thesouthern.com | Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011 1:00 am
CARBONDALE - The SIU Technology and Innovation Expo put the research of faculty and students on center stage Friday at the Dunn-Richmond Center.
The event included speeches by faculty innovators, Chancellor Rita Cheng and Phil Pfeffer, president and CEO of Treemont Capital Inc.
Faculty members also were awarded for innovations, and a student was announced as the winner of a poster contest. The event also included the ribbon cutting of the Saluki Innovation Lab.
The Innovation Lab contains lab equipment for startup businesses such as an ultra low freezer, reach-in incubator and a table-top autoclave. Kyle Harfst, executive director of the Southern Illinois Research Park, said the facility will offer equipment for local startups that do not have access to such equipment.
The USDA Rural Devel-opment helped fund the lab. Area Director Rusty Wanstreet said it is the mission of the group to create business and jobs for local communities. The lab was also funded by Delta Regional Authority and the Southern Illinois Research Park.
In addition to celebrating the new lab, the event also honored the faculty and students who push research forward at SIU. Ahmed Soueidan, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, won the student poster contest for his design of a fanless aircraft engine to make airplanes safer from collisions with birds.
Paul Chugh, professor in the Department of Mining and Mineral Resources Engineering, received the Inventor of the Year award.
His inventions include a water spray system that reduces dust exposure in coal mines.
Bakul Dave, associate professor in chemistry and biochemistry, received the award for University Startup of the Year. He has developed startups Nano-aqueonics, a technology for surface coatings, and Enki Technology Inc., which works on solar panel technology.
Geology professor Ken Anderson, who started feedstock company The-rmaquatica, received the award for Innovator of the Year. Anderson said it was very gratifying to get the award and he owes a lot of success to his team.
"There's more than me involved, and I'm happy to share the credit," Ander-son said.
Anderson said the research park at the Dunn-Richmond Center is an excellent investment in the future of the region because it nurtures local inventors and businesses.
"The work being done here will eventually return a lot of benefits to Southern Illinois," Ander-son said.
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