A team of students from Philadelphia University recently came out on top in a battle to build the best chemical-biological suits for military personnel and win $55,000.
The U.S. Defense Department's "Proof Challenge" asked contestants to come up with ways to improve the mobility, tactility and dexterity of the suits so that American troops could complete tasks quicker and more comfortably.
“After looking into the current design and interviewing a
group of Navy SEALs about their past experiences with the suit, we outlined
major aspects to improve,” Shana Kaplan, a junior at the university, said. “Our final suit is a synthesis of
original apparel design and integration of new technologies, with a focus on
comfort and functionality.”
Kaplan’s teammates included Madeline Haas and Nicole Raab,
both of whom graduated in 2016 and are now iMBA students; fashion design seniors
Jessica Roberts and Itohan Asemota; and textile materials technology junior
Angela Villanueva. Their winning design focused on mechanisms joining the suit’s arms, legs
and hood to its gloves, boots and mask.
“The thinking, attention to detail and fresh ideas were
astounding, exceeding what we expected,” said "Proof Challenge" product manager
LeRoy Garey. “This type of public collaboration is something we look forward to
tapping into in the future – joining forces with the Americans we serve to help
protect this country and our warfighters.”
A second team from the university took second place in the contest.
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