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UConn inventors honored

by Michael Kirk - April 17, 2006

Connecticut’s reputation as home to prolific inventors from Eli Whitney to Igor Sikorsky was reaffirmed during a dinner March 30, when UConn faculty and researchers who have been awarded patents in the past year were honored for their work.

Geoff Taylor, a professor of electrical engineering and photonics, was specially recognized for being awarded 10 of the 19 patents awarded to University researchers during that time.

Taylor’s work focuses on materials, devices, and circuits for microelectronics.

He is also chief scientist for OPEL Inc., a start-up company that has licensed all Taylor’s current patents, and the rights to all future patents issued as a result of his work at UConn. OPEL has a small facility on the Depot Campus.

Bruce Carlson, managing director of the University’s Office of Technology Commercialization, said Taylor’s intellectual property is key to the company’s successful commercialization of the UConn-owned technology.

“OPEL’s leadership recognizes the value only Geoff Taylor can bring in assuring a successful transition from the lab to the marketplace,” said Carlson.

OPEL Inc. has developed and proven a new semiconductor process based on a new system.

“Geoff’s extraordinary technical background provides greater value to the UConn patents by increasing the likelihood of their successful application in a very competitive marketplace,” said Michael Newborg, executive director of the University’s Center for Science and Technology Commercialization.

The honorees included Michael Pikal, whose technology is licensed to Kinetic Thermal Systems; Harris Marcus, Fotis Papadimitrakopoulos, Daniel Scola, Eric Jordan, Leon Shaw, Maurice Gell, Pouran Faghri, and Ulrich Mueller-Westerhoff.

“These are the people who drive the process of technology transfer at UConn,” said Newborg.

The keynote speaker was Elaine Pullen, chief technology officer at Gerber Scientific.

Deans, department heads, and colleagues from each faculty inventor’s department also attended.

Austin said technology commercialization is an important part of the University’s research mission.

“Faculty inventors provide the scientific brain power to meet the constantly changing needs of society.”

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