Capping off the year with Tandon’s Convergence of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute

student choice winners holding certificates posing with faculty

Team Aquall-E won the Student’s Choice Award at the 2023 CIE Capstone Competition

The Sixth annual Capstone Competition and Showcase sponsored by the Convergence of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Institute featured work by both undergraduate and master’s students. (So-called in reference to the architectural feature of the same name, capstone projects are a significant marker of students’ educational journey at NYU Tandon.) Often these multidisciplinary projects bring together students from various degree programs to work in teams with partnering faculty to brainstorm, design, and build innovative solutions that tackle real-world challenges.

This year featured an unprecedented 34 teams that took over the MakerSpace to present their prototypes and design thought process to an eager crowd of more than 250 fellow students, faculty, and guests. Visitors were invited to vote on their favorite projects for the Students’ Choice Award, and six semi-finalist teams were selected by the capstone committee to present a 10-minute pitch to a panel of judges with relevant industry expertise. (Organizers acknowledged the members of Violet Diabolo and the Makerspace teaching team, who were instrumental in mounting the event.)


This year’s semi-finalist lineup included:

Gamifying Physical Rehabilitation

Jiyun Yao

A system to gamify physical rehabilitation/exercise by using motion capture to map the actions in the game on any different platform (on PC/Switch). It is intended to motivate college students to maintain their interests and motivations throughout the long recovery process. 


Recircle: Smart Segregator

Manan Malpan, Rishabh Sivarajan, Kelvin Maliyakal, Geeta Chandra Raju Bethala, Harshit Sinha, Tanishq Bhansali

A smart trash-sorting bin for domestic use that can segregate waste into 3-4 primary categories. It features an automatic lock for outdoor use, a self-sealing mechanism that would automatically seal your bag when it is full, and a fan to suck and replace the full back with a new one.


Assistive Tech Reading Device

Mahmoud Abutaqiya

A mouse-shaped device with a braille actuator and multiple sensors for motion tracking and localization of users fingers. Users start by defining a "virtual" paper size  by moving the device horizontally and vertically. After the virtual braille paper size is set, their motion will be tracked. Based on the current location, the device uses a refreshable braille display to display a braille character on that position as in a real braille paper. As users move to a different location, the device will change the braille character accordingly allowing the ability to read infinite braille information using one actuator instead of multiple ones.


Contributor 401(k)

Camilo Bello Vallejo, Yifan Xing, York Yuan, Jiayue Li, Zhilin Wang

There is a growing retirement gap in the U.S. with many individuals financially unprepared for retirement. This coupled with the seismic shift to a freelance economy led to the development of Contributor 401(k): a retirement product for freelance workers. 


Terrestrial Adornments

Pamela Buscema, Sarah Koh, Gian Morris-Perez

A sustainable outfit utilizing 3D-printed biofilament as well as biomaterials.


PetCal Pet Fitness Tracker

Ha Nguyen, Anika Tabassum, Nana Ama Asamoah-Adjei

A fitness and GPS tracker based on LoRa technolgy. It aims to deliver a low cost, reliable solution to pet fitness, and the Diet feature which is rolling out makes it an all-in-one product for day-to-day pet health.


This year’s judging panel included:

Dr. Frank Vallese, Director of Strategic Partnerships, NYU Tandon

Julian Boxenbaum, Co-Founder & Executive Producer, LucidNYC

Darren Yee, Venture Associate, NYU Innovation Venture Fund

Andrew Silverman, Founder, Ace Angel Ventures LLC


Winning teams:

Highest Entrepreneurial Potential Award:  PetCal Pet Fitness Tracker

PetCal Pet Fitness Tracker


Greatest Social Impact Award:  Gamifying Physical Rehabilitation

Team Gamifying Physical Rehabilitation


Best Technical Design Award: Team Assistive Tech Reading Device

Team Assistive Tech Reading Device


Student’s Choice Award: Team Aquall-E 

Team Aquall-E

by Ph.D. student Jonathan Sun. Photos courtesy of recent alum Neal Paresh Patel.