Senior Cade Jacobs named top undergraduate researcher

April 25, 2017

IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI student Cade Jacobs received the 2017 IUPUI Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research at the Chancellor’s Academic Honors Convocation on April 21. The award is the highest recognition for an undergraduate researcher on the IUPUI campus.

Also honored with a 2017 IUPUI Top 100 Student award, Jacobs has been working with Media Arts and Science faculty member Zebulun Wood of the School of Informatics and Computing and Dr. Travis Bellicchi of the IU School of Dentistry for two years on the creation of 3-D maxillofacial prosthetics, using a process now known as the Shirley Technique.

The project originated when Bellicchi approached Wood about his patient, Shirley Anderson, a cancer survivor who needed a new prosthetic mandible. Too large and cumbersome to produce using traditional materials and methods, the mandible was the first prosthetic of its size created at a university via digital scanning and 3-D sculpture and printing technology. Jacobs has been integral to creating and refining the 3-D prosthetic modeling and sculpting technique.

Watch a video about the Shirley Technique.

“Shirley Anderson and the subsequent patients that were cared for using the same technique—around 20 in total—are my greatest accomplishment to date,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs has presented the research results at several symposia and conferences and is a co-applicant for a patent on the process. He has been seeking support for expanding the service locally and internationally and has co-founded a business, Plasthetics, devoted to medical scanning and prosthesis design.

Jacobs is a member of the IUPUI Honors Program, is a regular on the Dean’s List, and has served as chapter president of IUPUI SIGGRAPH and as a volunteer student mentor. He is also employed as a service engineer for Online Resources, Inc., a reverse engineering and metrology company that serves manufacturing, aerospace, racing, automotive, and other industries.

After graduation, Jacobs plans to study engineering or business in graduate school. “Cade has been a true pleasure to work with. He is an outstanding example of what a student can accomplish with grit, focus, vision, and unrelenting positive attitude towards solving wicked problems with his skill sets,” said Wood. “He is by far the most independent and resourceful student I have ever had the pleasure of mentoring. Cade’s success is a proud moment for all of us at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.”

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic