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CMI awards over $170K to fund innovative faculty and industry partnerships

UB researchers inside the clean room at Davis Hall. Photo: Douglas Levere

By JULIANNA FORTAIN

Published January 12, 2017

“We are thrilled with the prospect of the economic impact each of these projects will have for the region.”
Mark Swihart, executive director
UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics
  • UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI) has awarded over $170,000 to five projects with commercial potential that showcase collaboration between a UB faculty member and an industry partner.

To be eligible for funding through the CMI, UB faculty members submitted brief proposals that were scored by a team of experts based on technology, industry interest, funding impact and relevance to materials informatics.

“We are thrilled with the prospect of the economic impact each of these projects will have for the region,” says Mark Swihart, UB Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and CMI’s executive director. “Some of UB’s top researchers are at the helm of these exciting innovations and will continue their life-changing work with industry support.”

The five projects are:

  • “Development of a drag-reducing xerogel-type coating for watercraft,” Michael Detty, professor, Department of Chemistry, working with industry collaborator Integument Technologies of Tonawanda. Award: $40,000.

Researchers will develop a unique coating technology that will reduce the drag (friction) between a boat hull and water, which will result in faster hull speeds, increased fuel efficiency and greater range.

  • “Advancing the Science of Electrical Stimulation Therapy: A Collaboration with Garwood Medical Devices.” Edward Furlani, professor, departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Electrical Engineering; and Mark Ehrensberger, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and adjunct assistant professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, working with industry collaborator Garwood Medical Devices LLC of Buffalo. Award: $40,000.

This experimental and modeling effort will study electrostimulation using metals and metal alloys to understand the principles of biofilm eradication in prosthetic implants, resulting in research that could lead to improved infection control methods.

  • “Development of flexible sensors for extreme environmental conditions.” Jung-Hun Seo, assistant professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, working with industry collaborator ENrG Inc. of Buffalo. Award: $36,000.

This project will develop methods and procedures for producing flexible sensors on a nanometer thick silicon carbide material that detects high-intensity ultraviolet light without degrading and measures temperatures higher than 400 degrees Celsius.

  • “Engineering Graphene Tubes for Advanced Carbon Supports for Fuel Cell Applications.” Gang Wu, assistant professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, working with industry collaborator Bettergy Corporation of Peekskill. Award: $27,000.

The applied research will develop novel materials for fuel cell applications with greatly enhanced corrosion resistance.

  • “Solution and Surface Properties of Fluorinated Surfactants.” Paschalis Alexandridis, UB Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, working with industry collaborator Honeywell.

This research will focus on the design of fluorinated surfactant molecules that are integral to a range of products. The research may lead to fluorocarbon-containing functional products that are better in terms of environment and health impact than current products. Award: $36,000.

CMI leverages UB’s cutting-edge materials science, big data analytics and advanced manufacturing expertise to drive critical research and development activities that directly impact private sector growth.