The victorious Trojan team is comprised of USC Viterbi undergraduates Tiara Kaye, Dina Levashova, Kayla Tennyson, Viktoria Norekyan and Sydney Forsyth. (Image: Courtesy of Dina Levashova)
“Winning the makeathon was an exhilarating experience!” said biomedical engineering junior Viktoria Norekyan. “MEDesign is a brand new student organization and this was our first competition, so our victory was that much sweeter.”
The victorious Trojan team is comprised of USC Viterbi undergraduates Tiara Kaye, Dina Levashova, Kayla Tennyson, Viktoria Norekyan and Sydney Forsyth.
This year’s make-a-thon prompt was to design and prototype a modular eyeglasses frame for the developing world, taking into account different variables such as cost, weight, size and ability to accommodate to different lenses and face shapes. Teams had 48 hours.
“We went into the competition with no preparation or background on what we were going to do,” said Tennyson, a biomedical engineering sophomore. “We were really learning on the fly, so the biggest challenge was definitely battling exhaustion.”
The winning USC team’s design consisted of a mix of elastic and metallic materials that provided the eyeglasses with the ability to bend and re-bend to different face sizes. While the elastic component stretched and compressed to hold the lenses in place, the metallic part gave consistency to the nose bridge.
“The most impressive part of the design, according to the judges, was the fact that the entire frame was printed flat and then bent to the desired size,” said Levashova, a biomedical engineering junior. “Also, we did not use any screws or complicated mechanisms.”
The team is part of the MED design student organization, which aims to give undergraduates the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in designing, modeling and prototyping medical devices.
The organization looks to take on more independent medical device projects and enter other medical device design competitions. After a collective and exhaustive team effort, the victorious Trojans look forward to embracing new challenges.
“Winning the makeathon, after traveling for six hours, starting a day later than everyone else, and running on minimal sleep was very rewarding,” Levashova said.
Added her teammate Tennyson: “It was definitely challenging, but I am really grateful for such resilient and dedicated teammates.”