The Berkeley Student Innovator Award is a $5,000 scholarship that rewards the most creative, innovative, and feasible idea that is proposed by a student, or a team of up to three students. The funding can be used for developing the idea further. Concepts involving clinical eye care, research, practice management, optometric education, health care policy, community education, and technology and social media are all fair game. This award is sponsored by VSP through Jobson’s Rick Bay Foundation for Excellence in Eyecare Education.

We are happy to announce that Peter Ji, Class of 2023, is the winner of the Student Innovator Award this year for his innovative presentation titled “Auto Trial Lens Demo”.


Demonstrating the prescription is a vital part in determining what ends up in the patients’ glasses and whether or not a lens redo will be coming back to the office. The current method involves a bulky trial frame that requires optometrists to manually insert individual lenses. When multiple demonstrations must be made, such as in the cases for presbyopic and binocular vision exams, this would easily result in repetitive work for the doctor and a frustrating experience for the patient.

The auto trial lens demo would automatically assemble the trial lenses onto the trial frame, improving both the accuracy and efficiency of the demonstration. Patients would be able to experience their new prescription through a trial frame that much more closely resembles a real pair of glasses, without the bulky knobs and other uncomfortable apparatuses. Auto trial lens demo has the potential to further advance the landscape of innovative optometric technology and transform the perception of optometry in the eyes of patients, industry professionals, and other healthcare providers.

In response to his accomplishment, Peter says, “I am honored and grateful to have been a part of this experience. My most sincere gratitude goes toward my professors who have helped me along the way. I look forward to eventually making this project a reality.”

Congratulations Peter!

The presentations of the other 3 finalists, Young Kim (Biodegradable-Film Coated Scleral Lens for Drug Delivery), Jessica Liaw (FollowUp), and Bryce Olson (The Automated Optical Display System + App) were also outstanding.

Thank you to everyone who participated and attended this event. A special thank you to VSP and Jobson’s Rick Bay Foundation for Excellence in Eyecare Education for sponsoring this inspiring event.

Related link:

2021 Berkeley Student Innovator Award – UC Berkeley School of Optometry