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ENGINE grants aim to jump-start technological innovations

Friday, December 4, 2015

A pilot program in Penn State's College of Engineering is providing financial support to faculty to transition their early-stage research results through a proof-of-concept phase, with the ultimate objective of forming a start-up company or licensing the technology to an established business.

The College of Engineering ENGineering for Innovation & ENtrepreneurship (ENGINE) grant program is currently funding four projects.

Theresa Mayer, associate dean for research and innovation in the college, said, "This program was established to address the 'valley of death' that often occurs between developing a product and taking the product to market. The ENGINE grant program also supports President Barron’s Invent Penn State initiative."

The following faculty received ENGINE grants for 2015-2016:

  • Tony Huang, professor of engineering science and mechanics, "Development of a Microfluidic System for Complete Blood Counts"
  • Donghai Wang, associate professor of mechanical engineering, "Development of High-Energy-Density Lithium Alloy-Sulfur Batteries"
  • Darrell Velegol, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Manish Kumar, assistant professor of chemical engineering, "Piloting Diffusiophoretic Membrane Fouling Reduction"
  • Qiming Zhang, Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, "Solid State Electrocaloric Effect Based Cooler"

Huang, Wang, Velegol and Zhang recently presented progress reports on their research to a committee that included Mayer as well as representatives from the Smeal College of Business, Penn State's Office of Technology Management and Penn State's Office of the Vice President for Research.