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Student Innovator of the Year: Jacob Mendlovic

The 2016 Student Innovator of the Year is Jacob Mendlovic, a recent Ohio State honors graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in nuclear engineering. He is passionate about using innovative engineering solutions to solve real-world problems.

Mendlovic is the primary inventor of a patent-pending technology that does electrochemical imaging of below ground biomasses and fuel. He developed a microscale platinum wire probe that uses intrinsic electrochemical properties to create images of subsurface biomass structures.

The probe could provide farmers with information about soil conditions that would help them select crops resistant to drought and make adjustments to planting and irrigation techniques. National Park monitors could use the probe to analyze tree and biomass health, helping to mitigate wild fires. The Office of Energy and Environment sees potential for this technology to identify trace chemicals from fracking applications in water.

Spurred by the success of leading a student group to develop cost-cutting methods for small-scale coffee farmers in Honduras, Mendlovic founded “Students for a Sustainable Honduras.” This club brings together teams of undergraduate students to share ideas and expand the impact of student projects across the country. Following graduation, he aided in the creation of a framework for universal metrics in the energy-water-food-social nexus, allowing for a better understanding of the interactions of these resources with the ever-increasing population.

Learn more about Ohio State Research and Innovation on the Office of Research website.