Emily Kennedy

Visiting Industrial Design department faculty member Emily Barbara Kennedy is director of external relations for the Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) at The University of Akron. She also works with Great Lakes Biomimicry (GLBio), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create conditions for innovation inspired by nature, and co-founded Hedgemon, a Cleveland-based startup developing hedgehog-inspired impact protection. The first target application for Hedgemon’s technology is a football helmet liner to reduce risk of concussion. Potential future applications include body armor, athletic shoe soles, child car seats, fall protection flooring, transport cases, electronics housing, automotive paneling and airdrop pallet cushioning.

Kennedy earned a PhD in Integrated Bioscience from the University of Akron and a BA in International Relations with a minor in Environmental Studies from Colgate University. She is a 2017 recipient of the Industrial Research Institute’s Maurice Holland Award (2017) and The Creativity Foundation’s VentureWell Legacy Prize (2016). In addition, she is a Eureka Ranch–certified Innovation Engineering Black Belt.


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