ACU student wins internship in Belgium with Alcatel-Lucent

Posted May 03, 2010

WesterlageAbilene Christian University today has announced the winner of a contest to develop more innovative applications that will improve students' education and campus life. In a contest sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent, ACU students used Alcatel-Lucent's Unified Communications platform and touchatagTM applications as well as Apple iPhones to propose interactive applications enhancing their academic and social lives on campus.

The winning application, submitted by Kent Westerlage, a sophomore electronic media major from Fort Worth, Texas, will change students' social lifeline through the use of interactive social and academic information on and around campus. Integrating touchatag applications and Unified Communications solutions from Alcatel-Lucent with bulletin board kiosks located on campus, students will have instant access and ability to interact with information on topics ranging from classified ads and events calendars to teacher appointment availability.

Westerlage will travel to Antwerp, Belgium, for a six-week internship later this summer, where he will work with Alcatel-Lucent Ventures' touchatag team to develop his application and bring it to life. This contest demonstrates the true nature of innovation, as ACU and Alcatel-Lucent collaborate to design breakthrough solutions that improve the everyday life of technology users.

"Today's exciting news is another example of how ACU's innovative approach to learning is helping our students gain real-world opportunities," says Tim Johnston, director of ACU's Career Center. Johnston, along with Arthur Brant, director of Networking Services at ACU, teamed with Alcatel-Lucent to create this internship challenge and program for ACU students. "Alcatel-Lucent offered this exclusive internship opportunity to our students because they see first-hand how we are providing new opportunities to grow and learn with technology."

"Alcatel-Lucent's Unified Communications solution is an open development platform enabling students to help create and implement innovative applications," said Fernando Egea, senior director of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise activities. "By teaming with ACU we can solve real, not theoretical, business and user challenges, from the ground up."


About the contest

Students at ACU, who receive Apple iPhones or iPod touches upon entering the university as part of the ACU's Mobile Learning initiative, were encouraged to participate in this contest. Contest guidelines informed students to think creatively about how Alcatel-Lucent Unified Communications and Bell Labs' touchatag applications could enhance students' lives on campus through educational, spiritual or social connections.

A total of 75 application ideas were submitted to the contest by 16 students, who represent disciplines ranging from computer science to business to mass communications. The drive toward innovation is not new to students at ACU, whose mobile-learning initiative, entrepreneurship programs, and other ventures have led to the creation of student-developed organizations and mobile applications, among other projects. The winning application was chosen for its ability to address enhancing campus life for students and faculty.


About Alcatel-Lucent Ventures

Alcatel-Lucent Ventures is a strategic investment group inside of Bell Labs focused on the communications industry. The team's investment strategy has three key aspects, incubation and commercialization of internal ventures, strategic venture capital investment and joint ventures. This strategic focus enables the team to tap into cutting-edge research projects, invest in entrepreneurial start-ups and collaborate with innovators to commercialize ventures in line with operator and enterprise needs. Find more information here.


About Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation,  and governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 15.2 billion in 2009 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Web, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog and follow us on Twitter.