Three research projects receive funding via College of Engineering ENGINE grants

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Engineering recently selected three projects for funding through its Engineering for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (ENGINE) grant program.

Now in its fifth year, ENGINE grants provide financial support to transition 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.

“These grants support [Penn State] President [Eric] Barron’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship by funding faculty with great ideas that are close to commercialization,” said Chris Rahn, associate dean for innovation in the College of Engineering. “It helps our faculty bridge the gap between the lab and impacting tomorrow.”

Rahn formed a committee of internal and external experts in technology commercialization to evaluate all 13 applications. Proposals were evaluated on commercialization potential and scientific merit.

“We are very pleased to see this program continue into its fifth year,” Rahn said. “It provides our faculty with a unique opportunity to learn if their research inventions may be money-makers. This year we have very broad participation across the college and University, including more than half of the College of Engineering departments and the College of Arts and Architecture.”

The following faculty have begun their ENGINE grant research projects:

  • Xiaojun Lian, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, for his project, “Small Molecule-Based Definitive Endoderm Kit and Pancreatic Progenitor Kit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy.”
  • Ali Memari, professor of architectural engineering and civil and environmental engineering; Sven Bilén, head of the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs and professor of engineering design, aerospace engineering and electrical engineering; Aleksandra Radlińska, assistant professor of civil engineering; Nicholas Meisel, assistant professor of engineering design and mechanical engineering, and three faculty from the College of Arts and Architecture, José Pinto Duarte, Stuckeman Chair in Design Innovation and director of the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing; Shadi Nazarian, associate professor; and Maryam Hojati, postdoctoral researcher, for their project, “Development of Sustainable Concrete for 3D Printing.”
  • Chris Giebink, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Baomin Wang, former postdoctoral scholar in electrical engineering, for their project, “Commercializing Antireflection Coatings for Invisible Plastic.”

The college’s ENGINE grants program is supplemented by the Penn State Research Foundation Fund for Innovation, which matches one dollar for every two dollars provided by the college, up to a maximum of $75,000 total investment per project.

“I wholeheartedly congratulate the faculty on their innovative ideas,” Rahn said. “I hope the funding helps these promising technologies toward commercialization.”

Last Updated February 22, 2019