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Posts Tagged ‘faculty research’

ITN Introduces Faculty Collaboration for Test Measurement and Research

Posted October 16th, 2013 by admin

Collaboration for Test, Measurement and Research

ITN is introducing a collaboration to share Test, Measurement and Research interests among our membership schools. This service is designed to facilitate networking and encourage faculty members to collaborate with one another in a colleague-to-colleague environment.

How does it work?

If you want to engage please complete the request form that is part of this blog post. There are 5 questions to be completed by the requester and then emailed to Spike Moyer (rsm17@psu.edu). ITN will apply a network of faculty in 15 schools to relay your request to locate a colleague who wants to work with you.

At each member school, our ITN Advisory Board Member will communicate your request to the appropriate Department Chair. They will share your request with a faculty who is most likely to share your interests. Participation is voluntary and faculty are not required to respond to the request. If they have a common interest and wish to participate, then they will send you an email invitation that acknowledges your request. The rest is up to you to work out collaboration arrangements, colleague-to-colleague.

We are just rolling this out and expect to find some glitches in the system. ITN will work closely with the participants to identify and address these.

ITN Collaboration for Test, Measurement and Research Form

How does it work?

If you want to collaborate…..for test, measurement or research

Complete this short request form and email it to rsm17@psu.edu

1. How do you want to collaborate?: Example..I am interested in xyz and wanted to chat with someone who is working on similar material…or I would like to talk to someone about testing my sample of abc using edf type of equipment. …or I would like to assemble a joint grant proposal that includes several schools.

2. Your Name:

3. Your Email:

4. School/Dept:

5. Dept. Chair Name:

Instructions: Provide requested information

Save the form with your information

Email your saved form to: rsm17@psu.edu

What happens next?

ITN will acknowledge receipt of your request and send it to our ITN Board Members.

They will provide it to the department chair on their campus that is most likely to share your interest. Dept. Chairs will forward this to their faculty and interested faculty may respond to your request.

You should receive an email from an interested faculty.

Terms and conditions of all collaborations are determined by the collaborators.

Engineers Connect & Compare Notes on Concrete, Circuits, and a Collaboratory

Posted January 18th, 2011 by admin

Recently a group of engineering faculty (and three graduate engineering students) connected at Messiah College in the first ITN Engineering Forum. These gatherings offer faculty among the ITN schools to meet informally, connect professionally, and gain understanding about the variety of innovation underway across the region. We have seen relationships arise from these, and other ITN events, resulting in research collaborations and joint efforts in pursuit of public and private sector projects. This event was also supported by the NSF-PFI (Partnerships for Innovation) grant. Below is a brief re-cap of the discussion, which is planned as a quarterly meeting.

The group was welcomed by Dr. Randy Fish, Engineering Department Chair and Professor of Engineering, who also spoke briefly on Messiah’s Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research.

The first presentation was by Dr. Nathaniel E Hager, III; Research Scientist in the Physics & Engineering Dept. of Elizabethtown College. Dr. Hager uses ultrafast pulse Time-Domain-Reflectometry (TDR) to assess the cure of concrete and cementitious materials.

Dr. Aldo Morales, Co-Director of the Center for Signal Integrity at Penn State Harrisburg, spoke on the Center’s activities. “Signal integrity is the engineering field that analyzes high-speed electrical interconnects with the overall goal of improving the design, reliability, and performance of digital systems.” Karthik Balasubramanian, a graduate student in electrical engineering also presented on signal integrity and high speed interconnects.

Mike Zummo, Biodiesel Project Manager and 2006 mechanical engineering graduate at Messiah College reflected on the years that Messiah has been involved in biodiesel, both here and overseas. A small scale production biodiesel facility has been constructed and in September 2008 the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the Collaboratory a USDOE grant for nearly $500,000 for research and refining of the production process.

Dr. Harold Underwood, Associate Professor of Engineering, specializes in circuits, electromagnetics, linear systems, antennas and wireless communication systems, and RF/microwave applications. He has been working in partnership with The SymBionyx Foundation on an assistive technology for Asperger Syndrome clients, known as Wireless Enabled Remote Co-presenceTM (WERC).

Posted by Malcolm Furman, Faculty Liaison at ITN

What You Need to Start a Virtual Commercialization Hub

Posted November 23rd, 2010 by admin

During last week’s national call hosted by Technology Transfer Tactics, we were given the opportunity to share details on ITN’s business model. It’s a unique structure as a virtual commercialization office for a dozen small colleges and universities, and over our five-year lifespan we’ve learned many lessons. While our growth is still a work-in-progress, I’ll share three major points for groups looking to harness academic talent that is spread across multiple institutions.

Identify Key Economic Development Players- find the economic development and funding organizations in your region who see the long term value of connecting faculty and business and get their commitment. You need people willing to go to bat for the organization. ITN could not have launched without the support of economic development groups from Lancaster and Harrisburg, as well as the  PA Department of Community and Economic Development, Penn State Harrisburg, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP. These early leaders “got it” and were willing to put their money-where-their-mouth-is, by putting in sponsorship dollars, funding staff, giving us space and equipment, and providing access and support from their own staff. These leaders give you the credibility you need in the early days, before you have any real deliverables to showcase.

Fund Seed Grants - We put into play a bucket of money specifically set aside to fund small projects between faculty and business. Up to $20,000 has been available for faculty to apply for and use to accelerate a product or service. Over time we’ve learned that a committed business needs to be involved (not just a signature on a page), bringing cash match or a similar equivalent, and the deliverable has to demonstrate progress toward commercialization. Research for research sake does not help us meet our organizational objectives and plenty of other funding sources, with deeper pockets, support such activities. These seed grants are a great way to bring entrepreneurial faculty out of the woodwork and begin collaborations, particularly in the beginning.

Find Your Niche(s)- The sooner you can identify which pockets of talent and industry segments your faculty are engaged in, the quicker you can gain momentum and begin productive collaboration. Our industry/faculty groups happen to be things like biofuels, simulation and gaming, and engineering, however, they could be anything. There’s real value in connecting faculty across campuses who are doing similar work. This allows you to be a resource for companies in the region (or ones considering your region), and it pools together resources to attract grant funding. Ideas feed off ideas and connecting faculty and students from across campuses increases the innovation factor significantly.  It also gives you multiple options when trying to connect with a business partner. With student work loads, faculty class commitments, and outside projects, you need options to make a timely fit when a company project comes into play. Not all faculty are available at the moment you need them.

These puzzle pieces lead to all kinds of exciting options, including lively faculty forums, industry forums, new product launches, and bigger grants. We attracted over $800,000 in funding for a regional biofuels center, available to all the faculty and companies in our network, largely thanks to these three elements. Of course, this raises other challenges, not the least of which is staffing and sustainability. The more your organization can demonstrate an ability (or real potential) to attract regional talent, keep talent, accelerate company growth, and assist economic development, the more likely state-wide funding will occur.

Millersville University Makes Big Splash at HydroWorx

Posted March 4th, 2010 by admin

HydroWorx CEO, Anson Flake, has extensive experience working with colleges and universities in his line of business. As co-founder of the company, he’s enjoyed success manufacturing and selling premium aquatic therapy pools to big name institutions and organizations in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NCAA. I sat down with him to better understand the impact academia, and ITN, could have on expanding a business like his.

In Pa, ITN has assisted HydroWorx by connecting the company with talented faculty in graphics & design, and business at one of our members, Millersville University. Together the faculty pair led a select group of students as they compiled and ultimately presented their findings on market research and competitive analysis to company executives. From Anson’s view, the collaborative opportunity injected a small team into his company for a short-term, specialized project. As he put it, a faculty team identified by ITN is like having your own scout for research talent. ITN did the searching, calling, and connecting of faculty in his designated sweet spot while faculty did the heavy lifting guiding, leading, and supporting students as they addressed real-world issues from HydroWorx.  

According to Anson, ITN’s model of representing a group of small colleges and universities is both a pre-launch and post launch opportunity for companies. Pre-launch involves demographics, market validation, product development, packaging, messaging, the works. Post launch is all about studies to confirm and validate the product deliverable, lending further credibility to the product once it lands squarely in the market.  With so many experienced faculty to choose from, across such a broad spectrum, the odds of finding the right fit are equally as good, if not better, than working with only one institution.

For students, the experience is one more notch on the belt for those seeking every advantage in building their portfolio and getting a foot in the door as a future hire. In this case, the Millersville student’s successful data collection and information analysis was integrated into HydroWorx existing research and is being used to enhance their decision-making process. These budding professionals got the chance to understand working on a specific timeline, under pressure, and making presentations that had an impact on real business decisions, and then hearing the feedback. All while calling a dorm room home.

Back at ITN, we’ll continue to work on the challenges - coordinating schedules, improving communication, and increasing face time between companies, students, and faculty, all immersed in crammed schedules. This project was a great chance to get our feet wet with HydroWorx, and now, as we discuss our next joint effort, we’re ready to take the plunge.

Tech Transfer Requires a Trash Can

Posted August 25th, 2009 by admin

P&G is one of many companies who have invested in the concept of openly recruiting new ideas and talent from outside their employee talent pool. Their website, P&G Connect, asks for “game changing” products, technology and business models and beckons innovators to submit. “Connect & Develop” is their mantra.

The “Connect & Develop” concept has slowly trickled down to main street communities particularly as business owners struggle to survive the current economic climate. Our recent interaction with corporate execs and owners confirms the notion that companies of all sizes are now more open to identifying and partnering with outside entities. This new way of “thinking outside the cubicle” is opening many doors here for collaboration. At a recent meeting with one Cumberland county-based engineering firm, we learned of their 2009 initiative to accelerate innovation. The company has developed a formal ideas submission process, including screening and committees, to quickly kill or act on ideas brought forth by employees. (This also has the side benefit of energizing employees.) Once the idea is deemed to have merit, organizations like ITN can provide further due diligence to save time and speed the process. Faculty active in a chosen industry segment can be identified by the ITN team and connected with the company’s project leader. (This process of identifying and connecting will be further accelerated in September, when ITN’s online Enclave community launches.) The ability to support a product or market launch with third party research offers companies ammunition to run the concept “up the flag pole” and seek the CFO’s blessing.

In addition to corporate meetings, we’re also talking with organizations like MANTEC, whose hot-button is helping manufacturers and other companies innovate and drive top line growth. ITN can sift through the faculty at local colleges and universities, find pockets of expertise, and identify willing and available candidates for a specific project. From there, it can be as easy as hosting a lunch discussion to see if the project has potential. For company project managers, interaction with researchers and experts outside the business offers a new perspective and perhaps different ways of looking at a product or process. On the flip side, it also helps the faculty understand that when you move from theory to practice, many other factors come into play – financial, market timing, employee motivation, customer demands.

In other meetings, Managing Director Asher Epstein of the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, shared a few of his lessons learned with me. One such lesson includes figuring out how to get faculty/students and industry (which includes both investors and business owners) together as quickly as possible in the idea generation process. From his perspective (and the Center’s 23 years of experience) the faster research and ideas meet real-world obstacles and opportunities, the sooner all parties can determine the viability of a project and move it to execution, or the trash can.

Lights, camera…faculty!

Posted June 24th, 2009 by jjh27

The International headquarters of the Innovation Transfer Network is about to be revealed. It’s not in London or Paris, it is in Harrisburg, Pa on Seventh Street. Some might call our digs at East Gate modest. The accomplishment isn’t really the location, it’s the fact that an organization focused on bringing faculty and business together is jumping head first into the interactive media world.

With well over 40 projects funded, we felt it was time to tell the story, literally. Photostreams are already posted, along with video of an entertaining and informative session by Inc. magazine’s Norm Brodsky. Soon we’ll begin loading clips of the team, funded projects, interesting faculty work and lively private sector companies engaged with our network of colleges and universities.

As the clock winds down to the new site launch our equipment is charging and the team is running for cover from the video camera. (They can run but they can’t hide!)

Stay tuned. In the meantime, if you’d like to check out a few ITN photos, here’s a preview.