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Fusion Studio Team Wins Big at ICAT

Collaboration and innovation takes place daily in Room 2038 of Newman Library.

The Fusion Studio provides a unique space for undergraduate groups working on long-term interdisciplinary projects. One of these groups, Octivs, received two awards at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) Creativity and Innovation Day on May 1, 2017.

Octivs’ goal was to create a collapsible, electric piano with the feel and sound of a grand piano that can fit in your backpack. The Team, whose members include students James Rotbert, Keith Kreiner, Celeste Greenbaum, Nathan Kent, Nick Render, and Nick Gazzillo, formed last year. In 2016 they applied and were accepted to the Fusion Studio shortly after winning a SEAD grant for $500.

At ICAT the Team was awarded both the People’s Choice and the Innovation award from a panel of judges, some of whom were from Microsoft and Google. The Team has since filed a provisional patent for their device, with plans to develop a business strategy.

The Fusion Studio is private, and is only available to those who applied and were accepted. It is fully equipped, and is strongly connected to and regularly collaborates with other library studios like the  3D Design Studio and the Learning Design Studio. The Modular Piano Team used the Studio as a consistent meeting, work and storage space. They also created prototypes in the library’s 3D printing lab, making the Newman Library a one-stop creative shop.

Going into its second year of operation, the Studio will continue to grow and support innovation on campus. In order to better build connections and encourage collaboration across the disciplines, the Studio plans to host regular Open Houses for the VT community. Student, faculty, staff, and community member attendees can learn firsthand about group projects. Faculty members and students who want to recruit others to work with them are also welcome to attend.

The Fusion Studio is accepting membership applications. A full time staff member is on hand during normal business hours. Fusion Studio Manager Sara Sweeney has a background in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and is more than happy to assist students with their studies and projects. If you have questions about the Fusion Studio, please contact her at To learn more about Octivs, contact project lead James Rotbert at

Written by Maria Atilano, Creative Editor