The U.S. Military selects winners of THE national challenge to redesign chembio Warfighter suits

The winners of the US government’s “Chembio Suit Proof Challenge” were announced January 12, 2017.  This was an open design challenge and the first of its kind to source ideas for government innovation from all levels of the public and private sector regardless of funding.

It was an honor to be a judge in this process to source concepts from the public and help select the 12 concepts which will move on to be developed with funding and collaboration from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical Biological Defense in order to update the chembio suit for the first time in decades. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2017) – The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense has awarded 12 prizes to winners of the s Proof Challenge – a chembio suit design challenge that called on the public to submit designs and ideas for a new suit.  Finalists came from a variety of fields that ranged from students to engineers. A total of $250,000 was awarded to 12 participants/teams.

“We were excited to use the Proof Challenge to reach out to the general public, beyond our military resources and experts, to source ideas and solutions for innovation,” says LeRoy Garey, the Proof Challenge Product Manager.  “The thinking, attention to detail and fresh ideas were astounding, exceeding what we expected.  This type of public collaboration is something we look forward to tapping into in the future – joining forces with the Americans we serve to help protect this country and our Warfighters.”

Proof Challenge winners include:

Challenge Finalists

Idea Name: Increase Dexterity & Tactility ChemBio Suit
Team Members: Shana Kaplan, Madeline Haas, Itohan Asemota, Nicole Raab, Angela Villanueva, and Jess Roberts

Idea Name: JSLIST Rapid Cooling System (RCS) & Integrated Cooling Ensemble
Team Members: Steven Link, Barret Schlegelmilch, Jonathan Lovett, Eric Hinterman, and Phillip Ebben

Idea Name:  SPIDER© Suit Grey Matter
Team Members: Thomas Luginbill, Brandy Johnson, Aaron Brauner, Steve Winters, and Steve Luginbill

Challenge Semifinalists/Runners-Up

Idea Name: ChemBio Duck Combat Duck Boot
Team Members: Michele Putko, Robert Putko, Catherine Putko, and Marie Putko

Idea Name: A More Fitted Hood
Team Members: William Gabler, Cassandra Kwon, Minyoung Suh, Marc Mathews, Hilary Smith, Caitlin McCall, and Raquel Weis

Idea Name: Hybrid Glove Concept
Team Members: Steve Santaniello

Semifinalists/Second Runners-Up

Idea Name: Improved Glove Fit
Team Member: Roland Bruyns

Idea Name: Custom Articulated Garments for Optimal Dexterity
Team Members: Leanne Luce, Ryan Brady, Kevin Galloway, Neil Tagner, and Matthew Borgatti

Idea Name: AgileWear
Team Members: Brian Kane, Gen Leonard, Karma Malhas, and Catherine Andreozzi

Idea Name: Closure Control
Team Members: Devon Willard, Chelsey Pyne, and Keren Espina

Challenge Side Prize Winners

Game Changer: Pulse Electric Textile for ChemBio Protection
Team Members: Francisco J. Martinez, Howard Eglewstein, and Bettina Pasquantonio

Influencer: Grey Matter
Team Members: Thomas Luginbill

Winners will be showcased on the Proof Challenge Facebook page and will work with JPEO-CBD on the next steps of bringing their suit ideas to reality.

About the Proof Challenge: The Proof Challenge sourced innovative ideas for solutions to increase mobility, dexterity and tactility, allowing the Warfighter to complete all relevant tasks (including running, climbing, etc.) in a fast and comfortable manner.  Also sourced were ideas for heat management that reduce heat burden and actively cool the Warfighter as various physical tasks are conducted.  For more information on the Proof Challenge, please visit

Felischa Marye
213.341.0171, ext. 750