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School of Engineering

Tufts student wins at Makeathon

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Susan Soe, E19, was on the winning team at the recent Ruderman Inclusion Summit Makeathon, creating solutions for everyday issues faced by people with disabilities.
An image of the Science & Engineering Complex at Tufts University.

Together with her team, Engineering Psychology student Susan Soe, E19, won the recent Ruderman Inclusion Summit Makeathon in Boston. The event, put on by the Ruderman Family Foundation and Northeastern University, challenged teams to design solutions to everyday issues faced by people with disabilities. The Makeathon organizers paired each team with a need-knower (a person with a deep understanding of a need or challenge to develop solutions for everyday challenges facing people with disabilities), and the teams comprised participants from different age groups and locations across the country.

Soe’s team created the Hippo Zipper in response to their challenge: to make the process of zipping a jacket easier for a person who can only use one hand or who has one hand. The team’s need-knower client uses only her right arm due to a stroke. The team’s winning product was the Hippo Zipper, a z-shaped clip that attaches to clothing for easy manipulation with one hand. Using a 3D printer, the team designed and printed the clip, and also created a website, logo, and product name for the zipper.

The Makeathon is held during the Ruderman Inclusion Summit, a meeting of 1,000 attendees working to advance full inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of life.