Lonnie C. Poole Jr. College of Management at North Carolina State University

Fracking, Vaccines, Supply Chain Solutions are Poole College Showcase’s Graduate Division Winners

by Anna Rzewnicki, Poole College Communications

Thursday, Apr 26, 2012

Two Jenkins MBA high tech entrepreneurship (HiTEC) project teams and one Jenkins MBA supply chain project received the top three spots in the graduate division of the NC State Poole College of Management’s Fourth Annual Leadership and Innovation Showcase, held April 24, 2012.

The winning teams were selected from the 29 graduate level entries submitted in this year’s judging panels of industry and academic judges. Michael T. Constantino, the college’s Person of the Year for 2012, announced the winners at a brief ceremony in Nelson Hall attended by over 125 guests, students and faculty.

The HiTEC teams presented their projects along with other team presentations at The Entrepreneurship Collaborative’s HiTEC project presentations on April 25, at the McKimmon Center. The supply chain team is presenting its project at the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative meeting April 30 and May 1 at the Marriott City Center in downtown Raleigh.

Graduate Division | First Place team members: Vindhya Kunduru, Ryan Libert, Scott Moore and Guarav Shah.

This team used the TEC Algorithm, taught in the college’s Jenkins MBA program’s High Technology Entrepreneurship Commercialization class (MBA 577), to assess NC State patented platform technology that allows for the creation of vaccines against Salmonella, E.coli, and over 2,000 other species in the Enterobacter family. The team is launching a company, EnteroVax, based on this technology following completion of this course. Its first product is the Hassan Salmonella Vaccine for poultry. This course was taught by Dr. Steve Barr, professor and interim head of the Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and coordinated by Roger Debo, director of The Entrepreneurship Collaborative. This team shared a scholarship award of $1,250.

Graduate Division | Second Place team members: Scott Bolin, Ryan Chan, Mohammad Hassan, Ying Lui and Moataz Mussa.

This team applied the TEC Algorithm, taught in the college’s Jenkins MBA program’s High Technology Entrepreneurship Commercialization class (MBA 577), as it developed a business plan for their new company, Tethys Water Treatment System. The company is applying NC State patented technology to solve an environmental hazard resulting from the fracking process used to extract natural gas from shale. Each new well used during this extraction process requires four million gallons of fresh water and generates one to two million gallons of contaminated water that must be purified of its suspended solids, dissolved solids and chemicals – including high levels of salt – before being disposed of or reused.

No technology is currently available to remove the high salt content on site. As a result, the contaminated water must be removed from the site by truck to treatment facilities, which causes strain on roads and water treatment infrastructures. Using the NC State technology, Tethys has created a system that can keep up with desalinization process at the extraction site, using a mobile platform. It solves what is now a multibillion dollar problem, using a unique absorbent material made with patent-pending renewable, biodegradable raw materials.

This course was taught by Dr. Steve Barr, professor and interim head of the Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and coordinated by Roger Debo, director of The Entrepreneurship Collaborative. This team shared a scholarship award of $1,000.

Graduate Division | Third Place team members: Stephanie Dixon, Dave Prafka, Arun Subramanian, and Bryan Williams.

This team’s supply chain management project focused on reducing supply chain transportation costs for its sponsor company in the healthcare industry. The team quantified key supply chain costs, performed a detailed quantitative analysis and provided supply chain cost savings options. The students completed this project in Poole College’s Jenkins MBA Supply Chain Management Practicum Class led by Clyde Crider, co-director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative. This team shared a scholarship award of $750.

The Leadership and Innovation Showcase provides students in Poole College’s practicum and other project-based courses the opportunity to present their projects to a team of judges and compete for scholarship prizes. It also acknowledges the many companies who provide projects that the students work on throughout the semester, as well as the industry and other professional mentors who work with the project teams. This year, 40 teams participated, the largest number since the Showcase was established in 2008. BB&T sponsored the scholarship awards given to the winning teams.

“I congratulate all the students who participated in this year’s Showcase,” said Dr. Ira R. Weiss, dean of the Poole College of Management. “The judges and guests who reviewed their entries and talked with teams members told me that they were extremely impressed with the quality of the students’ work and their skill in articulating their projects.”

This year’s Showcase entries included projects ranging from supply chain security and sustainability, purchasing and logistics issues to finance and enterprise risk management. The student teams worked with companies in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biosciences, technology, rare earth minerals, dairy, energy, food service, real estate design, and higher education.

Four of the teams are seriously exploring options for turning their projects into new business ventures, including two of the winning teams, EnteroVax and Tethys.

“I look forward to seeing even more student teams from more disciplines in the college participate in our future Showcase events,” Weiss said.

“I also thank our judges – members of the Poole College Advisory Board, our Accounting Industry Advisory Council, alumni and other friends in the business community, and members of our faculty and leadership staff – for their important role in making this event possible,” Weiss said.

“Leadership and innovation are two key drivers of business and industry,” he added. “The Poole College of Management is committed to providing our students with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective leaders and innovators in today’s dynamic, global marketplace. This includes providing real world experiences that test and stretch our students’ knowledge and enable them to gain the skills and confidence they will need for the challenges ahead.

“One way that we do that is through a wide range of project-based or practicum courses, in which our students work hand-in-hand with company mentors to develop solutions for real world problems. On behalf of the college, I thank all the companies that provide these challenging learning experiences for our students – and mentor them through the process. You provide an invaluable contribution to the development of our next generation of innovators and leaders,” Weiss said.

Photo

Left: Undergraduate first place team; right, graduate first place team.

NC State College of Management Campus Box 8614, Raleigh, NC 27617