Holistic Alliances Whose Knowledge Will Offer Resources for Kickstarting Success (HAWK WORKS)

At Viterbo University HAWK WORKS, our community drives innovation. One of Viterbo’s strengths historically has been its innovation and flexibility to meet student and community needs. HAWK WORKS brings together students and faculty from disciplines across campus to:

  1. Identify areas in need of innovation, particularly in healthcare
  2. Design and construct solutions
  3. Elevate projects into commercialized products to broaden the impact and accessibility of innovations

HAWK WORKS projects will help to establish connections between areas of study that are physically and curricularly segregated on campus. In a world that grows increasingly specialized, students will strengthen communication and team work skills by working with individuals from diverse technical backgrounds. The project team will measure and provide quantitative and qualitative feedback on individual teamwork skills. Student teams will regularly develop short-term goals, participate in team reviews, and evaluate team members. HAWK WORKS projects live within the engineering Design Capstone course sequence with University Studies (UNST) courses running in parallel for non-engineering majors. The course sequence will culminate in a final student presentation in front of local engineers, nurse practitioners, and business professionals.

Our first projects (details below) are underway for the Fall 2021/Spring 2022 academic school year. Applications for the next academic year's project(s) will open in December.

Non-engineering students interested in potentially participating on an innovation team should submit an application below; select student applicants will also participate in a formal interview with HAWK WORKS faculty members.

 

Applications currently open. The link the submit an application is at the bottom of next year's project description.

 

2021/2022 Projects

Experiential Learning for Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurship in Healthcare

(ELeMEnt-Health)

Experiential Learning for Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurship in Healthcare (ELeMEnt-Health) brings together engineering, nursing and business students to improve trishaw design and reduce barriers to trishaw usage in healthcare facilities, including our community partner Bethany St. Joseph Corporation. Sub-teams working in the ELeMEnt-Health project will decide through research and discussion which aspect(s) to pursue. Some options for the ELeMEnt-Health project include:

  • Designing and constructing a trishaw with a particular customer or set of customers in mind
  • Designing and constructing attachments or modifications for existing trishaw devices
  • Designing and implementing a system to optimize trishaw use

 

Biology and Engineering Site Assessment of a Floodplain Ecosystem (BE-SAFE)

Biology and Engineering Site Assessment of a Floodplain Ecosystem (BE-SAFE) brings together biology and engineering students to investigate of historical use of and water quality in a floodplain land parcel for our community partner Mississippi Valley Conservancy (MVC). The sub-team on the BE-SAFE project will decide through research and discussion which aspect(s) to pursue. Some options for the BE-SAFE project include:

  • Investigation of historical use of Black River Bottoms, a parcel of land near French Island owned by MVC.
  • MVC expressed an interest in baseline data regarding water quality testing for phosphorous, nitrates, and heavy metals.  Comparisons could be made in the water quality in the areas with southern sedge meadow versus the floodplain forest versus the emergent aquatic wetlands.
  • Invertebrate sampling is a method for assessing water quality.
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination was detected on French island including areas adjacent to Black River Bottoms. Researchers at Princeton University identified wetland microbes that can breakdown these “forever chemicals”.
2022/2023 Project

Due to the success of the 2021-2022 projects, we are extending existing projects and postponing the RESULTS project.

Experiential Learning for Multidisciplinary

Entrepreneurship in Healthcare

(ELeMEnt-Health)

Experiential Learning for Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurship in Healthcare (ELeMEnt-Health) brings together engineering, nursing and business students to improve trishaw design and reduce barriers to trishaw usage in healthcare facilities, including our community partner Bethany St. Joseph Corporation. HAWK WORKS students will build upon the progress made during the 2021-2022 school year, which includes:

  • Development of a webpage application to connect volunteers with opportunities at nursing homes
  • Computer assisted design (CAD) drawing of a trishaw that is redesigned for use by a wider range of nursing home residents .