Online Wright Brothers Day will celebrate university and community innovators

Although the Department of Marketing’s annual Wright Brothers Day shifted to a web-based format, the event will still celebrate innovative research from Wright State faculty and local organizations. (File photo from 2018)

Wright State University will celebrate the innovative spirit of its namesakes and modern researchers with a special online version of the annual Wright Brothers Day.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to visit the Wright Brothers Day website throughout Monday, Oct. 5, to learn about innovative research and ideas from Wright State faculty and local organizations and companies.

Because this year’s Wright Brothers Day is web-based, Kendall Goodrich, chair of the Department of Marketing, said the program will focus on providing education and information.

The Wright Brothers Day website features videos by Wright State innovators including:

  • Caroline Cao, professor of biomedical, industrial and human factors engineering, who develops robotic surgical devices
  • Yong Pei, associate professor of computer science, who has created an augmented reality tool for people on the Autism spectrum
  • Ulas Sunar, the Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Medical Imaging, who developed a biomedical endoscopic imaging to detect cancer
  • the Appenzeller Visualization Laboratory, which houses large-scale visualization and fully immersive virtual reality equipment

Students in the Sensors and Signals Exploitation Lab in the Department of Electrical Engineering will demonstrate a radar they designed that detects and images a set of small reflectors that form an alphabet letter.

Local innovators featured on the website include Global Neighbor’s Weed Eradicator; Mile Two’s Humant job retention predictor analytics; Obi, a device that helps people with disabilities eat; GlobalFlyte’s police, fire and EMS radio technology; and a parachute simulator by the Gaming Research Integration and Learning Lab at the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Organized by the student marketing club, the American Marketing Association of Wright State, Wright Brothers Day celebrates the anniversary of Wilbur Wright’s 39-minute flight on Huffman Prairie on Oct. 5, 1905. The flight demonstrated that Wilbur and Orville Wright had advanced their design to the point of a practical airplane.

In fact, visitors can learn more about the Wright brothers’ efforts to master flight through a video produced by Wright State’s Special Collections and Archives. The video highlights the innovating steps of the Wright brothers on Huffman Prairie as they mastered the principles of controlled, powered flight and developed the world’s first airplane.

Wilbur, right, and Orville Wright.

Drew Smith, president of the marketing club and a marketing major, said it’s important to hold programs like Wright Brothers Day to educate the campus community about the Wright brothers. “It’s really important for us to know about a great piece of our local history,” he said.

Goodrich said the Wilbur and Orville Wright make for good role models for students and would have found ways to continue working during a global pandemic.

“The Wright brothers had a lot of diligence and stick-to-it-ness,” he said. “They would come up with some way to still do it.”

Smith said he hopes Wright Brothers Day demonstrates that people can still be a part of something even if they aren’t on campus. Students can have a “good, valuable learning experience while still in these real, trying times,” he said.

The marketing club will give away Wright State T-shirts to the 12 people who share the best Wright brothers selfies on the club’s Instagram page. Participants should use the hashtag #WrightBrothersDay.

In addition, the club will hold a raffle for visitors who correctly answer at least 10 trivia questions based on the history and exhibitor videos. Raffle prizes include 14 $25 gift cards, provided by Boost Engagement, and five $25 gift cards provided by Speedway.

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