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.


Purdue students create startup to provide coaching, acclimation guidance to Chinese students, visiting parents

June 13 2017

Incoming Purdue students from China who are learning about a new culture have a new resource in a Purdue-affiliated student startup offering personal coaching services.

We-YouBond allows incoming students from China and their parents to sign up for a service that offers one-on-one coaching with an experienced student on topics ranging from study habits to local housing.

“The problem facing international students is that when they come to an American university they don’t know how to access available resources,” said co-founder Bobby Wen, who graduated in May with a triple major from Purdue’s Krannert School of Management. “Also, they often have a language barrier. We want to solve both problems at once.”

We-YouBond trains Purdue juniors and seniors on how to talk to incoming students from China, how to help them understand the resources they have available, develop study habits and otherwise adapt to life at Purdue. Once trained, they become paid coaches.

International students can purchase a series of coaching sessions with a trained coach. The coaches work with the students and document the results of each coaching session. That information is made available to parents, allowing parents to keep track of their child’s success.


Purdue, WestGate, Crane joins forces for educational, technology research, commercialization advancements

June 12 2017

WestGate Authority, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (NSWC Crane), Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation will combine strengths to advance educational, research and development, and technology commercialization across Indiana and elsewhere, officials announced Monday (June 12).

The agreement will provide educational opportunities from Purdue’s Krannert School of Management and Purdue Polytechnic Institute; startup creation assistance from Purdue Foundry; increased tech transfer support from Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization; and company incubation space and amenities from WestGate@Crane Technology Park and Purdue Research Park. A dedication to launch the partnership is slated for July 24.

“The collaboration with WestGate establishes a valuable asset adjacent to the world-renowned Crane facility from which many Indiana residents can benefit,” Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said. “Combining the vast strengths of WestGate, Crane and other outstanding economic entities in Southern Indiana with Purdue’s educational, tech transfer and startup creation programs will provide many immediate and long-term educational and economic opportunities for people in the entire region.”


Purdue University ranks 12th among top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. patents for 2016

June 07 2017

Purdue University ranked 12th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2016, according to a new report released by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

This ranking in patent activity is up from the previous year’s spot of 15th. In 2016, Purdue had 105 U.S. utility patents issued.

Purdue has experienced steady increases in the past four years. In 2013, it was ranked 27th, in 2014 it was ranked 16th and in 2015 it was ranked 15th.

“This four-year continual increase in patent ranking really reflects our researchers, staff and students’ commitment to improving lives through research and collaborations with private and public entities,” said Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships. “As a major international research institution one of our goals is to ensure a continued focus on moving life-changing innovations to the marketplace and making a difference. We are deeply excited to be recognized in this capacity. ”

The patents issued to Purdue represent innovations from nearly all of the university’s core research areas including engineering, agriculture, science, computer science, technology, biomedicine, pharmaceuticals, health sciences, IT and veterinary medicine. Across campus, Purdue has more than 400 research laboratories and 139 research centers and institutes including Purdue’s Discovery Park, its hub for interdisciplinary research, and the commercialization activities that take place in the Discovery Park-based Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Purdue’s intellectual property is protected through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.


Novel innovation could allow bullets to disintegrate after designated distance, help prevent collateral damage

June 06 2017

Stray-bullet shootings are an often-overlooked consequence of gunfire that can cause severe injury or death to bystanders, or collateral damage victims in the military. A novel technology being developed at Purdue University could help prevent these incidents.

A research group led by Ernesto Marinero, a professor of materials engineering and electrical and computer engineering has developed novel materials and fabrication that could allow a bullet to become non-lethal and disintegrate after a designated distance. The technology was built out of a need for a safer bullet that will significantly reduce collateral damage and injury in law enforcement, military and civilian sectors.


Purdue-affiliated startup developing non-invasive, effective contact lenses and glasses to treat glaucoma, prevent blindness

May 31 2017

A Purdue-affiliated startup, Bionode LLC, is developing a wearable neuro-modulation device that could be used as a non-invasive, personalized therapy to treat and prevent elevated intra-ocular pressure in patients diagnosed with glaucoma.

The technology was developed in Purdue’s Center for Implantable Devices by Pedro Irazoqui, professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering and lead at the center. Irazoqui serves as chief technology officer of Bionode. The company was co-founded by Irazoqui and Murray I. Firestone, CEO of Bionode.

“Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world behind cataracts. Intraocular pressure is caused when the eye either produces too much fluid into the aqueous humor or the eye does not drain properly. The pressure then goes up. Over time, that pressure damages the optic nerve and ultimately results in blindness,” said Firestone. “Current treatments for glaucoma suffer serious limitations concerning patient compliance, side effects, and efficacy. There is need for a non-invasive, effective treatment for glaucoma that solves these issues.”

Bionode’s technology utilizes an off-the-shelf contact lens and a pair of glasses. A video about the company is available at


Purdue pharmaceutical company named finalist in MassChallenge Boston accelerator program

May 31 2017

Akanocure Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company based on Purdue University intellectual property, is a finalist in a juried collection of other early-stage startups chosen to participate in the 2017 MassChallenge Boston accelerator program.

As a participant in MassChallenge’s Boston accelerator program, Akanocure will receive access to MassChallenge’s global network, world-class mentoring from industry experts, tailored programming, free co-working space, and unrivalled access to corporate partners.

Just 8 percent of the 1,500 globally competitive applicants to the program have been accepted into the summer-long program that culminates on Nov. 2 at the MassChallenge Boston Awards Ceremony with participants competing for more than $1.5 million in equity-free awards. The program’s 128 participants are from 12 countries and 16 U.S. states. Selection committee members included executives from Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Genzyme, GE and others.

Akanocure, founded by Purdue alumni Sherine Abdelmawla and Mohammad Noshi with Philip Fuchs, Purdue emeritus R.B. Wetherill Professor of Organic Chemistry, is developing a technology to introduce second-generation small molecules (SGSM) as breakthrough therapeutics for orphan and unmet needs in cancer.

“The Mass Challenge Boston accelerator program is one of the most prestigious startup projects in the world, and we are honored to be included in this year’s esteemed group,” Abdelmawla said. “We will have the opportunity to work directly with major corporate partners, have access to Boston’s Innovation and Design Building, and develop relationships with top leaders and investors in our field.”


Life sciences startup wins Purdue 2017 InnovateHER Challenge

May 26 2017

Advanced Vascular Therapies, a life sciences startup serving diabetic, wound-care patients and others with circulatory issues, received top honors at the second annual Purdue Innovate HER Challenge.

Advanced Vascular received $5,000 in prize money and will have an opportunity to compete for up to $70,000 in the national InnovateHER to be announced July 31.

“The competition was close, and the judges had a hard time deciding,” said Juliana Casavan, entrepreneurial programs manager for Purdue Foundry and co-director of the InnovateHER Challenge by WomenIN. “Ultimately, it came down to who knew their customers the best, their team and advisers helping them, if they had intellectual property, and if they had any traction in the market.”

The Purdue competition is organized through the WomenIN initiative hosted by Purdue Foundry, a Purdue-based entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator. The InnovateHER Challenge was launched nationwide in 2015 by the U.S. Small Business Administration to highlight innovative products and services designed to assist women and families.

Purdue’s 2016 winner Pu Wang, a Purdue graduate and current postdoctoral research assistant in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, was named a national finalist for MarginPAT, a breast cancer assessment tool that can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy tissue during surgery to help minimize secondary surgical procedures. Wang is co-founder and chief technology officer of Vibronix Inc., the company commercializing the technology.