Ann and Dave Braun Student Inventor Award

Braun award recipients

2019 award recipients
Nandini Sarkar, left, and Joydeep Mitra, right
Background and purpose

Through a fund provided by Dave and Ann Braun, the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering is able to provide an award in the amount of $5,000 for promising student inventors in the college. The primary goal is to reward inventions that have a chance to be successful in the marketplace. For the purpose of this award, an invention is a new technology, product or process developed by the student(s) that is unique, useful and solves a real-world problem.


The recipient(s) of the award will be undergraduate or graduate student(s) in good academic standing at the university, majoring in any program within the college and enrolled full time. The award is open to individual students, or small teams of undergraduate and graduate students who have inventions in key areas of health, energy, infrastructure and information technology. Members of a team may be enrolled in any college as long as at least one team member is enrolled in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. The applicant(s) must have a tested and working prototype of an invention to be eligible for the competition. The prototype should work as designed beyond proof-of-concept models.

Application process

The call for applications will be announced during the fall semester and applications for the award will be collected in the spring of each year. The selection process will be completed before the end of the spring semester. Materials listed below should be submitted in PDF format to by April 10, 2020.

  1. Title of invention and name(s) of inventor(s)
  2. Invention description in non-technical terms; description is limited to three pages and should address the following items:
    • Definition of the problem or need the invention is trying to solve, and explanation of how the invention offers solutions.
    • What makes the invention novel compared with the current state of the art?
    • What makes the invention useful?
    • How does the invention improve upon prior technology or processes?
    • Description of potential commercialization or adoption.
    • If the invention is developed by a team, specify roles and responsibilities of each team member in regard to the invention.
  3. Letter of recommendation from the faculty adviser, department head or research scientist who is familiar with the work; letter is limited to two pages and must include the following:
    • Description of the significance of the invention.
    • Student’s role in developing the invention.
    • State-of-the-art status in the area of the invention.
    • Description of potential implications of student’s/students’ work.

The applicant(s) should also participate in the Engineering Undergraduate Creative Inquiry Showcase held in April each year. The event highlights research and scholarly activities conducted by undergraduate students from K-State engineering.


The associate dean for research will form an awards committee consisting of K-State faculty, staff, and/or graduate students. The committee will review the applications, including application materials and poster presentation, and provide a recommendation to the associate dean. The associate dean reserves the right not to present an award if there is no quality/deserving applicant.