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Yuan Zheng, Lise Worthen-Chaudhari and Jacob Mendlovic named 2016 Innovators of the Year

Wed, 25th January, 2017

As Ohio State continues to expand its role in the commercialization of research, it is important to create an environment that facilitates and rewards research creativity and entrepreneurship. To support and stimulate entrepreneurial activity among Ohio State researchers, three university-wide awards were presented on January 25, 2017, to Ohio State’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Innovator of the Year: Yuan Zheng

Yuan Zheng, Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons

Yuan Zheng
Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons

The 2016 Innovator of the Year is Yuan Zheng, professor of electrical and computer engineering. He has been a leader in robotics research for more than 35 years, creating innovative structures and mechanisms for robotics in industrial, defense and service applications.

In 2014, Zheng developed the Circular Wave Drive (CWD), a compact and co-axial gear head that allows for speed reduction in rotational motions. Speed reducers represent 36% of the total cost of an industrial robot. Yuan’s CWD was developed as a replacement for the traditional Harmonic Drive Gear (HDG) technology used widely in the robotics industry. The HDG technology uses a special metal alloy that has to be replaced every two years and requires expensive high precision machining.

Zheng’s CWD technology overcomes the shortcomings of the HDG. He developed a low-cost, compact, highly-efficient, ruggedized speed reducing gear system. He increased torque capacity and the life span of the gear by eliminating the use of flexible materials in the design. This invention could mean the formation of a new market of ultra-fast, high-precision steering and automation beyond robotic joints.

IKOVE, a local venture capital company, licensed his technology from the university in 2015 and founded a start-up company called CWD LLC. One U.S. patent and one international patent have been filed. Funding from the Ohio Third Frontier’s Technology Validation and Start-up Fund was used to design and fabricate a prototype CWD.

Early Career Innovator of the Year: Lise Worthen-Chaudhari

Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, research asst. prof. in College of Medicine Dance MFA Photo by Jo McCulty

Lise Worthen-Chaudhari
Photo by Jo McCulty

The 2016 Early Career Innovator of the Year is Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, research assistant professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation and associate director of the Human Motion Analysis and Recovery Laboratory. She uses the art, math and science of movement to integrate the creative arts with rehabilitation science.

Worthen-Chaudhari applies new creative paradigms and emerging technologies–from arts, gaming or other disciplines in the creative sector–to improve human recovery and health by making it more engaging and more data-driven. A biomechanist and former professional dancer, Lise combined her passion for biomechanics and dance to develop a revolutionary new therapy that inspires physical rehabilitation via movement that creates art.

She and her team developed an interactive computer program called Embedded Arts for patients receiving occupational, recreational or physical therapy to recover from traumatic brain injuries, strokes and spinal cord injuries. The program uses motion caption technology to highlight the personal nature of prescribed rehabilitative movement and to document the recovery process. Movement detected by lightweight sensors is translated on a computer screen as an abstract painting.

Worthen-Chaudhari’s technology has been licensed to Columbus-based Rekovo–a company whose mission is to “bring innovative ideas to the health care market that are both affordable and create tremendous positive impact.” The ultimate goal is for patients to be able to use this program at home to continue their therapy.

Student Innovator of the Year: Jacob Mendlovic

Jacob Mendlovic, Mechanical Engineering Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons

Jacob Mendlovic
Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons

The 2016 Student Innovator of the Year is Jacob Mendlovic, a recent Ohio State honors graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in nuclear engineering. He is passionate about using innovative engineering solutions to solve real-world problems.

Mendlovic is the primary inventor of a patent-pending technology that does electrochemical imaging of below ground biomasses and fuel. He developed a microscale platinum wire probe that uses intrinsic electrochemical properties to create images of subsurface biomass structures.

The probe could provide farmers with information about soil conditions that would help them select crops resistant to drought and make adjustments to planting and irrigation techniques. National Park monitors could use the probe to analyze tree and biomass health, helping to mitigate wild fires. The Office of Energy and Environment sees potential for this technology to identify trace chemicals from fracking applications in water. Jacob worked with Shaurya Prakash, associate professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, on his research.

Spurred by the success of leading a student group to develop cost-cutting methods for small-scale coffee farmers in Honduras, Mendlovic founded “Students for a Sustainable Honduras.” This club brings together teams of undergraduate students to share ideas and expand the impact of student projects across the country. Following graduation, he aided in the creation of a framework for universal metrics in the energy-water-food-social nexus, allowing for a better understanding of the interactions of these resources with the ever-increasing population.

The Innovator of the Year and Early Career Innovator of the Year awards recognize Ohio State researchers who are working actively to promote commercialization of university intellectual property, through invention disclosures filed, patents applied for and/or received, technologies licensed or spin-off companies formed. These activities support economic development in the Central Ohio region, and serve to attract companies that create a base of operations within the state. The creation of separate categories for more established researchers and for early career researchers allows cultivation of an entrepreneurial spirit among all of our investigators.

The Student Innovator of the Year award recognizes innovation and entrepreneurship among our students that has contributed to the development or commercialization of a new technology.

Category : Awards / Celebration of Research / Commercialization / Events / Featured Articles / General Information / Innovator of the Year awards / State of Research address / Student Research

Watch the State of Research address and Innovator of the Year presentation

Tue, 24th January, 2017

email-post-CW-header
Dr. Caroline Whitacre, senior vice president for research, delivered the annual state of research address on January 25, 2017. This year’s address was titled “Creative Partnerships, Meaningful Impact.”

When mathematics meets biology, dance meets science or astronomy meets philosophy–researchers can begin to look at the world in a different way. And sometimes, the most amazing results come from unexpected partnerships. Learn more about the surprising collaborations taking place at the university that don’t involve the “usual suspects.”

At the end of the address, the 2016 Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year and Student Innovator of the Year were named.

Watch the presentation

Watch the video

View/download the presentation slides

State of Research January 25, 2017

View/download the text from the address

State of Research text

View/download photos from the event

State of Research photos

Innovator of the Year photos

If you have questions, please contact Beth Haas.

Category : Academic Centers / Awards / Byrd Polar Research Center / Celebration of Research / Events / Featured Articles / Funding / General Information / Innovator of the Year awards / Institute for Energy and the Environment / Institute for Materials Research / State of Research address / Student Research

BETHA 2016 Call for Proposals

Thu, 27th August, 2015

All full-time Ohio State faculty from any college or discipline are invited to submit proposals for the annual Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs (BETHA) Endowment grant competition. The Battelle Memorial Institute-Ohio State partnership fosters programs that examine the relationship between science and technology and its impact on broader social and cultural issues. Emphasis is placed on educational and public service projects rather than pure research. Interdisciplinary collaborations within the university and collaborations with other institutions are especially encouraged. Projects that address engineering-related topics or feature collaborations between engineering and the social sciences or arts/humanities are particularly welcomed. Typically, three to six awards are granted, ranging from $10,000 to $60,000.  Awards will be made in the spring of 2016 for projects to begin the following autumn semester. The deadline for receipt of proposals is Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at 5 p.m. 

For more information or with questions contact Cheryl Cahlander, betha@research.osu.edu, or call (614) 247-4764.

Battelle-Ohio State Partnership History

Proposal Submission Instructions

FAQ

Examples of Past Funded Projects

Proposal Documents – Fillable PDF

Proposal Checklist

• Cover Page

Budget Summary

Proposal Documents – MS Word

Proposal Checklist

• Cover Page

• Budget Summary (Excel)

Category : Awards / Featured Articles / Funding / General Information

Get connected: Attend the 2015 Research Expo

Wed, 26th August, 2015

Don’t miss the 2015 annual Research Expo.

Thursday, September 24
9:30 a.m. – noon
Ohio Union, Great Hall Meeting Room

More than 60 exhibitors – research centers, institutes, core laboratories, shared resource providers, and campus vendors – will be on hand to help you navigate your way through the research enterprise.

The Expo provides a great opportunity to network with fellow researchers and find collaborators for future endeavors.

The event is open to the entire research community.

View the list of exhibitors.

RSVP to attend the event.

Category : Academic Centers / Celebration of Research / Events / Featured Articles / General Information / Industry Liasion Office / Institute for Materials Research / Office of Research Compliance / Office of Responsible Research Practices / Office of Sponsored Programs / Research Tools / University Laboratory Animal Resources

Call for Nominations: 2015 Innovator of the Year

Wed, 29th July, 2015

As Ohio State continues to expand its role in the commercialization of research, it is important that we create an environment that facilitates and rewards research creativity and entrepreneurship. To support and stimulate entrepreneurial activity among our researchers, three university-wide awards will be presented this year to reward our most successful entrepreneurs. Nominations are sought in the following categories: Innovator of the YearEarly Career Innovator of the Year and Student Innovator of the Year. One award will be given in each category.

The Innovator of the Year and Early Career Innovator of the Year awards are intended to recognize an Ohio State researcher who is working actively to promote commercialization of university intellectual property, through invention disclosures filed, patents applied for and/or received, technologies licensed or spin-off companies formed. These activities support economic development in the central Ohio region, and serve to attract companies that create a base of operations within the state. The creation of separate award categories for more established researchers and for early career researchers allows cultivation of an entrepreneurial spirit among all of our investigators.

The Student Innovator of the Year award is intended to recognize innovation and entrepreneurship among our students that has contributed to the development or commercialization of a new technology. This award, which is open to undergraduate or graduate students, may recognize a student start-up company whose success is a result of entrepreneurial talent, creativity and energy.

We are requesting a maximum of TWO nominations from each college for each category (a total of six nominations per college). A nomination should consist of a letter from the college dean and a summary of the relevant commercialization activities from the candidate’s curriculum vitae or resume. These activities include invention disclosures, patents (applied for and/or awarded), licenses generated and companies formed.

The nominees for the Innovator or Early Career Innovator need not be faculty members, allowing for the recognition of commercialization activities by staff members as well as faculty. For the Early Career Innovator category, a candidate must be either an assistant or early associate professor (if a faculty member), or have been at Ohio State no more than 10 years (if a staff member). For the Student Innovator category, nominees must be undergraduate or graduate students who are currently registered, or recent Ohio State graduates (within the last year).

Nominations, and questions prior to nomination, should be submitted to:

Caroline Whitacre
Vice President for Research
Office of Research
208 Bricker Hall
190 North Oval Mall
whitacre.3@osu.edu

Nominations must be received by September 15, 2015. They will be reviewed by a committee composed of individuals both internal and external to the university.

The awards for Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year, and Student Innovator of the Year will be presented as part of the State of Research address on October 22, 2015, at the U.S. Bank Conference Theater in the Ohio Union.

2015_Call for Nominations

Category : Awards / Celebration of Research / Events / Featured Articles / General Information / Innovator of the Year awards / State of Research address / Student Research