$20,000 Illinois Innovation Prize Awarded to Advancements in Unusual Electronics

4/29/2014 5:05:00 PM

Canan Dagdeviren, PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering, was recognized for outstanding innovation by receiving the $20,000 Illinois Innovation Prize last Friday, April 25th. This award is administered by the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering and is presented to the most innovative student on campus each year.

In order to be considered for nomination, a student must be a passionate innovator, working with world changing technologies, entrepreneurially minded, and a role model for others. Dagdeviren certainly embodies these qualities.

Upon completing her undergraduate and master’s degree in Turkey, Dagdeviren was awarded a Fullbright Doctoral Fellowship and was admitted to the Materials Science and Engineering Department, under the supervision of Professor John A. Rogers, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2009.

At Illinois, the primary focuses of her research are applications of piezoelectric materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronics.

She created a new class of biocompatible piezoelectric mechanical energy harvesters that are soft and flexible, to allow them to conform to and laminate on soft tissues such as heart and lung.

These devices are first of its kind nano-generators that convert mechanical energy from internal organ movements into electric energy to power medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers.

This diminishes the need for cardiac patients to undergo various surgical procedures due to exhausted battery complications. Essentially, she has made it possible for the human body to harbor self-powering pacemakers and other implantable medical devices.

A working prototype of this device has been developed and tested at the University of Arizona. Upon graduation in July, Dagdeviren will start her postdoctoral research at MIT under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer.


Finalists for the 2014 Illinois Innovation Prize include:

Peter Fiflis - PhD Candidate in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering,

Paul Froeter - PhD Candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering

James Pikul - PhD Candidate in Mechanical Science and Engineering

Analisa Russo - PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering

Adam Tilton - PhD Candidate in Mechanical Science and Engineering


For More Information:

Danyelle Michelini Technology Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

(217) 333-1210