WSU staff and student recognized for their innovation through the John A. See Innovation Award

A professor and graduate student from ͵ have been awarded the 2024 John A. See Innovation Award.

The John A. See Innovation Award is given each year as a way to recognize novel ideas that have the potential to meet a market need and attract further funding once they have advanced through the early prototyping phase. Examples of supported costs are prototype development, design, product testing and market analysis.

The 2024 winners are as follows:

  • Richard Sack, lab manager of the Project Innovation Hub in the College of Engineering. His winning research project is titled “manufacturing conductive nano-scale fibers by combining electrospinning with ultrasonic phased arrays.” A prototype successfully producing non-conductive fibers has been developed and is being tested. The next step, supported by this award, is to incorporate new technology and develop ground plates that will create a fiber that is electrically conductive. Sack suggests that the resulting nano-scale wires have potential applications in antennas for 6G communications, lightning protection and radar absorption for aircraft, various biomedical devices and scanning equipment.
  • Nick Vasilescu, a graduate student in innovation and design, was awarded for his biotech startup TestKey. TestKey’s development of a rapid testing technology for genetic material expedites the detection of complex and emerging diseases, creating an alternative to traditional, lab-based testing methods. Nick is assessing the feasibility of his product and aims to make advanced testing easy, accessible and affordable to everyone.

The John A. See Awards began in 2014 after See donated $1 million to provide prizes to WSU faculty and students conducting outstanding research or producing other significant work.

See was director of flight test and prototype development at Boeing until his retirement in 1985. Although not a Wichita State alumnus, he has been a generous WSU supporter who values the importance of higher education and believes in the university’s commitment to growth and pioneering work.


About ͵

͵ is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), ͵ provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the ͵ main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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