Take a look around your house. How many things you see were patented by Miner alumni? Maybe more than you think. Here are just a few examples of household Miner inventions.
Dan Wunderlich, ME’70, holds 19 patents on domestic and commercial laundry equipment — everything from installation systems for a stacked washer and dryer to a bulk detergent dispenser. Wunderlich worked for Maytag Co. for 36 years.
A discussion about how a Chrysler logo was formed into the plastic dashboard of a late ’80s vehicle led Larry Luebbert, ME’68, to modify the process used to thermoform a pre-printed plastic web of images into a retail package. His invention was used in the packaging of the Cross-Action toothbrush made by Oral-B Laboratories.
Tom Hawkins, ME’93, holds 12 patents, including eight related to vacuum cleaners. The other four relate to electrical distribution equipment. His favorite is a low-voltage switchgear safety accessory called a Remote Breaker Racking Device. It is used to insert and remove circuit breakers that can weigh up to 350 pounds. He likes that it improves operator safety — and gives his company, Siemens, a good profit margin.
The late Robert L. Banks, ChE’44, invented high-density polyethylene plastic — the material milk jugs, plastic grocery bags and countless other plastic goods are made of. Banks held 64 U.S. patents and more than 140 in other countries.
Paul Abney, EE’76, invented a device that automatically slows and then stops a sewing machine motor. Designed for the apparel manufacturing industry, the device allows operators to sew at full speed without going over a predetermined stopping point.