Three Yale Engineers Selected as 2015 CT Women of Innovation

The Connecticut Technology Council has named three SEAS engineers — Kyle Vanderlick, Ellen Su, and Monika Weber — as honorees in the 2015 Women of Innovation awards program. Open to Connecticut women in eight innovation categories, the program recognizes inventors, role models, and community leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Kyle Vanderlick, Dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science and Thomas E. Golden, Jr. Professor of Engineering, has been selected as an honoree in the Academic Innovation and Leadership category. Vanderlick’s research uses the molecular components of what she calls the “erector set” of biochemistry — including lipids, proteins, DNA, and diblock polymers — to create new membrane-based structures and superstructures that provide insights into the membrane properties that regulate receptor/ligand binding and that can be used for targeted drug delivery. In her work as SEAS Dean, she has overseen the creation of the Center for Engineering Innovation & Design (CEID) and spearheaded many other initiates to promote a culture of engineering at Yale.

Ellen Su ’13, founder and chief creative officer of Wellinks, has been selected as an honoree in the Entrepreneurial Innovation and Leadership category. After co-founding Yale’s chapter of Design for America while completing her undergraduate degree and then working as a design fellow in the CEID, Su became the design lead for Wellinks (then known as 109 Design) with her co-creators Levi DeLuke ’14 and Sebastian Monzon ’14; their device, a wearable health technology to improve clinical outcomes for the treatment of scoliosis, has been supported throughout its development by a CEID summer fellowship and $100,000 in seed funds from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute’s Innovation Fund.

Monika Weber, electrical engineering doctoral student and founder/co-inventor of Fluid-Screen, has been selected as an honoree in the Collegian Innovation and Leadership category. Weber’s invention is a disposable electronic and microfluidic device that can detect bacteria in liquids like blood or water in less than 30 minutes. With additional preparation from her participation in the School of Engineering’s Advanced Graduate Leadership Program — a competitive program that provides doctoral students with experiences and training beyond the research lab — the Fluid-Screen technology has received multiple accolades, including winning the 2011 Create the Future design contest, Yale's 2014 Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize, and the 2014 Yale Venture Challenge, as well as being named a Gold Winner in the 2014 MassChallenge Awards.

The Women of Innovation honorees will be recognized and a winner in each of eight award categories will be announced during the awards presentation program on April 1. Nominated by their peers, honorees were selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. The Connecticut Technology Council is a statewide association of technology oriented companies and institutions, providing leadership in areas of policy advocacy, community building and assistance for growing companies.