The department recognized MechSE alumnus Adam Tilton (BSME ’10) this spring as one of its Outstanding Young Alumni for his entrepreneurial accomplishments as a young professional.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, Tilton joined Associate Professor Prashant Mehta’s research group, and studied control and estimation theory. While working towards his PhD with Mehta, he researched new ways of classifying patterns in time series data. Tilton and Mehta were awarded a National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps award in 2013 to pursue their research for commercial purposes.
As a student at Illinois, Tilton was a finalist for the Illinois Innovation Prize and won the COZAD New Venture Competition in 2014. This interest eventually led Tilton to raise $3 million in seed funding for his startup, Rithmio, a company that provides software for “wearable motion sensing devices that can learn and identify physical activities.”
In 2016, he made the #TECH50 list for Crain’s Chicago Business.
Now, Tilton is involved in a Chicago software startup called Ocient, which is responsible for high-velocity analytics and machine applications on large data sets.
He said he is grateful for everything he learned at Illinois, and for all the challenges the university put in his path.
“I learned how to be encouraged,” Tilton said. “I was inspired, I was challenged, I was defeated but I also succeeded. But the most important thing I remember from the University of Illinois is that it’s is such a joyful place, full of tons of people with diverse thought, and it enabled me to think big and chase my dreams.”