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Lemelson prize seeks student applicants

The Lemelson-MIT Program invites MIT students to apply for the annual $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventiveness before the Jan. 10 deadline. All currently enrolled MIT seniors and graduate students are eligible, regardless of major or area of study.

Past Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners have garnered national media coverage from CNN, MSNBC, the Associated Press, The Boston Globe and others. Last year's winner, Andrew Heafitz, gained a contract with the U.S. Air Force after appearing on Tech TV as a result of winning the Lemelson prize, and is now further developing his aerial surveillance system for the Air Force.

"The publicity that I got from the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize has been a great catalyst in getting this new startup company into the air," said Heafitz, whose company markets a surveillance system consisting of a soda-can-sized rocket that transmits aerial reconnaissance footage to a ground computer, where the images are immediately displayed in a map-like format.

Interested students need to complete a one-page application and attach a description (500 words maximum) of their inventiveness while at MIT, two letters of recommendation and a resume. Supporting photos or diagrams may also be included in the application. Students can also request an application by contacting the Lemelson-MIT program officer, Michael McNally, at 253-3490 or

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Boston Museum of Science on Feb. 26.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 4, 2002.

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