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Faculty Inventors Honored at Midcourt


UC faculty who were awarded patents in 2012 were honored at midcourt Wednesday, Jan. 30, during the men's bastketball game in Fifth Third Arena.

Date: 1/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Dama Ewbank
Phone: (513) 558-4519
Photos By: Ashley Kempher

UC ingot   The University of Cincinnati took a “time out” at the Jan. 30 men’s basketball game against Rutgers to recognize faculty who in 2012 received patents for their inventions. Five of UC’s eight 2012 patent awardees were in attendance, along with a 2007 patent holder who hadn’t previously received recognition.

UC’s Vice President for Research William Ball, MD, and Dorothy Air, PhD, associate vice president for entrepreneurial affairs and technology commercialization, were in attendance to congratulate the inventors. 

Inventors Honored
UC faculty who received patents in 2012 were honored during the Jan. 30 men's basketball game.

 

Patent honorees include:

Anastasios Angelopoulos, PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Angelopoulos, an associate professor in the School of Energy, Environmental, Biological and Medical Engineering, received his 2012 patent for an invention titled “multifunctional nanocoatings and process for fabricating same.” The invention allows for the creation of coatings that are both a conductive and hydrophilic (attracted to water)—properties important, for example, in the development of fuel cells.

Rakesh Govind, PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Govind is a professor in the college’s School of Energy, Environmental, Biological and Medical Engineering. In 2007, together with the Environmental Protection Agency, Govind received a patent for the development of a process for purifying acidic metal-bearing waste waters to permissible discharge levels, while also providing a solution for recovery of marketable metal products.

Jason Heikenfeld, PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Heikenfeld is an associate professor in college’s School of Electric and Computing Systems. He received five patents in 2012 for his work related to electrofluidics and electronic devices. In 2009, Heikenfeld founded the company Gamma Dynamics with the goal of developing electrofluidics technologies for use in displays like e-readers and computer screens. One of Heikenfeld’s 2012 patents was in collaboration with Andrew Steckl, PhD, also of engineering.

Nelson Horseman, PhD
College of Medicine
Horseman is a professor in the molecular and cellular physiology department. His 2012 patent was related to his work on mammary secretion of serotonin during lactation. This phenomenon serves to communicate how “full” the gland is and ultimately, works to stop milk secretion if milk is not regularly removed through nursing or by a pump. (When milk is not removed, serotonin’s signal becomes so strong it ceases milk secretion and shrinks the mammary gland.) Horseman’s invention serves as a method for increasing serotonin activity, which could ultimately be implanted or infused to the mammary gland to intentionally inhibit milk secretion. In 2010, Horseman founded the company Amelgo with the goal of developing this technology to treat domestic animals.

Jay Lee, PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Lee, an Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor in the School of Dynamic Systems, was awarded a patent in 2012 titled “Methods for prognosing mechanical systems.” Lee’s work focuses on the forecasting of machine system failures in order to prevent downtime and waste in the machining industry.

Frank McCormack, MD
College of Medicine
McCormack, division director of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine and B. Gordon & Helen Hughes Taylor Chair of Internal Medicine, received his 2012 patent for his finding that vascular endothelial growth factor-D, or VEGF-D could be used in the diagnosis of the rare lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). The finding allows for the differentiation between LAM from other lung disorders, which has implications for the type of treatment employed.

Ian Papautsky, PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Papautsky, an associate professor in college’s School of Electric and Computing Systems, was recognized for his 2012 patent for particle separation—important for applications in biochemical and environmental assays, micro- and nano-manufacturing and clinical analysis. 

Peter Smirniotis, PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Smirniotis, professor and chemical engineering program chair in the college’s School of Energy, Environmental, Biological and Medical Engineering, was honored for his patent “Sulfur tolerant highly durable carbon dioxide sorbents.” Carbon dioxide emission during combustion contributes to air pollution. Conventional methods for capturing carbon dioxide before its release have been adversely affected by the presence of sulfur. Smirniotis’ patent focuses on the development of sulfur-tolerate systems for removing carbon dioxide during combustion.

Andrew Steckl, PhD
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Steckl, an Ohio Eminent Scholar and professor in the School of Electric and Computing Systems, was honored for his 2012 patent titled “Liquid logic structures for electronic device applications.” Steckl’s 2012 patent was in collaboration with Jason Heikenfeld, PhD, also of engineering. The work focuses on the fabrication of human-scale electronics using liquid components—an improvement over silicon-based technologies due to a number of factors, including flexibility in fabrication temperature and fabrication size.

UC reported 75 patent applications and 123 invention disclosures in 2012. The university’s faculty were involved in six startup companies. UC and its affiliates were awarded more than $405 million in research funding in fiscal year 2012, and the university remains among the top 25 public research institutions for federal research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation.