Sixty-three Aggies from across the Texas A&M University campus competed in the fourth annual Aggies Invent: VetMed competition hosted by the Colleges of Engineering and Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS).
Aggies Invent: VetMed is a 48-hour intensive design experience during which students in multidisciplinary teams work to create technological strategies and solutions to improve veterinary patient outcomes.
The event, sponsored by the pharmaceutical and animal health company Boehringer-Ingelheim, was held virtually on Jan. 22-24 via Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
The 63 participants included veterinary students, pre-veterinary students, engineering and business majors, and other students from across campus. In addition, five students from other universities—Boston University, Colorado State University, Tulane University, and Sylhet Agricultural University in Bangladesh—participated in this year’s event.
“Aggies Invent is a great event for students from different backgrounds and areas of expertise to come together and develop solutions for real-world problems,” said Jeremy Kenny, the CVMBS’ Veterinary Innovation & Entrepreneurship program manager. “It provides opportunities for veterinary students to interact and learn how to work with engineers, business majors, and students from other non-science or medical backgrounds, which is great practice for the real world after veterinary school.”
First place went to the PawCheck team, comprising biomedical sciences majors Sindi Flores and Connor White and biomedical sciences graduate student Geetenjali Vashist. They created a keyboard extension app to bypass the common problem of a phone’s autocorrect system changing medical and veterinary terms, which can cause confusion and even life-threatening situations.
Second place went to the Furry Feeder team, including second-year veterinary student Sarah Jacobson. Their integrated automatic feeder and mobile app system is designed to help cat owners stay motivated during the process of lowering their pet’s weight.
“I had previously participated in a veterinary medicine Aggies Invent as an engineering undergraduate and I remember the knowledge provided by veterinary students participating was indispensable,” Jacobson said. “Now, being a veterinary student, I was excited to contribute the knowledge I’ve attained so far.
“I also can find events like this a bit intimidating and it was a great way to stretch myself and gain confidence in teamwork and public speaking,” she said. “I loved getting to see how differently people thought and what they had to bring to the table. Aggies Invent is an environment where that’s welcomed and encouraged.”
Third place went to the Cattle Keeper team, which included biomedical sciences major Charles Lee and second-year veterinary student Emily Kingston. They designed a durable and reusable ear tag that measures a cow’s vital signs and allows producers and veterinarians to monitor a herd’s health.
All of the teams’ presentations can be viewed on the Aggies Invent YouTube channel.
The judging team included CVMBS dean Dr. John August, who also gave an opening speech for the event, and clinical assistant professor Dr. Leslie Easterwood, who served as a mentor for the participating students.
“It was an amazing experience,” Easterwood said. “Seeing the groups come together to solve a problem in 48 hours was incredible to watch. Most of the participants met on Friday evening for the first time! The problem solving skills of these students were humbling to see in action.”
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of CVMBS Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; email@example.com; 979-862-4216