UNH Technology Showcased at 4th Annual R&D 100 Conference

Thursday, January 3, 2019


Matt Simon

On November 16th, 2018, Matt Simon, licensing manager for engineering and physical sciences, participated on a panel at the 4thAnnual R&D 100 Conference. At this year’s conference, leaders from the R&D community gathered to exchange new ideas in innovation and technology transfer, and discuss R&D strategies that will transform the future of R&D across industries. The panel, entitled “The Tech Match Sprint,” provided hands-on examples of emerging technologies developed at nonprofit research labs and higher-education institutions, including Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the University of Central Florida, Batelle, and the University of New Hampshire. Each panelist was asked to present “real” technologies that are readily available for sponsored research and/or licensing in an effort to demonstrate how non-industrial institutions conduct technology transfer.

During the panel, Matt presented three UNH inventions that range in technical maturity intellectual property protection:

Versatile Spectrum Sensing Method for Cognitive Radio

Inventors: Nicholas Kirsch and Mahdi H Al-Badwari
Intellectual Property Status: Fully protected under an issued patent (#US 9,565,040)  

The invention is a system and method using an Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD)-based energy detector for spectrum sensing in a communication system. The EMD energy detector needs no prior information of the received signal, has relatively low computational complexity, operates on non-stationary and non-linear signals, and performs well at low signal-to-noise ratios. Potential applications of this invention include wireless communications and broadcasting, software-defined and tactical radio, and marine mapping.

Improved Opto-Coupler Design with Enhanced Performance

Inventors: Brian King, Mark Granoff, and Phil Demain
Intellectual Property Status: Patent pending through a PCT filing (#US2017/053282)  

Designed for space-based applications, this new opto-coupler mitigates the typical problems exhibited by traditional designs: size limitations for damage prevention, difficulty in achieving high current transfer ratios, and the damage caused by the harsh environment. Notably, this new design achieves a 10-20x increase in current transfer ratio, has better thermal management, and requires fewer machined parts than traditional designs. Potential applications of this invention include space-based applications, computing and communication systems, medical devices, and industrial automation.

Field-Deployable Neutron/Gamma Spectrometer (FIND)

Inventors: Peter Bloser, Jason Legere, and Chris Bancroft
Intellectual Property Status: Patent pending through a US Non-Provisional filing (#US15/977,616)  

FIND, which has lineage back to UNH’s “Tri-Material Dual-Species Neutron/Gamma Spectrometer (NSPECT)”, is a system capable of detecting, imaging, and measuring both neutrons and gamma rays. The FIND system is much smaller than NSPECT, is man-portable, field-deployable, and has the ability to remotely and efficiently detect and identify kilogram-size samples of special nuclear materials. Potential applications of this invention include industrial site monitoring, battlefield detection, and points of entry monitoring.  

The other participating panelists presented a range of technologies from their organizations which spanned a wide spectrum of industries and applications, including a machine learning algorithm for diagnosing, monitoring, and treating neurological conditions and diseases; a system to prevent drivers from intentionally and unintentionally entering a one-way street the wrong way; and a data analytics tool to increase electrical grid power system performance and transmission reliability.

After the presentations, the panelists fielded questions from the audience regarding their technologies, and conversation eventually turned to the state of technology transfer and how best to work with universities. The panelists shared their perspectives on the successes and pitfalls they’ve experienced working with industry and agreed that continued dialogue is important in ensuring more seamless processes. 

Following the conference, a number of companies have contacted UNHInnovation (UNHI) for more information regarding the technologies that Matt presented, including venture capital and start-up companies in New England. Through his networking with other technology transfer professionals, Matt was also able to identify potential collaboration opportunities between the panelists’ institutions. For example, UCF’s research in wrong-way driving aligns with research that is being conducted at UNH’s Connectivity Research Center. 

UNHI looks forward to participating in future R&D 100 events. 

For more information about any of the technologies presented at R&D 100, contact matthew.simon@unh.edu.