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USF Department of Mechanical Engineering

Katy Hennig / USF News

When it comes to technology, history is not kind to the middleman—the person who gets an innovation from the prototype stage to the point it’s an everyday item. Just about everyone knows IBM’s punch cards slowly evolved into Steve Jobs’ mini-super computers that we carry on our hips. But hundreds of lesser-known names moved us along that road.

USF Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Craig Lusk readily admits that he’s one of those middlemen. This week's University Beat on WUSF Public Media examines Lusk's work with 'shape-shifting' devices and the ideas he's come up with for the technology, such as a lighter, more flexible form of body armor or containment for oil spills.