A Maker on the Move: Engineering the Future With Kipp Bradford
The Maker Movement — that vibrant extension of the DIY (Do It Yourself) culture, driven by technology-based invention, creativity and entrepreneurship — is a phenomenon that is rapidly putting the power of innovation into the hands of the tech-savvy. One of the movement's most promising proponents is award-winning bioengineer and startup entrepreneur Kipp Bradford, who sees Makers as playing a key role in solving some of the globe's most pressing challenges.
"I believe that people who are Makers see the world's problems as opportunities to create new innovations," he says. "Makers are the engines of our economy and sources of inspiration for STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education." Although he concedes a lot more work on this front remains, "progress is being made, and the movement is gaining momentum in schools and businesses."
Over the past decade, Kipp has distinguished himself as a prolific high-tech innovator. With a passion for creating new products as well as finding new applications for existing technologies, he has served as founder or cofounder of start-ups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices, and holds numerous patents for his inventions.
For instance, Kipp co-founded Revolution By Design, Inc, a non-profit education and research organization dedicated to empowerment through technology, as well as the Bionica Corporation, where he served as chief technology officer, leading the research, development, and intellectual property work for a novel hearing-aid system. His current company, kippkitts, LLC, is an open source hardware manufacturer making an array of tools for engineers and designers.
As the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer at the Brown University School of Engineering, he taught several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. He was also the chair of the Rhode Island Entrepreneurship Faculty group and served on the boards of The Steel Yard and AS220. He also serves on the technical advisory board of MAKE Magazine, the board of the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art and the board of the Providence Athenaeum. He is an adjunct lecturer at RISD and is a Fellow at the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce at Philadelphia University.
A resident of Providence, Rhode Island, Kipp founded and organizes Rhode Island's Mini Maker Faire, and is the recipient of numerous engineering awards for his outstanding innovations, including top honors in 2011 at the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition for his KippCool Medical Cooling System (which is currently in production and intended to aid heart attack and stroke victims when initially treated by first responders).
Earlier in his career, he served as Vice President of Engineering of Design Lab, where he co-invented and developed numerous electronic toys for Hasbro and Mattel. In addition, he was a co-founder of Q-Labs and served as its Chief Scientist. At Q-Labs, he evaluated patents, designed and performed experiments to establish scientific credibility, created traceable reference standards, and established and managed clinical trials. Kipp was also a co-founder of Dewhurst Solution, LLC, where he worked on a novel design for titanium golf club heads with optimized material performance.
Kipp holds a Bachelor's of Science degree and a Master's of Science degree in Bioengineering from Brown University, where he was involved in research at the Brown Artificial Organ Lab and the Brown Artificial Intelligence Lab.
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