Purdue center highlights new technologies

2012-08-21T19:00:00Z 2012-08-22T22:18:44Z Purdue center highlights new technologiesRob Earnshaw Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 21, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Technologies developed through Purdue University resources that have high commercialization appeal were featured locally Tuesday.

The Purdue Technology Road Show at the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana included university staff and innovators from the West Lafayette and Hammond campuses to present their innovations. Notable processes include a system to optimize power production and reduce rotor fatigue in wind turbines, and a solar UV radiation-based system to disinfect a continuous supply of water.

Dr. Bob McCullouch, a research scientist from the West Lafayette campus, presented a note-taking application, paperlessMe, which gives users the ability to add notes and annotations to PowerPoint slides.

It allows users to lower handout and distribution costs by generating, saving and retrieving digital notes.

“We’re targeting two main markets, education and conferences,” McCullouch said. “The hope is to have a tool that will be used in the classroom to create a paperless environment. It completely eliminates the need for any kind of handouts in the classroom or even in a conference.”

Dr. Richard Meilan, an associate professor of Molecular Tree Physiology at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, developed a transgenic variety of poplar tree for use as feedstock for cellulosic-ethanol production.

“It will wean us off of corn,” Meilan said. “We know there’s going to be about a 25 percent reduction in the corn yield this year. And now we’re diverting some of our corn for making ethanol rather than as a food or as a feed, and in my opinion, it’s not sustainable to continue using corn exclusively as a feed stock for making ethanol. Getting this technology out will allow us to improve our energy security. It will make biofuels more competitive commercially, economically.”

Dr. Agbai A. Nnanna, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University Calumet, presented his technology, a fabrication technique for oxazine-based opto-chemical sensor for detecting contaminants in water.

Also on hand were officials from Clean Energy Trust, a Chicago-based organization that connects early-stage companies, entrepreneurs and researchers with capital and expertise required to become sustainable.

“We think there are terrific research and development and potential in the Midwest that is just really starting to be fully harnessed,” said Amy Francetic, Clean Energy Trust executive director. “The goal of our organization is to accelerate a lot of innovation that’s growing here.”

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