TWU's all-female team win big at Texas Space Grant Consortium Design Challenge Showcase

Exhibition of medical dental technologies
Exhibition of medical dental technologies Photo credit Getty Images

Big shout out to five women from Texas Woman's University, who recently took home several awards from the Texas Space Grant Consortium Design Challenge Showcase!

The team, which was named named The Oneiroi, was the only all-female team competing and won best overall team, along with best poster, best peer review, and best video!

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The team, Natalie Wilkinson (team leader, Cypress), Melanie Meek (research lead, Allen), Andrea Martinez (design lead, Dallas), Casey Rice (design/research, Waco), and Andrea Kim (design/research, Flower Mound), whom are all December 2021 graduates, tackled the problem of circadian desynchronization, which is the disruption of the sleep/wake cycle in astronauts.

They constructed an individualized and wearable light therapy treatment device that effectively recalibrates the sleep/wake cycle of astronauts, which is often interrupted due to "improper lighting conditions caused by a change from the normal 24-hour light/dark cycle seen in the Earth’s atmosphere."

The Oneiroi's device allows the wearer to "go about daily tasks comfortably with added cushioned support while receiving therapy, but also allows for greater power conservation aboard the ISS," according to a press release from TWU.

Rhett Rigby, PhD, associate professor and faculty advisor, said of the five seniors, "The amount of knowledge required to be gained in order to complete this project was quite a bit. Advanced concepts of physiology, engineering, physics and computer science were applied by each group member at various times this semester. The end product is very impressive, and I was honored and privileged to help mentor this group throughout the process of idea generation to product testing."

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