CDR team presents research to Sprint executives

Thu, 07/10/2014


Charles Linn
School of Architecture, Design & Planning

LAWRENCE — The sky is the limit in terms of using wireless technology in different applications, according to a team of 10 Center for Design Research students from the University of Kansas. They were invited in May by Sprint’s representatives to present new concepts for utilizing Sprint Velocity– a comprehensive end-to-end solution designed specifically for auto manufacturers– in new markets at Sprint Headquarters.

Students came up with diverse ideas, said Greg Thomas, CDR director and professor of design. Leveraging Sprint Velocity, concepts ranged from delivering blueprints of buildings to firefighters to improving safety for offshore drilling rig workers. Other ideas included enhancing the operations of a national chain of bagel stores and helping aid caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients.

“The opportunity to work with Sprint this past semester was a vital part in my career as a student at the University of Kansas,” said Emma Murano, a May graduate and a summer intern at Bayer HealthCare. “I had the opportunity to work on forward-thinking projects utilizing cutting-edge technology. The feedback from the members of the Sprint Velocity team let me know that my creative thinking is appreciated on a corporate level.”

Sprint senior management including CIO Peter Campbell; Brian Finnerty, director of Connected Vehicle Program; Jeff Uden, manager of Connected Vehicle Product; Amyn Nanjee, product manager; Nina Kim, global marketing manager for Sprint Velocity, and approximately 20 representatives involved in Sprint Velocity were present at the presentation.

“The students covered a tremendous amount of territory in terms of the interconnectivity of things, connected cars, wearables, all the same areas the company is interested in,” Campbell said. “I was impressed with the professionalism and capabilities of the students. In context, these are all ideas that are actionable.”

With Sprint Velocity, auto manufacturers can provide customized in-vehicle connected services, such as infotainment, navigation, mobile device, connections, security and emergency services.

After spending the spring semester learning about Sprint Velocity, students developed different applications to expand the potentials of this cutting-edge technology beyond the automotive context.

The industry relationship with Sprint was initiated last fall when Thomas engaged Sprint representatives in discussions about incorporating Sprint Velocity technology into a different project – the wireless doctor’s office on wheels called the WellCar.

One of the valuable aspects of the CDR’s industry relationships is the extensive involvement of company representatives in each sponsored project, and the Sprint Velocity project was no exception.

Thomas worked with Uden to create this educational opportunity for his Advanced Topics in Design class, Design 560. Throughout the project, Nanjee held frequent conference calls with the class and often traveled to Lawrence to meet with them.

“It has truly been a rewarding experience working with the students,” Uden said. “The students had the opportunity to participate in real-life business projects while we gained some marketing insights from them that we have not considered.”

“Even though the CDR’s relationship with Sprint is less than a year old, we have already produced a significant amount of important research,” Thomas said. “We are delighted with their extensive involvement and enthusiasm for our work.”

Following the successful completion of the Sprint Velocity program, several CDR projects, including the WellCar project, have been identified for future collaboration with Sprint. Discussions about an internship program and more industry-sponsored projects are also ongoing.

KU in the news
The Washington PostWed, 09/17/2014
It’s KU Family Weekend and there's a lot happening on the Hill. Take a look at some of the events on campus – all Jayhawks are welcome to join. FRIDAY - 1:30 pm: Tee off for the 2014 Gale Sayers and Scot Pollard Golf Classic at Alvamar Country Club, benefiting KU School of Education - 7:30 pm: School of Music 15th Annual Collage Concert at the Lied Center - 7:30 pm: SUA Campus Movie Series – The Parent Trap (1998) in Woodruff Auditorium at the Union SATURDAY - 7:30 am: 2014 Dr. Bob Run 5K Event - 9 am: Marching Band’s Band Day kicks off with a parade running 7th Street to South Park (followed by massed band rehearsal in Memorial Stadium) - 12:00 pm: School of Engineering Family Day kicks off in the Eaton Hall Atrium - 12:30 pm: Official KU Weekend Family Tailgate - 12:30 pm: Party on the Patio at the School of Education - 2:30 pm: ROCK CHALK JAYHAWKS! BEAT CENTRAL MICHIGAN! - 7:30 pm: SUA Campus Movie Series – The Parent Trap (1998) in Woodruff Auditorium at the Union SUNDAY - 7:30 pm: SUA Campus Movie Series – The Parent Trap (1998) in Woodruff Auditorium at the Union More information on all KU Family Weekend events:
KU Goldwater Scholar to research Huntingon’s, Alzheimer’s diseases Ryan Limbocker, KU’s 56th Goldwater Scholar, plans to focus his research at KU on such neurodegenerative disorders as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (see more at Limbocker, a senior majoring in chemistry, is from Overland Park, Kansas, and plans to pursue a doctorate in analytical chemistry. The Goldwater Scholarships are the nation’s premier undergraduate awards to honor academically gifted students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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