Our Sophomore student Melinda Szegedi’s invention is already known in China, and right now she’s preparing to participate in the world championship of scientific competitions in the United States. It comes as no surprise why Melinda is motivated to reinvent the Milestone Innovation Society.
Melinda first applied to Milestone when she was an 8th grader and she’s currently finishing her Sophomore year. Last year she made a name for herself by developing an innovative regulatory temperature maintenance healthcare device known as the ‘E-strip.’, Melinda explains that the “thermoelectric device operates on the Peltier principle. It is not more difficult to understand how it functions than comprehending the operation of ordinary circuits. The device is able to substitute traditional thermotherapeutic methods, such as tepid sponging. None of the components of the device are considered innovative, however the ensemble application of the features is novel. Thermoelectric heat pumps had not previously been used for medical purposes, but the originality of my device is that the whole electronic system is supported by software which enables the patient to control the temperature of the strip. Moreover, all settings are saved in a computerized database”.
Coming up with the idea did not require a lot of preparation or serious planning; actually it was an accident that gave a kick-start to Melinda’s creativity. “My ankle is my muse. When I had a sprained ankle, it started to bother me that the sponge that I used for cooling my ligaments became warm pretty fast and it even irritated my skin. Therefore I wanted to find out whether there was any device that could control the temperature of the sponge with the help of electricity. It was a long and challenging procedure. Finally it turned out that such a ludicrous application of the Peltier principle had never officially come to anyone’s mind”.
Melinda introduced her invention first in Hungary, but soon she received the opportunity to showcase it abroad. She presented her work in the Chinese Adolescent Scientific Innovation competition where almost 100 students from 20 countries competed this year: “I entered the Hungarian Innovation Competition with my project and I came in second place in the two-round tournament. Afterwards, the Hungarian Innovation Society gave me the opportunity to represent Hungary in China on the CASTIC tournament. It was an incredible and far-reaching experience, it’s still hard to believe that I came back with a gold medal from China. The next competition will take place in the United States, where I travel with physicist Áron Molnár to take part in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair”.
In May, Melinda can achieve more success in the United States as our Junior student. In her upcoming Junior year she’s planning to continue her immersion in medicine with focusing more on neurology and biophysics. Additionally, she keeps on thinking about innovative projects and being active in Milestone’s student life: “I have a project in mind which is connected to the field of virtual reality, but at the moment I would like to bring the most out of my E-strip project, for instance, publishing the outcome of my research. A venture capital investment company is financing the development of the project, and there is a plan for producing and distributing an optimal strip. In my busy life, the Milestone Innovation Society (MIS) plays a significant role, which we reorganized this year with Boldizsár Fejes and with the mentoring of Attila Katona. I find it important that Milestoners always have to be informed about their opportunities, hence to let them know about innovation trainings and competitions in Hungary and abroad is of importance for our society. The society is still in its early stages, there’s so much to do and there are slip-ups as well, but our team is very motivated. We sense the enthusiasm and the need to step forward from the feedback we’ve gotten already”.