TAMPA, Fla. – John Cotter is working on his latest invention, reimagined agriculture fence post.
“Using recycled materials, reducing the number of trees that you cut down every year.
He is getting his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of South Florida. He says he wants his product to not only be sustainable but less expensive.
“Because of the elevated price of lumber my hope is that it will be cost competitive,” Cotter said.
And he said it could avoid supply issues for consumers and fencing contractors.
“The quality of fence posts that are available and a lot of wind up having to buy fence posts from Georgia,” said Cotter.
Jamie Spurrier is surrounded by the work of innovation MVPs who started out much like Cotter.
She’s the program manager at the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame at USF.
“As a way to celebrate innovation in Florida, inventors in Florida and to kind of change the culture here in Florida and celebrate inventors the way we would celebrate heroes or national stars,” Spurrier said.
From the tour of the Hall of Fame, you’ll see familiar names and products.
Among them Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone of Firestone Tires, Dr. Robert Cade, the man behind Gatorade, Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx shapewear and even a Hollywood Hollywood golden age star.
“The very well-known Oscar-nominated actress Hedy Lamar, who’s known for the digital communications system, helped Chrome Bear and marketing,” said Chloe Bear, a marketing expert specialist with Florida Inventors.
Dr. Norma Alcantar, the Associate Dean for research in the USF College of Engineering is a recent inductee for her invention, using parts of cactus to filter water.
“A truly great honor for me to be recognized,” said Dr. Alcantar.
“We come to innovation and invention because people see a problem that needs to be solved, and it could be something as simple as a fence post,” said Spurrier.
Cotter may not be in the hall of fame yet, but he’s hoping to see his fence posts far and wide one day soon.
“They buy them everywhere and just use them,” said Cotter.
Tours of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame exhibit is free.
Guided tours are also available by contacting [email protected]
For more information about the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame Museum visit: floridainvents.org/museum.