Mines News

Release Date Thursday, April 9, 2020

Mines Student Wins Braun Inventor Award For Device that Detects Water Leaks and Flooding

Mines students and some members of the startup company HomeMetrics LLC are shown here on Feb. 23, 2020, at CSU's Nancy Richardson Design Center attending Techstars Startup Weekend Fort Collins, they include Antonio Bano-Sanoguera; Timothy Ford; Fernando Chavez; Riley Kopp; Field Mitchell; William Trevillyan, CEO and Mitchell Peterson.

RAPID CITY, SD  (April 9, 2020) — William Trevillyan, a double major in chemical engineering and chemistry at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, has won the 2020 Ann and Dave Braun Student Inventor Award.

The annual $5,000 cash award includes a free patent application from Goodhue, Coleman & Owens, P.C. The award was established to recognize a South Dakota Mines student who has made a significant discovery or invention while enrolled.

Trevillyan’s invention is a water or fluid detection sensor. It can detect small water leaks or flooding and alert a property owner that maintenance is needed before major damage occurs. “I was trying to solve a problem,” Trevillyan says. “It is difficult to detect small amounts of water produced by water leaks within a home.” Insurance industry records show that water damage and mold cost insurance companies $2.5 billion dollars per year. Products that detect leaks before they become a major problem can save individual property owners thousands of dollars.

The invention is tied to Trevillyan’s company, HomeMetrics. The detector is only one component in the company’s “MetricsNetwork,” which is a system of sensors that use Internet of Things (IOT) technology within homes. Trevillyan and his partner, CTO and fellow Mines student Timothy Ford, hired seven other Mines students in February. These students include Riley Kopp, platform engineer; Mike Ahlers, embedded systems engineer; Mitchell Peterson, application developer; Fernando Chavez, business solutions developer; Antonio Bano-Sanoguera, product designer; Field Mitchell, firmware developer; and Vytautas Soderholm, hardware developer.

The company is moving forward with testing this invention and others in its portfolio of products. They expect to have their first product available in the marketplace within the year.

“Receiving support from the Braun family is a tremendous boost which will help our company reach our next set of milestones,” says Trevillyan. “Going through the process of filing a patent is extremely valuable to understand, and the knowledge I will be learning goes far beyond the monetary value of the patent.”

Trevillyan grew up in the small town of Valley Springs, SD. During his college career at South Dakota Mines he has also been a Barry Goldwater Scholar, TEDx Rapid City Speaker, winner of the Governor’s Giant Vision Student Business Plan Competition and a winner of the university’s Brass Life Award, which paid for a trip to Beijing, China, in 2019 where he spent four months in the CET Beijing Intensive Language Program. Following his  graduation in May, he plans to work full-time as a product manager at the local high-growth startup company Property Meld.

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About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-721-7865, Mike.Ray@sdsmt.edu