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PhenotypeIT CEO Wins Alumni Award

This article is the first in a series showcasing the accomplished graduates recently presented with Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards. Waltham resident Alaina B. Hanlon, the President and CEO of PhenotypeIT, Inc. of Newton, was honored on October 16 with a College of Engineering 2010 Outstanding Junior Alumni Award for “serving as a worthy ambassador for the college and demonstrating extraordinary effort and notable success in her early career.”

PhenotypeIT, which Hanlon co-founded, provides health and wellness software solutions to help individuals and organizations better identify and manage chronic health issues.

Hanlon earned her M.S. degree in 2005 and her Ph.D. degree in 2008 from the UMass Amherst Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department.

Since completing her doctoral degree in 2008, Dr. Hanlon has continued on a steep career trajectory. She co-founded PhenotypeIT with a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. PhenotypeIT uses Dr. Hanlon’s engineering experience in developing risk assessment and predictive technologies to provide solutions that help businesses manage and reduce their healthcare costs.

The technology co-developed by Dr. Hanlon identifies the causes of individuals’ current and future health problems by using novel risk-predicting methodologies. Incorporated into insurer- and employer-supported wellness programs, such personalized, evidence-based services attempt to use engineering methods to change the way we as a society deal with the maintenance of health and treatment of chronic disease.

PhenotypeIT is Dr. Hanlon’s second entrepreneurial venture. While pursuing her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and researching condition monitoring in spacecraft, she co-founded a civil engineering company that produces equipment which monitors the physical integrity of earthworks such as dams, levees, and tunnels. This company, Condition Engineering, Inc., has been honored with many awards, including winning the $50,000 UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge in 2007 and a grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

Dr. Hanlon has been awarded fellowships from NASA, the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium, and the Isenberg Fellowship from UMass Amherst.

Dr. Hanlon has often served as an invited speaker, including speaking at the Women in Business Lecture Series at UMass Amherst in 2009 and the Innovative Thinking & Entrepreneurship Lecture at Bay Path College. She received her B.S. from Maine Maritime Academy. (November 2010)