Skip to main content
Intellect

History Channel’s ‘Modern Marvels’ honors BYU invention, professor

The History Channel’s tech-savvy show, Modern Marvels, gives behind-the-scenes glimpses into innovations of past and present and this week will announce the year’s top five inventions. Among the 25 semifinalists is a machine invented by a Brigham Young University professor that automates the production of lightweight composite 3-D lattice structures 12 times stronger than steel per pound of material.

A panel of inventors, technologists and industry experts selected the semifinalists from among more than 3,300 independent inventors. One will ultimately be named 2007 Modern Marvel of the Year and be featured in episodes airing May 15-17.

Inventor David Jensen, a BYU professor of civil engineering at the Center for Advanced Structural Composites, has been perfecting the machine and its unique continuous fabrication process for nearly a decade. After observing the labor-intensive ways to make composite support materials while on a trip to China, Jensen wanted to create structures, from utility poles to cellular towers, that used lattice IsoTruss structures assembled all at once in a smooth, automated process without using cumbersome materials.

“The machine creates IsoTruss structures at a higher volume and lower cost with a continuous process that doesn’t require any hand assembly,” Jensen said. “It also enables new customized structures to be created without having to design an entirely new mandrel for each new configuration, employing instead an automated external cylinder shaping system.”

Jensen will join the 24 other inventors in New York on Friday to visit the invention exhibit in the final chapter of a whirlwind national museum tour that will ultimately culminate at the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

While he is modest in his expectations for the competition, Jensen will nonetheless be honored as one of the semifinalists and will participate in a workshop designed to launch all of the inventions successfully into the commercial marketplace.

To learn more about Jensen’s invention, visit http://www.history.com/invent/ and click on “2007 Winners” and then on his name. The Web site for his BYU research lab is www.isotruss.org.

Writer: Brittany Leonard

Related Articles

data-content-type="article"

Going cashless to prevent COVID-19 was useless, new BYU microbiology study finds

May 12, 2022
A new study published in PLOS ONE from BYU scientists finds that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost immediately nonviable if deposited on a cash banknote. The virus actually shows greater stability on plastic money cards, with the live virus still being detected 48 hours after initial deposition, but no viable virus was detected on either cash or card that was randomly sampled in the study.


overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

BYU student’s research solves an icy dwarf planet mystery

May 09, 2022
The dwarf planet Haumea has befuddled modern scientists for years. New BYU research details the planet's creation and solves one of astronomy's puzzles.
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
data-content-type="article"

When it comes to buying stuff, who do you trust to sell it: Government, nonprofits or for-profits? BYU study says...

April 26, 2022
Covid-19 tests were in short supply two months ago, but now testing options abound, from free tests mailed by the U.S. government to those available from pharmacies and nonprofit healthcare providers. All other factors being equal, is there an advantage to accessing a test through any one of these avenues?
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText= overrideTextAlignment=
overrideBackgroundColorOrImage= overrideTextColor= overrideTextAlignment= overrideCardHideSection=false overrideCardHideByline=false overrideCardHideDescription=false overridebuttonBgColor= overrideButtonText=