Keynotes: Zakiya Smith Ellis speaks on the future of higher education.

The Innovation Forum, held every year at Princeton’s Keller Center, is a good chance to take a look at some of the cutting edge research that inventors hope could be turned into commercial products. Participants, who hail from the ranks of Princeton University researchers, present their research to a panel of investor judges, who decide a winning entry and award $30,000 in prizes to the three top entries. Some, but not all, of the research teams have formed companies to sell their creations.

This year’s forum takes place Wednesday, February 27, at 2 p.m. at Maeder Hall on the Princeton campus. For more information, visit

The event will feature a speech by Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey’s secretary of higher education, who will discuss “Innovation and Opportunity: the Future of New Jersey Higher Education.

This year’s teams include:

Advanced Quantitative Medical Imaging: This invention uses techniques from geosciences to generate MRI-quality images using only ultrasound. Benefits include broader medical imaging applications, faster image acquisition, and lower costs compared to traditional MRIs.

The team is led by Greg Davies of Princeton’s geosciences department.

General Gondolas: This company will provide customized gondola design and manufacturing tailored to individual scientific projects and a balloon launching service.

General Gondolas is led by Steven Li, a third-year doctoral student in the physics and mechanical and aerospace engineering department.

IRiS: This technology is a bio-inspired adaptive shading device for windows in offices and residences that reduces building energy loads, increases visual comfort, and is cost-effective.

The IRiS team is led by Victor Charpentier, a doctoral student in the civil and environmental engineering department.

Non-Intrusive, Non-Spoofable Thermal Flow Meter: Measuring the flow-rate of gases and liquids non-intrusively is a challenge faced by a variety of industrial and commercial processes. Researchers at Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, including presenter Andrei Khodak, have invented a new method to address this challenge.

Plasma Contact microphone for structural health monitoring: This research presents a plasma contact microphone that is tolerable in extreme temperatures. It can be used for space, combustion, and chemical processing applications as well as neutron fluxes in nuclear environments. Johan Carlsson from PPPL will present.

Secured federated, private healthcare datasets: Data generated by the healthcare industry is voluminous and federated across a variety of stakeholders and devices. This team’s algorithms are designed to scale to datasets of millions of records while maintaining mathematically provable security guarantees for contributed data.

This invention is presented by Michael Jemison of the department of mathematics.

Simple genetic assay of mutations: The role of genetics in shaping canine sociability remains poorly understood. This team’s research elucidates the various roles genes play and cost-effective approaches for commercialization.

This invention is presented by professor Bridgett vonHoldt from the department of ecology and evolutionary biology. (U.S. 1, November 7, 2018.)

Ultra-Efficient EPS for Future Data Centers: A new power electronics device, the Energy Processing Unit (EPU), can simultaneously supply power to thousands of modular computing units with extremely high energy efficiency.

This research is presented by professor Minjie Chen from the electrical engineering department.

Vertical Injection Technology Apparatus (Vita): Venipuncture for the direct injection of medication has not changed since the practice was first developed in the 1830s despite the inefficiency, unreliability, and potential for harm. This device seeks to change the fundamental method of injection in what the team says is a simple, effective way, utilizing “advanced robotics.”

This invention is being presented by Princeton undergraduate student Miles Cole. Professor Craig Arnold is the “driving force” behind the technology.

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