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The Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize

Stephen Ricci, member of the Engineering Board of Advisors

Steve Ricci has over 30 years of experience in the venture capital industry and has been directly involved in the financing of over 125 companies. He is a past president of the New England Venture Capital Association, and was a founding advisor to Gilde Ventures, a major European venture capital firm. During the past two decades, Steve has developed an extraordinarily deep and broad understanding of the businesses and business models in the information and communications technology sector. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors and the Curriculum Development Committee of Tufts School of Engineering. Steve has a mechanical engineering degree from Tufts University (E67) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Read more about the projects from the 2012, 2013, and 2014 winners.

[For additional information about the Ricci Prize, please e-mail Associate Professor Thomas James.]

Electrical engineering undergraduates Alex Henry, E14, EG15, and Nana Kwasi Kwakwa, E14, and doctoral computer science students Tomoki Shibata, Dan Afergan, and Sam Hincks won the 2014 Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize for their project to create a wireless device to monitor blood oxygen concentration in neural tissue to aid in developing an adaptive information delivery system to respond to user cognitive workload.

Description: The Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize is awarded annually to student teams that best demonstrate interdisciplinary engineering design and entrepreneurial spirit. The purpose of the prize is to promote the advancement of research at Tufts through projects that assist in translation of research discoveries from the laboratory to applications that benefit society. To win the prize, you must demonstrate the commercial potential of the technology.

Prize: A first place prize of $7,500 will be awarded each May. The award will be split evenly among the student team members.

Team Requirements: The team may consist of a minimum of two to a maximum of five members. At least two of the team members must be pursuing degrees in Tufts University School of Engineering. Team members may also be drawn from students at other Tufts schools, but engineering students must constitute at least half of the team. All students must be actively registered and taking courses at Tufts University in either graduate or undergraduate degree programs.

Team members can seek advice and assistance from non-team members, but the preponderance of the engineering design and the fulfillment of deliverables, such as design calculations, posters, prototypes, videos, reports, etc. must be completed by the team members.

Project Criteria: The project must demonstrate the advantages of interdisciplinary research and design in the practice of engineering. The design project objective can be to develop a system, process, or product, as long as the final prototype demonstrates commercial potential. All projects must have a faculty sponsor within the School of Engineering.

Application: Teams must be nominated for the prize by a faculty member in the School of Engineering. Students are responsible for obtaining the required signatures and submission of the nomination form, which includes a brief project description.
Download the application.

Deliverables: Students must submit a project report and video presentation. The Tisch Digital Design Studio offers services in video design and production and has two members on staff to help with video production. Details pertaining to the format of the report and presentation can be found here:
Download the report guidelines.
Download the video guidelines.

Important Due Dates:

  • Application Form: February 14, 2014
  • Grant Request Form: February 14, 2014
  • Final Report and Video Presentation: April 14, 2014

Grant for Prototype Development: There are a limited number of grants available to assist teams in the process of demonstrating the commercial viability of their project. The maximum grant award $500.
Download the grant request form.

Judging and Intellectual Property: Projects will be judged by a panel, consisting of Tufts faculty members and outside representatives, which may include venture capitalists and leaders of technology firms. All work product generated by students will be treated as confidential and will not constitute a public disclosure. Intellectual property will be managed according to the practices and policies of Tufts Office for Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration, http://techtransfer.tufts.edu/.