In April 2013, two senior Engineering students won the School of Engineering & Applied Science's first Discovery Competition for their low-cost medical device that measured lung function. This month, they were named to the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2018.
Andrew Brimer and Abby Cohen
Andrew Brimer, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering, and Abby Cohen, who earned a degree in biomedical engineering, turned their Discovery Competition idea into Sparo Labs, which has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in four short years. The company has raised $2.7 million in funding since it was founded. The team also won at least 10 competitions, including the Olin Cup and the Student Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare.
The spirometer Brimer and Cohen developed became Wing, a pocket-sized device that measures lung function in patients with asthma or COPD and sends results to an app on a smartphone, allowing it to be used almost anywhere. Wing received FDA approval in June 2016.
Brimer and Cohen participated in the first-ever White House Demo Day hosted by then-President Barack Obama in August 2015. Cohen was the only female and the only undergraduate student in the 2013 Class of Entrepreneurial Fellows by Pipeline.
Brimer and Cohen volunteer with the Skandalaris Summer Internship Program, a program that helps students find internships at local startups and incubate their own ideas; Prosper, an organization addressing the entrepreneur gender gap in the St. Louis region; Spark! Incubator, a startup incubator for high school students in the Parkway Public School District; and are on the board of directors for the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America - St. Louis Chapter.
The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 96.5 tenured/tenure-track and 33 additional full-time faculty, 1,300 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 20,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.