hree simple ingredients along with a casting mold that created a substitute for mulch and rubber playground turf took the $20K grand prize in the 28th annual Student Soybean Innovation Competition sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance.
Micky Creech, program manager of the Student Soybean Innovation Competition, said the annual event allows Purdue students from all degree areas the opportunity to take their soy-based idea from conception to completion and beyond along with the opportunity to win $5,000, $10,000 or the top prize of $20,000 for the winning team.
The “Smulch” team comprised of Zuhal Cakir, a graduate student in the College of Engineering; Ethan Miller, a freshman in the College of Science; and Elizabeth Plassard, a freshman in the Krannert School of Management, spent the past six months perfecting their soy-based product working up until the very last minute of the awards ceremony. Pinpointing a particular product in need of a soy-based substitute wasn’t something the team immediately had in mind upon entering the competition.
After creating two different prototypes for a soy-based mulch, the group found their ultimate product in the use of soybean flour, soybean polyol and food coloring, leaving the mixture to cure in its mold. While traditional mulch is put through a grinder, Plassard and Cakir said Miller spent his time hand-carving each piece of Smulch, joking it was “made with love.”
The team said they plan to continue their work on Smulch, with all three interested in pursuing the ASPIRE Internship, a summer internship exclusive to Student Soybean Innovation Competition winners, that would propel the soy-based project forward.
Earning second place this year was Team “Brilliant Bean,” which developed a soy-based ink for markers for dry-erase boards. The team consisted of Rob Bastain, a freshman in the College of Engineering; Sarah Juffer, a freshman in the College of Agriculture; Charles Sebright, a freshman in the College of Agriculture; and Josh Stephenson, a freshman in the College of Agriculture.
Earning third place this year was Team “Silm,” which created a 100 percent biodegradable agricultural mulch film. The team was comprised of three seniors in the College of Engineering: Loan Cao, Young Choi and Sophie Kwon.
This contest also provides a People’s Choice award of $500, determined by votes of attendees at the awards ceremony. Team Drip Drop won the award for making a soy-based coffee filter. Team Drip Drop includes: Riley Garrison, a freshman studying finance; Nikki Rytczak, a sophomore majoring in multidisciplinary engineering; Hari Thirumalai, a sophomore agronomy student; and Miriam Walker, a sophomore studying biological engineering.
Three simple ingredients along with a casting mold that created a substitute for mulch and rubber playground turf took the $20K grand prize in the 28th annual Student Soybean Innovation Competition sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance.Read Full Story >>>
Purdue Receives Over $2.8 Million In USDA/NIFA Funding for National AgrAbility, Indiana AgrAbility Projects
Agricultural and Biological Engineering’s AgrAbility Program has received $2,124,000 in funding for their National AgrAbility Project as well as $720,000 for the Indiana AgrAbility Project from the United States Department of Agriculture and National Institute of Food and Agriculture.Read Full Story >>>
Purdue University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) Graduate Program has again ranked #1 in its category in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of Best Graduate Schools. The ABE graduate and undergraduate programs have consistently received top ranking over the last decade.Read Full Story >>>