When “Places of Invention,” the latest exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, opens at the National Museum of American History on July 1, Fort Collins will be one of six communities representing what can happen when the right mix of inventive people, resources and inspiring surroundings come together and spark invention and innovation.
Of the six people whose work is highlighted from Fort Collins, four are from CSU:
- Bryan Willson, founder of the Engines and Energy Conversion Lab and professor of engineering
- Amy Prieto, creator of new battery technology to revolutionize electric vehicles and professor of Chemistry at CSU
- Sunil Cherian, founder and CEO of Spirae, developing smart grid technology that is helping the City of Fort Collins develop the net-zero energy zone known as Fort ZED
- Ed VanDyne, creator of VanDyne SuperTurbo, who began testing his breakthrough engine technology in the Energy Conversion Lab
By tackling environmental problems and creating clean, sustainable alternatives to existing energy sources, Colorado State University, the city and community businesses are actively pursuing collaborations that result in local innovations with global impact. At Prieto Battery, new materials and electroplating methods are eliminating toxic substances from rechargeable batteries and decreasing charging time and production costs. New super turbochargers that promise to dramatically increase efficiency and reduce emissions in vehicle engines are being tested at VanDyne SuperTurbo. Researchers at Spirae, Inc. are inventing “smart grid” technology that integrates renewable and distributed energy sources and produces a more reliable electricity supply.
Located in Washington, D.C., the exhibit will allow visitors to discover, explore and discuss the stories of people who lived, worked, played, collaborated, adapted, took risks, solved problems, and sometimes failed — all in the pursuit of something new.