2008

2007 Product of the Year and Design Contest Winners Honored

Create the Future Winners

Also honored at the event were the winners of the NASA Tech Briefs Create the Future Design Contest, presented by SolidWorks Corporation, and co-sponsored by COMSOL, Hewlett- Packard, and Hong Kong Polytechnic. The six category winners and the Grand Winner were presented by SolidWorks CEO, Jeff Ray.

“This contest recognizes and rewards innovation, and I can’t think of a more appropriate time to be discussing and celebrating innovation than right now, because, quite frankly, out of chaos and crisis comes great thinking and great new ideas,” he said. “At SolidWorks, we call it the ‘emotional paycheck:’ every day, we get to see brilliant minds and brilliant ideas that ultimately become brilliant things that improve peoples’ lives. We’re very grateful that you would consider us as a sponsor for this great event,” said Ray.

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Grand Winners of the Create the Future Design Contest (fromleft): Michael P. Kohnen II, inventor of Litroenergy; Jeff Ray, CEOof SolidWorks; Steve Stark; and Brian Kuker.
“For this year’s contest, the seven winners are the seven best out of almost 1,000 entries. It’s an amazing record, and I don’t know of any other contest that gets this kind of attention. Two of the winners are students, and I think it’s very important that we recognize and celebrate those students who are working on tomorrow’s problems right now,” noted Ray.

Steve Stark and Michael P. Kohnen II of MPK Co. accepted the Grand Winner award of $20,000 for Litroenergy™, a light source material that emits light continuously for more than 20 years with no exposure to light or other energy source.

Said Stark in accepting the award, “It is a great honor to win this. The material is just absolutely amazing. Mike Kohnen had been in business making glow material, and I met him and he showed me this light source that emits light continuously for 20-plus years. It has so many broad applications,” Stark explained. “One of the most exciting things is thread — having different colors of lighted clothes. You can wash it and dry it — it’s not affected by heat or cold. And I just can’t imagine all of the ways this can be used. It’s light wherever you need it at low cost. So we’re very excited and honored to be here and recognized for this achievement.”

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