who's who

3 Houston innovators to know this week

This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Michelle Stansbury of Houston Methodist, Barclay Jumet of Rice University, and Collin McLelland of Digital Wildcatters. Photos courtesy

Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from health care to energy tech — recently making headlines in Houston innovation.

Michelle Stansbury, vice president of innovation and IT applications at Houston Methodist

Michelle Stansbury joins the Houston Innovators Podcast. Photo courtesy of Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist has a small group of leaders — the Digital Innovation Obsessed People, or DIOP — that lead external and internal innovation efforts, from pilots to implementation. Michelle Stansbury is one of those leaders. As vice president of innovation and IT applications at Houston Methodist, she oversees the system's IT department and serves as a leader within its innovation efforts. This includes the Center for Innovation Technology Hub — which opened in 2020 in the Texas Medical Center location and opened its Ion outpost last week.

Stansbury explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast how effective this distribution of innovation responsibilities has been for Houston Methodist. With everyone having a seat at the table — operations knows the biggest problems that need solutions, IT knows how to deploy technology, etc. — implementation of new innovations has been sped up.

"If we partner together, we should be able to succeed fast or fail fast," she says on the show. "We've been able to find a solution, pilot it, and, if it works well, roll it out at a speed that most other organizations have not been able to do. It's been highly successful for us." Read more.

Barclay Jumet, researcher at Rice University

A team at Rice University is designing wearable technology that can be used for navigation for users with visual and auditory impairments. Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University

A group of Rice researchers have tapped into the sense of touch to improve how wearable technology can communicate with its user.

Barclay Jumet, a mechanical engineering PhD student at Rice working in the labs of Daniel Preston and Marcia O’Malley, published the findings in the August issue of “Device.” The study outlines the group's new system of haptic accessories that rely heavily on fluidic control over electrical inputs to signal or simulate touch to a wearer.

“In the future, this technology could be directly integrated with navigational systems, so that the very textiles making up one’s clothing can tell users which way to go without taxing their already overloaded visual and auditory senses—for instance by needing to consult a map or listen to a virtual assistant,” Jumet said in a release from Rice. Read more.

Collin McLelland, co-founder and CEO of Digital Wildcatters

This Houston-based media company launched a networking platform to help solve the energy crisis. Photo courtesy

Houston-based media organization Digital Wildcatters has officially launched the beta program of their networking app to help bridge the hiring gap in the energy industry. By providing a platform for individuals to get their questions answered by experts and a space for companies seeking qualified talent, Collide is structured to ignite the next generation of energy innovators.

Collin McLelland, co-founder and CEO of Digital Wildcatters, says he aims to expand their professional community through this networking platform. Rather than being a transition away from Digital Wildcatters’ roots as a digital media organization McLelland explains Collide is an integration of the community they have built through podcasts and events into an interactive platform.

“If you look at what we’ve done historically with Digital Wildcatters, we’ve built an extremely engaged community of energy professionals — it’s a next generation community, very young forward thinking professionals that are working towards solving the world’s energy crisis,” McLelland shares. Read more.

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