CLEMSON – Clemson University has participated in a yearlong process with the Atlantic Coast Conference, partner ACC universities, and the Smithsonian Institution to create the first “ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival.” Presented by Virginia Tech and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the ACCelerate Festival is a three-day celebration of creative exploration and research at the nexus of science, engineering, arts, and design. Visitors to the festival will interact with leading innovators from ACC universities and engage with new interdisciplinary technologies that draw upon art, science, and humanities to address global challenges.

Held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 13-15, the event is programmed by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

The event is free and showcases the 15 universities of the ACC in an opportunity for the schools to display their work to each other and, more importantly, to the public. In addition to the 48 featured interactive installations, the festival will include panel discussions and performances throughout the three days.

The festival will be featured on all three public floors in the west wing of the National Museum of American History, located on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets NW along the National Mall in Washington, D.C. There will be 47 interactive installations from across the 15 ACC schools around six thematic areas:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Arts and Technology
  • Sustainability and Environment
  • Biomimetics
  • Health and Body
  • Making and Advanced Manufacturing

“We’re thrilled to be one of the 15 ACC schools participating in the inaugural ACCelerate Festival,” said John Griffin, Clemson’s associate provost and dean of Undergraduate Studies. “This is a unique opportunity to showcase the type of research our faculty, students and staff work on every day that not only benefits our university but communities around the world.”

The following Clemson projects will be on display during the Festival:

Realizing Improved Patient Care through Human Centered Design in the Operating Room

Surgical errors and infections are serious patient safety concerns in the operating room and its design can contribute to safer outcomes. Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have been awarded a four-year Patient Safety Learning Lab grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop a safer and more ergonomic operating room designed using a multidisciplinary, human-centered approach.

Researchers: Anjali Joseph, David Allison, Sara Bayramzadeh, Rachel Matthews, Austin Ferguson, Lansing Dodd, Malone Hopkins, Herminia Machry, Deborah Wingler and James Abernathy

Open Parks Network

Clemson and the National Park Service collaborated to create the Open Parks Network, an innovative, ambitious and interdisciplinary project to digitize 1.5 million pages of literature and more than 200,000 rare and unique photographs, maps and manuscripts housed in the archives of America’s national parks and historic sites. Before the network, items in the park archives weren’t viewable unless you visited the park itself. Now, the public has free access to high-resolution files that are fully searchable through

Researchers: Chris Vinson, Rachel Wittmann, Josh Morgan and Darius Jones

Smart Shopping Companion Robot

Smart Shopping Companion Robot is aimed at providing an innovative solution to people with limited mobility by providing a hands-free shopping cart. The cart tracks the person’s movements and moves accordingly as they grab the items they need. It is cost-effective and its usage can be extended to various applications, such as shopping malls, airports or industrial applications.

Researchers: Yunyi Jia, Longxiang Guo, Nikhil Sharma, Surabhi Sharma and Vipul Guglani