The Story of No. 0254,782
It can take inventors years to receive an official U.S. patent, usually represented by a seven-digit number. But the full story behind most patents is much longer. Drexel College of Engineering professors Ivan Bartoli, Chuck Haas and former assistant professor Kurt Sjoblom were motivated by the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, to design a device that can determine whether an underground water pipe is made of lead. Their patent was approved in 2018, and this is the story of how it came to be.