Game-Changing Technology; Real-World Experience




   Story by Schaefer School of Engineering & Science

May 4, 2011

Meagan Ritter Presents CADeyesCADeyes, a new technology developed at Stevens Institute of Technology is capable of creating 2 and 3-dimensional maps of buildings with ease at a low cost. Now, Business and Technology students at Stevens are mapping their own futures, using the experience they gained with a start-up company developed right at the school.

The team was on the marketing end of the project, putting their Business and Technology degrees to use by researching the competition, translating scientific jargon into layman's terms, and working to sell a highly technical product that they were able to understand and operate.

The team, comprised of Brittany Conroy, Mia Edwards, Christopher Patella, and Meagan Ritter worked on the business end of a highly technical project. The projects advisors were Stevens Vice President of Enterprise Development and Licensing Malcolm Kahn, and distinguished Service Professor Bernard Skown, the Senior Design Project Coordinator.

Created through Stevens Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development (SEED) program, CADeyes offers an engineering drawing service that converts scans into 2D and 3D drawings as well as fly-through simulations for engineers, architects, and real estate companies. The mobile mapping system is able to scan and produce dimensionally accurate drawings of a 10-acre building site in less than one hour through a combination of LIDAR and advanced High-Definition cameras.

"The product is remarkable," Meagan says. "It is a game-changing technology that will have a huge impact on how construction, 3D modeling, and mapping are done. This is going to be an industry standard because of the high quality, low cost, and the possibilities it presents." Besides modeling for construction and mapping, the military could scan buildings to assess danger, or contractors and inspectors analyze buildings for fire resistance for other safety factory.

The team would be comfortable pitching the product to any of these potential buyers, Meagan says. "We are able to translate technical terms into terms for investors, who can really help bring an idea to market."

"Our senior design students get an invaluable learning experience by taking the academic theories they learn in the classroom and transposing them to the 'real world' business challenge," Professor Skown says. "When students go out into the business world, they often find themselves immersed in situations where they will be working with many co-workers from different parts of the company and with different disciplines. These workers may not have the same skill background such as our business students, nor see things in the same light as a business person would. By giving our business students an opportunity to work along with engineering on a technical business problem such as developing a marketing business strategy, this experience then becomes priceless for our students."

Meagan says that students truly receive a strong education in both fields. "I came to Stevens because of the advantages it offers with a specific Business and Technology program. The technology background makes us highly sought after candidates in the real world. Corporations know that we can perform well in a technical business environment."

In fact, three of the four group members had job offers before the spring semester, at highly competitive salaries. Their experience with the project, and particularly with Malcolm Kahn, gave them an edge as they sought work. "Even as students, he has such faith in us," Meagan says. She was even given the opportunity to sit in on a board meeting with the CEO of a company with interest in CADeyes and talk with potential investors. "What we did in this project helped us in job interviews, which helped us to get jobs."

Mia says that in today's high-tech world, people who can interface between business and technology are needed for businesses of all sorts. "Friends of mine in this program serve in technical roles, from life insurance to finance. Even though those are not technology companies per se, they need people that can explain and use the technology."

"What I really learned at Stevens was how to be the liaison between technology, business, and engineering," Meagan adds. "There is a real advantage to being able to understand engineering and put it into a business perspective."


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