Inventor of the Week: Jonny Cohen (SEAS ’17)
In keeping with its ability to draw in some creative and talented young minds in the world, Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science has amongst its students up and rising Jonny Cohen, a Chicago native who has already been making strides in sustainable efforts and entrepreneurship. His invention, curved wing aerodynamic Plexiglas shields to be installed on the tops of school buses to increase fuel efficiency, was conceived when he was only in the 7th grade. This innovative contraption now goes by the trademark name of GreenShields. Since then, Cohen has been developing this model for testing with the intent of putting it out on the market for mass production. His conscious endeavor has been a work-in-progress that has garnered the attention of publications such as Scientific American. Not only has he received acclaim from similar media sources, but also from environmentally-concerned officials. Naturally, he certainly has the support of the Columbia community, to which he has been graciously welcomed.
Cohen stands as an inspiring model for other aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs to develop prototypes for commercialization purposes. He has taken a simple idea and applied his knowledge and research to generate something incredibly impactful and beneficial to the community at large. Cohen has been on Forbes “30 Under 30” list twice and has also received a $25,000 grant from Northwestern University to pursue his research.
Columbia is an institution that stresses learning through hands-on experimentation rather than by simply absorbing information. Students such as Cohen have the opportunity to further their potential to translate what they have learned into a tangible result representative of their own unique and creative ideas.
Being a staple of Columbia, this mission resonates strongly with that of SEBS, thus encouraging students to pursue active thought in order to bring about innovation and advancement that will support the environment and communities on a small and large scale. Pursuing inspired thoughts enable a broader vision that may eventually become a reality.
Congratulations to Jonny Cohen and best of luck with his endeavors!