CEAS Proves to be Home for Inventors

By: Liz Daubenmire

Eight faculty members from the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science received patents in 2014, proving once again UC has fertile ground for innovation.

UC faculty who received patents during 2014 being honored during a UC basketball game at Fifth Third Arena

UC faculty who received patents during 2014 being honored during a UC basketball game at Fifth Third Arena

The University of Cincinnati continues to be home for much of today’s advancements in technology and medicine.  As a recently ranked top public university, the research conducted within its walls supports the progress UC has seen in the last five years. 

Fifteen faculty members received patents in relation to their research in 2014, eight of whom are from the College of Engineering and Applied Science.  These patents are a great reflection on the tangible work being done by UC faculty and research centers. 

Patrick Brown from mechanical engineering explains how UC’s Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS) Center has been “at the forefront of the Intelligent Maintenance Prognostics and Health Management field since 2000.”

Since becoming an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, the Center has pioneered the toolbox approach to prognostics with the creation of the Watchdog Agent® Prognostics Toolbox; has coined and promoted the term eMaintenance; and has developed and applied a number of innovative methods and tools for predicting the usable life and performance of assets and systems for a great number of applications.

Brown explains the work related to the patents received, The Center has developed methods and tools for a wide-range of applications such as: energy generation assets and storage devices; manufacturing equipment; distributed and networked fleets; industrial pumps and valves, and transportation infrastructure and vehicles, among others. The Center has begun to apply its tools and techniques—most notably its peer-to-peer, and cloud-based prognostics techniques—to a number of new areas including healthcare and semi-conductor manufacturing.”

Fellow faculty member, Vesselin Shanov, PhD, also received a patent in 2014.  Shanov’s work has centered on carbon nanotubes (CNT) which are small tubes of carbon that can be woven together into an electricity conducting thread.  These threads of CNT can be used to make products like temperature adjusting clothing and biodegradable implants.

Shanov explains, “The patent is about a catalyst composition and method that enables to grow super long carbon nanotubes, with high purity and very good alignment.” 

The added length of the CNT allows for wider applications, however, achieving this desirable feature is a delicate and complex process.  Professor Shanov’s work has been in progress for about seven years, making his patent a highly satisfying benchmark.

Because of the uniqueness of nanotubes, applications in Aerospace and defense can be realized by Professor Shanov’s work. 

Other patent receivers include Mark Schulz, PhD, Edzel Lapira, PhD, and Jay Lee, PhD, from the mechanical engineering department; David Wendell, PhD, and Anastasios Angelopoulos, PhD, from the biomedical, chemical, and environmental engineering department; as well as Chong Ahn, PhD, and Jason Heikenfeld, PhD, from the electrical engineering department.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science is the proud home to these many inventors, who are consistently changing research, changing technology—and changing lives.