We are pleased to introduce the finalists in the 2016-2017 Y-Prize Competition.

Grand Prize Winners VisiPlate

Y-Prize 2017 Winners_VisiPlate
Brandon Kao EAS’18, Rui Jing Jiang W’18, and Adarsh Battu W’18

VisiPlate is a nano-scale defense against open angle glaucoma, a condition that can lead to blindness. Open angle glaucoma currently affects 2.8 million people in the U.S. and incurs societal costs of $1.5 billion per year. By 2020, 3.4 million people in the U.S. will suffer from this condition and seek intervention. VisiPlate is an implant that reduces intraocular pressure by draining aqueous fluid from the eye. Thinner, stronger, and more reliable than existing lines of defense, VisiPlate consists of a curved, ultrathin, nanoplate attached to a tube. VisiPlate prevents glaucoma-induced blindness in a long-term, cost-effective way.


Team Greenhouse
Tai Bendit W’17, Cherag Bhagwagar GEng’17, Ben Joseph WG’17, Ruiyuan Ma GR’18, and Sumit Shrestha WG’18

Team Greenhouse‘s product idea is a smart greenhouse that maintains optimal amount of light and temperature at all times for maximum yield of the crops. This is achieved through complex shading and light control, which can be facilitated with smart glass plastic sheets used in frames that line the greenhouse. The sheets can be manually or automatically stretched by a simple mechanism to reduce or increase the opacity of greenhouse. This system would be a low-cost, standalone, and easy-to-install solution that allows for superior thermal management in today’s greenhouses.


Team Nanosink
Zakary Beach GR’21; Tian Pei WG’18; John Bridstrup, PhD Candidate, Department of Physics, Drexel University; returning Y-Prize winner Alexander David GEng’17; and Pavel Gurevich WG’18

NanoSink applies Penn’s proprietary ultrathin plates to expedite heat removal in electronics, a problem which constitutes $5.5bn of the $10.7bn thermal management market. The accumulation of excess heat is the cause of 55% of all electronic failures and a barricade to the advancement of processing power. Unlike today’s heat sinks that employ various metals, NanoSink can leverage the nanoscale properties and structural robustness of ultrathin plates in order to pioneer new methods of heat removal, such as the use of graphene – the ultimate heat conducting material. Efficient thermal management will satiate the power requirements of ever-developing electronic technologies.

Smart Car Window

Team Smart Car
Ricky Nameshida WG’18, Jiawei Wang GEng’17, Mohamed Ghori GEng’17, and Masato Yoshimoto WG’18

Smart Car Window is an innovative sun shade device that can be equipped to door windows of cars. The product changes its transparency through elongating and contracting a smart window attached inside of two glasses, realizing an optimal light blocking effect. It not only enables drivers and passengers to avoid sun burns and protect privacy, but also enhances energy efficiency by cooling an inside temperature. We expect the current trend of eco-efficient cars will stimulate product needs from leading car manufacturing companies.