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Northwestern University

Class of 2017: EDI Thesis Projects

Each graduating student from the Engineering Design Innovation program completed a thesis project with support from faculty and industry mentors. The thesis projects spanned multiple fields of design including product, interaction, service, strategy, and user experience. The Class of 2017 presented their thesis projects during an exhibition fair on December 8, 2017. Learn more about each student’s final thesis project below.


Nicholas PhillipsNicholas Daniel Phillips - Encore

Encore is a product enabled platform to help discover and support local street musicians with professional pursuits. Street musicians are an important yet underrepresented piece of local music culture. Encore helps to bridge the gap between their digital and physical presence and allows artists to develop fan base and foster a community around live performances on the streets. The streets are just one stage artists perform on and should not be neglected.




Hua ChinHua Chin - Knome

Knome is a systematic solution which motivates young children to practice piano at home, and also enhances the overall learning experience for parents and teachers. The smart metronome reminds kids to practice and tracks the practice time. Parents and music teachers can access the data and understand the learning progress.





Carlos ArmadaCarlos Armada - Relay

Biking and using your phone at the same time is dangerous. Unfortunately, this is a required occupational hazard for bike couriers. Relay is a Bluetooth accessory that allows bike couriers to control all of their delivery apps without having to pull out their phone. It increases delivery efficiency and courier safety.





Erica IsaacsErica Isaacs - Qi

Qi is a workout experience that helps users develop better kinesthetic awareness so that they feel empowered and confident when working towards their health goals. Qi helps beginners move from a “looks right” mentality when performing new exercises, to “feels right” through the use of tactile feedback. Users learn what their body feels like when doing certain exercises with the goal of having those movements become second nature.




Sanjana SrinivasaSanjana Srinivasan - Burdy

Golf is considered to be a dying sport, with fewer millennials pursuing it on a regular basis due to the high costs associated with learning it. The trade-off between the cost and interest in the sport deters future potential golfers from taking up golf. My solution is a service that connects aspiring golfers with avid ones. This solution lowers the barriers to entry of the sport by giving them guidance on the fairway at little to no cost.




Katrina ShahKatrina Shah - Inspezzo

Over 3,500 ER visits per year are the result of button battery ingestions in children. These ingestions can be fatal if undetected within a 2-hour window. The current evaluation and treatment process is subjective, complex, and time-consuming and leads to life-threatening outcomes. Inspezzo facilitates faster treatment, instills confidence in health providers, and reassures parents throughout this stressful journey.




Sheila LoSheila Lo - Pulse

Learning how to do proper CPR is hard. Pulse is an add-on device for CPR mannequins that aims to improve the classroom learning experience through actionable individualized feedback for students. It consists of a chest compression depth sensor and lights to provide feedback that reinforces proper technique.





Angie MercurioAngie Mercurio - BearRing

This ring appears to be a fashionable accessory but is actually an electromechanical device that can be used to contact the police. During activation, the ring communicates with an app on the user’s phone, which then contacts dispatchers and lets them know of the user’s situation and location.





Julia SavichJulia Savich - Paladin

Wheelchairs are damaged every day during transport in airplanes because baggage handlers do not always have time to think about how to safely interact with them. Furthermore, wheelchairs are users’ "bodies," and a damaged chair can negatively impact not only their flying experience but also their lives beyond the airport. Paladin attaches to, and travels with, wheelchairs to help keep them safe when they are loaded and unloaded from cargo holds.




Alexander MittsAlexander Mitts - Olfi 

Olfi is a game to begin the hard work of drawing attention to the subjectivity with which each of us views the world. Smell is perhaps the most personal and the most ignored sense. By creating a game focused on partnered communication about smell, I hope to shed light on our unacknowledged beliefs and biases. Through this social and collaborative format, I hope to afford space in which to reexamine how each of us understands the world, in the context of our peers.




Saurabh RaneSaurabh Rane - atmos

Current cold brew coffee methods typically take 12-24 hours. Through vacuum brewing technology, atmos provides a simple method to make fresh cold brew in less than 30 minutes so you can finally enjoy cold brew on demand.






Aarushi KarimpanalAarushi Karimpanal - tEQ

Integration of technology with music has led to the development of Digital Audio Workstations (DAW’s), which have greatly influenced how artists dream and bring their work to life. Tangible EQ (tEQ) is a physical product that enables visually-impaired musicians to interact with these DAW’s to control and adjust the equalization curve.





Sally ParkSally Park - Mon Ami

Mon Ami makeup mirror is an app run through an iPad or a phone to help young girls buy and apply makeup. By using facial recognition and augmented reality, it provides a friendly step-by-step explanation of how to use each product. It also makes personalized recommendations based on clothing and daily skin conditions. Mon Ami allows girls to confidently try new makeup products and techniques.




Avery BellisAvery Bellis - Dilly Dally

Dilly Dally addresses the frustrating home chore of taking out the trash.  Home trash management has gone largely unchanged for decades with only incremental innovations.  The current system is highly demanding of physical strength and mobility.  Dilly Dally minimizes the physical demands of taking out the trash. 





Phoebe SextonPhoebe Sexton - Cyclone

Current kitchen sink strainers are frustrating to use—they strain water slowly, clog up easily, and drip water along the floor. Many consumers end up storing them on the side of their sink in defeat. Cyclone is a re-imagined strainer/stopper system that offers a more intuitive, functional, and stylish solution for protecting one’s drain. The interlocking system helps the consumer switch from a strainer to a stopper more easily and effectively, making the overall dishwashing process more intuitive and less frustrating.



Sergio MarquinaSergio Marquina - Note

One of the beautiful things about music is its ability to unite us. To bring individuals, cultures, and nations together. In the last few decades, however, music has become increasingly individualized. Note enhances the way we connect and share music with others by bringing tangibility back to the medium.





Rahul ChandrawanshiRahul Chandrawanshi - Rep 

Amateur gym-goers often lose their motivation to go to the gym due to lack of guidance and accountability. Rep is a smart gym glove that not only guides users during a workout but also challenges them to compete with friends or with themselves. This improves the workout experience and keeps users motivated and accountable to workout.


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