In addition to the grand prize, first-place winners were named in seven categories and received HP workstation computers:

Electronics/Sensors/IoT sponsored by Mentor Graphics (
Future Antenna Miniaturization Mechanism: Magnetoelectric Antennas
New ultra-small antennas offer unique properties and exciting applications in bio-medical devices, wearable antennas, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Hwaider Lin and Nian-Xiang Sun, Norheastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Robotics/Automation/Manufacturing – sponsored by Maplesoft (
Don't Melt. MELD.™
MELD is an innovative way to 3D print large metal parts without melting the metal, making it the single most flexible additive manufacturing process on the market. From spacecraft to tanks and ships, MELD offers unmatched scalability, quality, and speed.
Nanci Hardwick, MELD Manufacturing Corp., Christiansburg, VA, USA

Medical – sponsored by Zeus (
Implantable Sensor Technology Platform for Advanced Prosthetic Control
The Implantable Myoelectric Sensor (IMES) system contains small sensors that can be implanted in the residual muscles of an amputee, enabling better control and more natural movements in a robotic hand, wrist, knee, or other prosthetic device.
Patrick Nercessian (Team Leader), The Alfred Mann Foundation, Valencia, CA, USA

Aerospace & Defense
Detecting Plastic Landmines
By combining drone technologies and infrared thermal imaging sensors, a system was created that can fly over affected areas and identify plastic landmines by their heat signatures. This solution to tackling the landmine crisis is unique in that plastic landmines are extremely difficult and dangerous to detect.
Jasper Baur (Team Leader), Binghamton, NY, USA

ISCAD - Electrical Drive with 0% Rare Earths, 25% Higher Driving Range, and 100% Safety
VOLABO invented the first 48V drive with performances up to 300 kW. Thanks to a virtual gearbox, efficiency can be increased by 25% compared to conventional electric drives. 
Adrian Patzak and Florian Bachheibl (Team Leaders), VOLABO GmbH, Ottobrunn, Land Bayern, Germany

Consumer Products
Aluminum Powered Electricity Generation
By converting recycled aluminum into a highly energy-dense, shelf stable, safe fuel, the device uses this fuel to produce kilowatt-scale electricity.  A first of its kind, this is a significant leap forward in emergency generator technology.
Peter Godart and Jason Fischman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Sustainable Technologies
Aerogels from Environmental Wastes for Novel Engineering Applications
Recycling technique turns waste into aerogels – the lightest material on Earth – for applications ranging from oil-spill cleanup to heat and sound insulation.
Associate Prof. Hai Minh Duong and Prof. Nhan Phan-Thien, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore

Finalists were selected by senior editors at Tech Briefs Media Group, producer of the contest, and judged by an independent panel of design engineers.  For more information, visit

COMSOL is a global provider of simulation software for product design and research to technical enterprises, research labs, and universities. Its COMSOL Multiphysics® product is an integrated software environment for creating physics-based models and simulation apps. COMSOL employs more than 450 people in 19 offices worldwide and extends its reach with a network of distributors. Visit

About Mouser Electronics
Mouser Electronics, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an award-winning, authorized semiconductor and electronic component distributor focused on rapid New Product Introductions from its manufacturing partners for electronic design engineers and buyers. The global distributor's website,, is available in multiple languages and currencies and features more than 5 million products from over 700 manufacturers. Mouser offers 23 support locations around the world to provide best-in-class customer service and ships globally to over 600,000 customers in more than 220 countries/territories from its 750,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility south of Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit

For Information Contact:
Debbie Rothwell
Director of Marketing
Tech Briefs Media Group
212-490-3999, ext. 5520 
October 10, 2018

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