Logan Maxwell (B.S. '13) doesn't like his coffee too cold or too hot. He likes it just right.
With that in mind Logan developed a coffee mug that keeps hot beverages at a comfortable drinking temperature for hours at a time. He was participating in the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at the time, and his senior design project resulted in the concept and first prototype of the Temperfect mug.
The idea is simple. Between the outer and middle walls is a vacuum, like a conventional insulated mug. But between the middle wall and the inner wall of the mug is a non-toxic chemical, "Material X," that becomes a liquid at 140 degrees F.
At room temperature, Material X is a solid. But when you pour hot coffee into the mug, the heat dissipates through the stainless steel inner wall of the mug and is absorbed by Material X, which then melts. This pulls the temperature of the coffee down to 140 degrees F (most coffee is served at between 200 F and 185 F, and temperatures above 140 F can burn you). As the coffee cools, Material X releases its heat back through the lining of the mug - keeping the coffee hot.
The concept of a "phase-change" coffee mug was patented in the 1960s, but never made it to the marketplace due to manufacturing difficulties. But Maxwell happened to meet an engineer named Dean Verhoeven who had already solved the manufacturing problem and had done extensive design work of his own. Dean and Maxwell teamed up and their company, Joeveo was born.
The two launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the initial production run of Temperfect mugs, and reached their funding goal in less than two weeks.