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Technology Development Institute supports K-State associate professor's bassoon product launch

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023



MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Technology Development Institute in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering has helped an associate professor launch the Maxwell Leg Hook, a new product for the bassoon industry.

Susan Maxwell is not only a teaching associate professor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance but also an inventor who enjoys developing new products for other bassoon musicians around the world. Her latest invention helps bassoonists carry the weight of their instruments while playing. 

The Technology Development Institute, or TDI, completed the design and initial production of Maxwell's invention, the Maxwell Leg Hook, which was officially launched Tuesday, July 25 at a Bassoon Profiler masterclass held at Midwest Musical Imports in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Maxwell Leg Hook is a new and improved design that helps musicians ergonomically carry their bassoons while playing. It is lighter than other leg hooks, and the padding on the inside of the hook makes it more comfortable. Unlike other leg hooks, it does not need to be professionally mounted onto the bassoon, and a thumb screw allows it to be easily attached and detached. It also works with commercially available bassoon stands, allowing the bassoon player to set the instrument down without fear of it falling over.

"We are always pleased to help researchers produce tools that help others in their area of study," said Bret Lanz, commercialization director for TDI. "Susan has been great to work with and has put in the time to learn the details of the manufacturing process, and as a result, she better understands how her tools work and can help train new users on the best practices."

Maxwell also worked with TDI in 2011 to develop her first product, the Maxwell Bassoon Profiler. The profiler is a tool that is used to produce the reeds needed for bassoons. Since its launch, Maxwell has sold more than 200 units and has provided many classes on how to use the profiler machines to produce the highest quality reeds possible. She currently sells the devices on her website and through a limited number of industry-specific dealers.

"The team at TDI has always been extremely helpful to me as I expanded from teaching into manufacturing," Maxwell said. "They helped me design, prototype and create a drawing package for me that I could take to manufacturers who produce parts for me. When I was ready to develop my next product, I knew exactly where to go, and the process was very streamlined."

This project was completed in support of the K-State 105 initiative, Kansas State University's answer to the call for a comprehensive economic growth and advancement solution for Kansas. The initiative leverages the statewide K-State Research and Extension network to deliver the full breadth of the university's collective knowledge and solution-driven innovation to every Kansan, right where they live and work. Additionally, K-State 105 forges the connections and partnerships that create access to additional expertise within other state institutions and agencies, nonprofits and corporations — all part of an effort to build additional capacities and strengths in each of the 105 counties in the state.

The K-State Technology Development Institute, a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration University Center, provides a broad range of engineering and business development services to both private industry and university researchers to advance the commercial readiness of new products or technologies.

Media contact

Division of Communications and Marketing


Carl R. Ice College of Engineering

News tip

Minneapolis, Minnesota.


Download the following photo.

Maxwell Leg Hook

The Technology Development Institute at K-State helped Susan Maxwell, teaching associate professor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, launch the Maxwell Leg Hook, a new product for the bassoon industry.

Written by

Bret Lanz