The National Inventors Hall of Fame has announced its undergraduate and graduate finalists for the 2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition, and among the finalists is an invention related to the lighting industry.

Headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, the Collegiate Inventors Competition® is an annual competition that rewards innovations, discoveries, and research by college and university students and their faculty advisors. This year’s finalists and their inventions provide a glimpse into the future of American innovation and emerging technological trends — from alternative energy to safer aerial transport. Through their research, these students have harnessed their “inner inventor” to make working prototypes that can positively change our world.

Among the Graduate Finalists is Dicky Liu from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (advisor: Can Bayram). Liu’s Cubic LEDs and was developed as a solution to high upfront costs and green LEDs’ inefficiencies. Liu’s Cubic LEDs more efficient, more affordable, full-spectrum, phosphor-free lighting are created on industry-standard silicon substrates nano-patterned with U-shaped grooves to facilitate the growth of pure, defect-free cubic phase gallium nitride. These cubic LEDs are reportedly cheaper, more efficient, brighter, produce less heat than conventional lights and LEDs, and can reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission globally.

Entries are judged on originality of the idea, process, level of student initiative, and potential value and usefulness to society. The finalists will travel to Alexandria, Va., to present their inventions to a panel of final-round judges, composed of the most influential inventors and invention experts in the country: National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officials.

Competition finalists will showcase their inventions and interact with thousands of attendees at the Collegiate Inventors Competition Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. in the USPTO Madison Building, Upper Atrium. A private Awards Ceremony will take place later that day. The Collegiate Inventors Competition is a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.