UC Engineering Professor Wins Technology Commercialization Award for Biosensor

Jason Heikenfeld, PhD and

University of Cincinnati

College of Engineering and Applied Science


Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems

, has been honored with the second-annual Technology Commercialization Award from the Ohio Faculty Council. Heikenfeld is recognized for his ingenious biosensors that stimulate sweat even while a patient is cool and resting.

“This award aligns with something I have always been deeply passionate about, commercialization of university innovation,” Heikenfeld said. “Even years ago in my PhD dissertation, I built a manufacturing cost model into the last chapter. I have found that this outward focus on how innovation can impact society and commerce has made me more effective in every aspect of faculty life. It even changed the way I teach by reaching deeper into understanding what the needs really are on the client (student) side as well. I'm thrilled to now be assistant vice president for commercialization at UC, where I hope more faculty, staff and students can benefit from the same professional growth that I have experienced due to the external engagement that commercialization requires.”

In 2016, the Ohio Faculty Council launched a Technology Commercialization Award that is presented annually to recognize a faculty member in the state university system in Ohio for exceptional research discoveries and the role they have played in supporting the translation of those discoveries into marketable products or services.

The award celebrates faculty successes such as those by Heikenfeld and award runner-up Amit Sheth, LexisNexis Ohio Eminent Scholar and executive director of Wright State University’s

Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-Enabled Computing

. He developed software called Twitris that employs a sophisticated algorithm that analyzes words, emotions and other factors in tweets on a massive scale to provide unprecedented insights, suggestions, actions or predicted outcomes.

Heikenfeld’s sweat bio-sensing technology has wide market applicability in many aspects of medicine, industry and sports. He has been able to leverage the technology and 26 associated patents into the creation of a start-up company, Eccrine Systems, which has already grown to several dozen employees and has been recognized by Bloomberg as one of the 50 best startups in the country.

“The public university system of Ohio is a key incubator for innovation and the OFC embraces the opportunity to spotlight the role that our phenomenal faculty play in economic development,” said Dan Krane, chair of the Ohio Faculty Council and professor of biological sciences at WSU. “Heikenfeld has demonstrated a commitment to help others develop commercialization activities – by helping create entrepreneurial educational programs and by recently taking on the role of assistant vice president for commercialization at UC. His work is an outstanding example of how faculty across the state are working to create a collaborative and resourceful statewide entrepreneurial ecosystem that allows high-potential companies to grow and prosper.”

About the Ohio Faculty Council

The Ohio Faculty Council represents faculty at all of Ohio's four-year public universities. It addresses concerns common to faculty members across Ohio and presents a faculty perspective on major issues affecting higher education. It is committed to supporting and bringing attention to the critical role that Ohio’s institutions of higher education play in revitalizing the economy of the state and the nation by attracting and training an educated workforce. Learn more at