Blog » Archives » December 2014

Faculty Mentor: Matt Leevy, Ph.D.

Matthew Leevy, Director of Biological Imaging at the Notre Dame Integrated Imaging Facility, is working with three ESTEEM students this year – Nick Machesney, Charles Berno, and Daniel Ward.  The laboratory is home of two startup companies – In Vivo Concepts, a platform for translating pre-clinical discoveries and devices to commercial markets, and Medical Data Printers, for producing 3D plastic models of patients’ heads that Ear/Nose/Throat doctors can study before performing surgery. Leevy has worked with two other ESTEEM students in the past whose contributions are part of patent applications.

Faculty Mentor: Greg Crawford, Ph.D.


Gregory Crawford, a Physics professor and Dean of the College of Science, is working with ESTEEM student Sean McGee on a noninvasive device to determine the ages of bruises on the skin. The technology aims to provide objective data for physicians, social workers, and law enforcement who are dealing with potential child abuse cases. No such tool now exists, and responsible professionals must make highly subjective judgments that sometimes contradict parents’ explanations for the wounds on the child.

Thesis Spotlight: Matt Hansen

Photo of student Matt Hansen

Recently I had the opportunity to meet with Matt Hansen, a 2014 chemical engineering graduate from the University of Pittsburgh and ESTEEM student. He is currently taking a break from his study of polymers to grow his own thesis idea, a software and hardware platform to help improve the wellness of people everywhere by improving upon current "workout apps."

Industry Collaboration Highlights Unique Opportunity

Students in Notre Dame’s Entrepreneurship Master’s Program have benefitted greatly this year through an emphasis on industry partnerships.  20% of current ESTEEM students work with companies for their capstone thesis projects exploring commercialization opportunities for new or emerging technologies that those companies are developing.…

Listening for your “Why?” - A lesson from Social Entrepreneurship

One of the most impactful things the director of the ESTEEM Program, David Murphy, stresses to us students is to find a compelling “why?” as we discern what sorts of entrepreneurs we will be. The truly notable “whys” seem to stem from big problems and deep seeded passions to address them. But how does one find that big problem needs to be solved? From what I’ve seen, the best entrepreneurs are those that can listen well. They find their “why?”

Thesis Spotlight: Ben Hoggan

Photo of student Ben Hoggan

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with ESTEEM student Ben Hoggan, a 2013 physics graduate of Utah Valley University. A Silicon Valley native, he moved to Utah in 2007 and traded in his water polo cap for hockey skates, growing a deep love for the rink. He comes to ESTEEM following an internship studying high energy physics at CERN to take his longtime passion for sports to design safer equipment for those who play them.

ESTEEM Broomball - a Lesson in Humility

Nick Machesney is a current ESTEEM student - and one of the captains of ESTEEMs first-ever Broomball team.  Below he reflects upon their experience.

After missing the opportunity to show off their athletic prowess in the indoor soccer league, over half of this year’s ESTEEM class joined forces to take on Notre Dame’s intramural, co-ed broomball league.  Relegated to the ll pm time slot on Tuesdays, we knew some of us would be up past our bed times but we entered the season determined that we could bring home some championship hardware for the program.…

ESTEEM Swims with the Sharks


This story comes to us from ESTEEM student Nick Kyratzis, who recently had the opportunity to pitch his own business idea to the Shark Tank's own "Mr. Wonderful," Kevin O'Leary. Nick, along with teammates Derek Athy and Nick Machesney, is currently competing in the second round of the McCloskey Business Plan Competition, sponsored by the Gigot Center here at ND. 

Thesis Spotlight: Christopher Cali

Photo of student Christopher Cali

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Christopher Cali from the ESTEEM program to learn more about his work on developing new diagnostic tools for breast cancer. Mr. Cali graduated from Notre Dame in May of 2014 from the Science Business program. A former captain of the Irish Guard, the ceremonial marching unit which leads the Notre Dame Band, and a current tour guide coordinator for the Eck Visitors Center, he plans to take his leadership skills to utilize "business and entrepreneurship to make a positive impact in the world."