Enginuity Podcast

Enginuity podcast graphic

Hosted by Dean Ayanna Howard, Enqinuity explores stories of innovation (and ingenuity) within The Ohio State University College of Engineering. You’ll meet faculty and students that are pushing boundaries and developing game-changing technologies.


Nov. 17, 2021: Engineering solutions to back pain (29 mins)

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Lower back pain is the second most common reason people visit their physicians. It’s also the world’s leading cause of disability. Millions of people suffer from back pain. Many of them lose time at work. Many will be prescribed opioid painkillers, and some will become dependent on them. In the U.S. alone, back pain accounts for more than 100 million annual lost workdays and $100 billion in treatment costs. That is as much as we spend fighting cancer.

Bill Marras and Dean Ayanna Howard record a podcast episode

From diagnosis to treatment, back pain remains a vexing problem for physicians. In this episode Dean Ayanna Howard speaks with Prof. Bill Marras, the executive director and scientific director of the Spine Research Institute (SRI) in Ohio State’s College of Engineering. He shares how at SRI researchers and practitioners from divergent fields apply their collective knowledge to solve what seems like an unsolvable problem. He tells Dean Howard how a systems engineer found himself researching back pain, why companies are interested in SRI’s expertise to prevent workplace injuries, and how his team is helping tackle the opioid addiction epidemic that impacts so many families.

Interesting solutions happen at the intersection of disciplines. The work being done at the Spine Research Institute is an excellent example of this.

Oct. 18, 2021: The students who launched a clean energy company (22 mins)

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In the Knowlton Hall rooftop garden, College of Engineering Dean Ayanna Howard chats with computer science and engineering major Anita Nti and recent PhD graduate Danny Freudiger, co-founders of Electrion, an energy-storage-as-a-service startup.

Dean Howard with Anita Nti and Danny Freudiger
Dean Howard with Electrion Founders Anita Nti and Danny Freudiger

Startups and small businesses are vital for a thriving U.S. economy. And engineers possess the skills to launch companies and create jobs, so engineering students should be encouraged and nurtured to have an entrepreneurial mindset. The development of the Innovation District on Ohio State’s West Campus and a recently announced partnership with the State of Ohio will help Ohio State prepare more engineers to be entrepreneurs… or, “engipreneurs”. And sometimes students need role models and to see other students that are flexing their entrepreneurial muscles. In this episode, we highlight one group that is definitely flexing in the energy space. Last year, four Buckeye student engineers launched Electrion. They’re attracting media coverage and they recently received an initial venture capital investment. Learn how the Electrion team met, what “sparked” their startup idea, what it’s like being an entrepreneur while being an engineering student, how Ohio State football tailgates are involved, and more.


More episodes coming soon...


Nov. 17, 2021
Engineering solutions to back pain

on Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | YouTube

Oct. 18, 2021
The students who launched a clean energy company

on Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | YouTube


more episodes coming soon