An MSE team consisting of Mya Griesbaum, Pratyusha Akavaram, and Irene Dumitriu, received 2nd place for Best Overall Idea to Prototype (I2P) Project and automatic admission to the semifinals of the InVenture Prize competition at the Fall 2022 Idea to Prototype Showcase in December. In an effort to combat the global climate crisis, caused and catalyzed by human-made pollution, the team’s objective was to create a sustainable mycelium-based textile that mimics the valuable qualities of leather while overcoming the challenges with processing and disposal of leather products. They proposed a simplified mycelium leather that still maintains the same standard of properties of natural leather that will be comparatively cost-effective with scope for mass manufacturing, and features a natural sealant that renders their leather 100% biodegradable. Griesbaum, Akavaram, and Dumitriu were advised by Professor Sundaresan Jayaraman, Associate Professor Mark Losego, and Principle Research Scientist Sungmee Park.
The Idea to Prototype allows student inventors to present functional prototypes with application to real-world problems. The showcase is the culmination of the I2P course, where Georgia Tech students spend a semester turning their invention idea into a working product. Students earn research credit for the course, in addition to receiving financial support and faculty mentorship.