Purdue, WestGate, Crane to celebrate collaborative agreement to advance tech research, commercialization and job creation

July 20 2017

More than 500 people are expected to attend a celebration of an economic collaboration agreement at 3:30 p.m. Monday (July 24) at the WestGate Academy Training and Conference Center at 13598 East WestGate Drive in Odon, Indiana.

The agreement launches a major economic and professional development initiative to support technology research, commercialization and job creation throughout Southern Indiana.

Partners include the WestGate Authority, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation, with additional collaboration with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Radius Indiana. Radius Indiana is an eight-county regional partnership including Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Other Indiana-based public universities including Indiana University and the University of Southern Indiana also are expected to participate in the ongoing collaboration.


Technology could transform microalgae into bio-based chemicals to increase biofeedstock, reduce landfill waste

July 19 2017

Gen3Bio Inc., a Purdue Foundry-affiliated company, is developing a unique process that could more effectively and affordably transform microalgae into bio-based chemicals to maximize the value of biofeedstock and reduce landfill waste.

“There’s been a huge movement toward greener, renewable products for the sake of the environment and that includes biofuels and biochemicals,” said Kelvin Okamoto, founder of Gen3Bio. “Conventional biofuels are derived from sugars of crops, which can take a considerable amount of land and water to produce. Algae has a low carbon footprint, is renewable and can be accessed in large quantities, so overall it is very environmentally friendly. It’s a great alternative to meet the expected demand for bio-based products in the future.”

Okamoto earned his Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and Cornell University, respectively. Through his company, Okamoto is scaling up and commercializing an effective, efficient and low-cost algae extraction method to lyse open the algae cells by using a mix of commercially available enzymes. Lysing open the cells releases and separates the fats, sugars and proteins within the cells. The different chemical components can be sold or further converted into bio-based chemicals, biofuels and bioplastics. The technology was developed at the University of Toledo.


MRI device could bridge neuro-technologies for medical diagnostics, increase patient safety

July 18 2017

A technology being developed at Purdue University could provide an affordable, smart, self-learning device that, when placed into existing MRI machines could allow medical professionals to monitor patients more effectively and safely, by performing concurrent medical imaging and recording for diagnostic purposes.

Purdue researchers recently presented their findings, “Multimodal Imaging: MR-Compatible, Gradient Artifact free, Wireless recording system integrated with MR-scanner for Simultaneous EEG and fMRI acquisition,” at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. The article also received an ISMRM magna cum laude merit award, and power-pitch highlight, for highly-rated scientific merits. The article is available upon request.

The technology was developed by Ranajay Mandal and Nishant Babaria, graduate research assistants in Purdue’s College of Engineering, under the supervision of Zhongming Liu, an assistant professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


On Target Laboratories’ cancer illuminating technology receives Special Protocol Assessment from FDA

July 13 2017

On Target Laboratories LLC, a company developing a unique fluorescent imaging technology that could help surgeons identify and remove more cancerous tissue, has received Special Protocol Assessment approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its Phase 3 ovarian cancer intraoperative imaging clinical trial.

The company anticipates beginning enrollment for the clinical trial in October, 2017. On Target previously received FDA designation for a fast track development program for the OTL38 compound in ovarian cancer patients.

“We are excited to be entering the next stage of development of our intra-optical imaging molecule OTL38 for the benefit of ovarian cancer patients. It is our goal to help surgeons see and remove additional cancer lesions they would have otherwise missed,” said Marty Low, On Target Laboratories CEO. “Our work aims to remove as much of the cancer as possible during surgery to ensure ovarian cancer patients live longer, healthier lives.”


Purdue graduate uses entrepreneurship certificate for seamless move to industrial engineering position

July 05 2017

A recent Purdue graduate will seamlessly transition into an industrial engineer position at the world’s fifth-largest aerospace and defense technology company, thanks in part to her participation in Purdue’s Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

Lauren Rourk, a graduate from Purdue’s School of Industrial Engineering, will begin an industrial engineering position at Northrop Grumman Aerospace on July 5.

Rourk said completing the certificate program already has proven beneficial in her new position.

“Completing the certificate program allowed me to adapt more readily to the company’s culture,” Rourk said. “At the first event I attended at Northrop Grumman, I spoke with the aerospace innovation director. Through a shared vocabulary, I was able to get far more insight into the company’s direction than I would have without the background the certificate gave me. By taking such leadership in an entrepreneurial role, I have the ability to make an impact not just on my career, but Northrop Grumman as well.”


Purdue law enforcement toolkit helps researchers study link between animal abuse and domestic violence

June 28 2017

A Purdue software toolkit, originally developed to help law enforcement officers reduce crime and assist in using big data for decision-making, will play a vital role in a project led by researchers in Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The project aims to find supporting data on a link between animal abuse and child abuse in Greater Lafayette.

Lyn Freeman, associate professor of small animal surgery and biomedical engineering, and her summer research assistant, Mallory Stuckwisch, a third year veterinary student, are leading the project.

Freeman and Stuckwisch are enlisting the help of the Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit, or VALET, developed in the Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments, or VACCINE, center at Purdue. Nicole Kong, an assistant professor in Purdue Libraries, also will assist with the project by providing her expertise on geographic information systems.

With Freeman as her mentor, Stuckwisch is conducting the research as part of the college’s 2017 Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program, which provides fellowships to veterinary students interested in exploring careers in research. Stuckwisch said the goal of this project is to raise awareness of the link between abuse of animals and children in Tippecanoe County.


Spensa announces new software features and milestone of protecting nearly $6.5 billion worth of crops

June 27 2017

On the heels of two major partnership announcements with Simplot and Spectrum Seed, Spensa announced today that the company is now protecting 4.8 million acres across 116 different types of crops valued at nearly $6.5 billion.

“We are working hard to assist customers in leveraging the wealth of data they are already collecting to improve management and save yield,” said Ben Brame, vice president of software at Spensa Technologies. “By prioritizing fields based on Spensa’s crop progress and problem likelihood models, service providers can find more problems in time to effectively treat. For example, many customers are able to discover more corn foliar disease by R1 leading to more fungicide sales and significant savings to the grower.”

Spensa’s mid-season data report demonstrates a nearly 400 percent growth rate in number of acres protected over the last six months and a 300 percent increase in value of crops protected over the same time period. Ag retailers and trusted advisors are adopting OpenScout features of the Spensa Agronomic Platform (Spensa AP) to inform their growers about agronomic and pest issues including insects, weeds and disease. It also can help them make informed and timely decisions, ultimately protecting crops from damage and improving yield potential.

New features to Spensa AP Platform at the scouting insights level include the Precision Dispatch feature that allows retailers to dispatch scouts to the highest priority issues. For example, specific problems related to the growth stage of a crop. Spensa also introduced Problem Centric Reports, which allow users to visualize insect, weed and disease problems at a high level and communicate trends and severity of issues to help growers make timely treatment decisions.


New agreements build on Purdue, NSWC Crane strategic partnership

June 22 2017

Saving lives through improved communications and defense of U.S. Navy fleets and eliminating dangerous counterfeit laptops and other electronics are the goal of two new cooperative agreements between Purdue University researchers and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane).

Purdue continues its tradition of research that supports the armed forces with the agreements, which take on costly issues and lay the foundation for growing collaboration with the Indiana naval installation.

The cooperative agreements through Purdue Discovery Park involve research by R. Graham Cooks, the Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor in Analytical Chemistry, and Daniel DeLaurentis, interim director of the Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation (i-GSDI) and an aeronautics and astronautics professor.

DeLaurentis said the cooperative agreements represent the work spearheaded most recently by Discovery Park’s i-GSDI to create a more strategic partnership with NSWC Crane.


Satellite technology could help agricultural producers more accurately measure subsurface moisture

June 22 2017

Agricultural producers could, in the future, make use of better forecasts to more efficiently irrigate their fields using a Purdue-developed technology that could more accurately sense soil moisture below the surface through measuring the reflections of communication satellite signals.

“The reflectivity of the surface is a function of the soil moisture, and that allows us to quantify the amount of moisture in the soil so, if necessary, growers can take corrective actions to protect their crops,” said James Garrison, a professor in Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering (by courtesy). “The technology we’re developing can be cost effective.

“Water is becoming more and more scarce. So, managing the water that is available is becoming increasingly important. To manage it you need to be able to accurately determine the amount being used. The key there is to measure how much of it is in the soil where most of it is absorbed by the plants’ roots.”

The technology makes use of a specialized receiver to capture reflections of communication satellite signals having wavelengths of about one meter (39 inches), which scientists refer to as “P-band.”


Rolls-Royce, Purdue, state of Indiana announce new initiative to develop next-generation jet engine components

June 19 2017

Rolls-Royce, Purdue University and the state of Indiana on Monday (June 19) announced a new $24 million jointly funded program during the International Paris Air Show that further strengthens the state’s leadership position in the aerospace industry.

This new initiative will establish unique gas turbine research capabilities at Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories that will focus on advanced turbine aerodynamic and heat-transfer technologies. Rolls-Royce will apply these technologies to jet engine airfoil components – blades and vanes – in current and next-generation jet engines produced at the company’s Indiana facilities.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is supporting this partnership with $6 million over the next three years through the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, which promotes Indiana economic growth and innovation-driven public-private partnerships. Purdue University is supplying facilities and equipment infrastructure investments of $8 million, with Rolls-Royce committed to contribute up to $10 million.

A new turbine test rig will be installed and research will be done at the Purdue Experimental Turbine Aerothermal Laboratory, which is a recent expansion of the Zucrow Laboratories. Zucrow Laboratories is one of the nation’s largest university propulsion laboratories for research aimed at reducing fuel consumption and emissions for next-generation jet engines. Purdue has 40 faculty and graduate students working on current Rolls-Royce research projects.