Startup developing printing app for easier student printing hires five employees, expands accessibility

February 21 2017

Purdue University graduates have developed an app that allows users to print documents from smartphones to select printers on university campuses. The app is now accessible at seven universities and has grown the graduates’ company by five people.

UPrint was developed in 2015 by co-founders Rick Li and Joseph Watkins, graduates of Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. UPrint is a startup out of The Anvil, Purdue’s student-run entrepreneurship co-working space.

“Since our initial launch in early 2015, we have hired multiple employees who are experts in software engineering,


and finance,” Li said. “We also have teams for technological support on three different continents. These new hires are well poised to accelerate the development of the application to the next level, not just nationally, but globally as well.”

UPrint is readily available at seven universities: Purdue, the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, TamKang University in Taiwan, Michigan State University, University of North Carolina, Columbia University, and


of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


System automatically detects cracks in nuclear power plants

February 16 2017

A new automated system detects cracks in the steel components of nuclear power plants and has been shown to be more accurate than other automated systems.

“Periodic inspection of the components of nuclear power plants is important to avoid accidents and ensure safe operation,” said Mohammad R. Jahanshahi, an assistant professor in Purdue University’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering. “However, current inspection practices are

time consuming

, tedious and subjective because they involve an operator manually locating cracks in metallic surfaces.”

Other automatic crack detection algorithms under development often do not detect cracks in metallic surfaces because the cracks are usually small, have low contrast and are difficult to distinguish from welds, scratches and grind marks. The new system, called CRAQ, for crack recognition and quantification, overcomes this limitation by using an advanced algorithm and a powerful “machine learning” technique to detect cracks based on the changing texture surrounding cracks on steel surfaces.

Findings are detailed in a research paper published this week in Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. The paper is available online at

The automated approach could help improve the state of the nation’s infrastructure, recently given an overall grade of D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers, he said.


Purdue student startup competition now accepting applications

February 09 2017

Purdue University student entrepreneurs will split $15,000 in prizes during the eight-week startup competition the Boiler Business Competition, or the Boiler.

An annual seed accelerator competition hosted by the Anvil, the Boiler started in 2013 with a goal to seek and encourage entrepreneurship activities outside the classroom. The Anvil is a student-run startup co-space center adjacent to the Purdue campus.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Feb. 20. The competition is scheduled to begin March 1. Teams can include faculty or recent alumni but must have at least one current Purdue student. Applications can be found at


Purdue names top commercialization award winner, recognizes patent recipients

February 08 2017

David Nolte, the Edward M. Purcell Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University, was named the 2016 Outstanding Commercialization Award winner Tuesday, Feb. 7. He was among more than 100 other Purdue innovators recognized for having received issued patents in the last fiscal year during the 12th annual Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. The top commercialization award is given annually to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue research. It was established with an endowment gift from the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership Foundation.

Nolte holds 14 patents, has authored three books, co-authored numerous other books, published well over 200 research papers and other publications, won numerous awards and co-founded Animated Dynamics Inc. The company has patented a bio-dynamic imaging technology, called Motility Contrast Tomography, to improve targeted cancer treatments.

“This award is a true honor. Purdue’s model for commercialization of intellectual property serves as an inspiration for other universities around the world,” Nolte said. “I’m pleased to accept this as a member of the greater Purdue community that includes a host of the world’s top minds doing tremendous world-changing research.”

Past recipients of the Outstanding Commercialization Award can be viewed here.

During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization officials reported a record-breaking 376 invention and copyright disclosures, 236 licensing deals, 151 U.S. and global patents issued, 521 global patent applications and $5.45 million in royalty income. They also reported a record 27 startups based on Purdue intellectual property launched in the fiscal year.


Purdue-affiliated startup receives $100,000 in funding to further develop mobile virtual reality 3-D motion-tracking technology

February 07 2017

A Purdue-affiliated software startup developing a high-definition 3-D motion-tracking technology for fast, accurate and easy-to-use 3-D user interface has received $100,000 in investment funding.

AccuPS LLC, a Purdue Startup Class of 2015 member, has developed the AeroWand™, an add-on 3-D motion-tracking controller that provides a way for mobile virtual reality (VR) users to interact in the VR space.

The technology includes a head-tracking device, hand controller and transmitting antenna that plug into the user’s smartphone to enable the tracking signals.

“A good analogy to what we are doing is providing a mouse to PC owners – without a

mouse you can just see and watch, however with a mouse you are able to engage, take action and the overall experience is more exciting, useable and fun. That’s what the AeroWand aims to do,” said Byunghoo Jung, CEO

and founder of AccuPS. “The benefit of our technology is that there is minimal set up with no wires or cameras to install. The device has a low-cost, inbuilt microprocessor that can locally compute the elegant and smart algorithms we developed, and it is very simple and easy to use.”


Grant will help advance communication skills of autistic children

February 01 2017

The Fort Wayne based AWS Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to SPEAK MODalities to advance a technology that has shown promise in facilitating communication and language development for children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

The funding will be used to focus on distribution in the Northeast Indiana region of the SPEAKall! © and SPEAKmore! © apps that have helped more than 30,000 youngsters diagnosed with minimally-verbal autism.

“We are quite thankful for this assistance from the AWS Foundation,” said SPEAK MODalities co-founder and CEO Dr. Michael Zentner, also a research scientist in Information Technology at Purdue and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Purdue Foundry. “This funding will enable us to deploy our software, tablet devices, and training services to children and clinics in northeast Indiana. We will be able to evaluate new innovative features of our current technologies that were recently funded by the National Institutes of Health for facilitating speech, language, and social development in individuals with minimally verbal communication skills.”


Purdue researchers receive funding to commercialize new type of sodium batteries and novel antibiotic for chronic wound healing

January 31 2017

Two Purdue University researchers will share $55,000 from the Trask Innovation Fund to further develop their innovations through the commercialization pipeline.

Vilas Pol, an associate professor in Purdue’s Davidson School of Chemical Engineering and associate professor (by courtesy) in the School of Materials Engineering and an affiliate of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, received $35,000 for “Low Cost, High Capacity, Faster Charging Carbon Anodes for Sodium-Ion Batteries.”

Jean Chmielewski, the Alice Watson Kramer Distinguisher Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science, received $20,000 for “The Pharmacokinetics of Cell Penetrating Antimicrobial Peptides.”

The Trask Innovation Fund is a development program to assist faculty and staff whose discoveries are being commercialized by the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization. Funds are awarded under the advisement of an advisory council consisting of representatives from Purdue’s Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Purdue faculty, Purdue Research Foundation and the local business community.


Purdue-affiliated startup earns USDA certified biobased product label for technology used to protect concrete

January 25 2017

Environmental Concrete Products, a startup based on a Purdue University innovation, recently announced that it has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label on a technology that can be used to protect and prolong the life of new and existing concrete used on roads and other infrastructure.

The product, Fluid iSoylator™, is now able to display a unique USDA label that highlights its percentage of biobased content.

“Hardened concrete sustains damage when fluids on the surface are absorbed into its network of pores, similar to those in a sponge,” said Paul Imbrock,


and president of Environmental Concrete Products LLC. “The technology we’ve licensed is a hydrophobic sealant that could prevent potentially damaging fluid from entering concrete pores. Fluid iSoylator is derived from soybean oil and is safe to handle and apply. Its physical properties also make it possible to be adapted for other potential uses, including a combination paint-and-sealing product.”


Purdue-affiliated startup plans to use 3-D printers to create tomorrow’s rocket engines

January 18 2017

A startup with Purdue ties plans to use 3-D printers as well as other additive manufacturing processes to make future rocket engines that show promise in being faster and less expensive to produce than traditional methods.

Tri-D Dynamics LLC, a startup co-founded by Purdue graduate students, wants to tap into the emerging market of small satellites by using a 3-D printer to create small rocket engines.

“Utilizing hybrid additive manufacturing techniques to produce a liquid rocket with 2,500 to 5,000 pounds of thrust takes from maybe two days to a couple of weeks,” said Tri-D co-founder Alexander Finch, who is scheduled to receive his master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics this May. “Engines can be printed as one complete unit or as a series of components to be assembled.”

Using traditional production methods, the same engines could take three to four months to produce.

“Typically you would need up to two machinists in addition to welders quality assurance personnel, testing personnel, and possibly more depending on complexity of the engine,” said co-founder Deepak Atyam, who received a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. “With 3-D printers, ideally you will only need one or two people.”


Purdue innovator selected for Argonne’s first entrepreneurship program; Purdue Foundry also to serve in mentorship

January 18 2017

A Purdue graduate student who is developing technology that could turn nuclear waste into energy,

has been selected as one of five innovators in a newly embedded entrepreneurship program at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Ian Hamilton, a graduate student in Purdue’s School of Nuclear Engineering, was selected for Argonne’s Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) program.

“I’m excited for this opportunity to develop my ideas through the program and utilize the ample resources it offers,” Hamilton said. “More specifically, my goal while participating in CRI is to create new long-lived, lightweight, weather-independent power by recycling the byproduct of nuclear waste decay to create electricity.”

The Chain Reaction Innovations program is part of a new initiative to accelerate the development of sustainable and energy-efficient technologies and drive manufacturing growth by helping startups and innovators reduce development costs and risks.

As part of CRI, Argonne also announced a partnership with the Purdue Foundry, a startup accelerator in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, which will serve as a mentor organization for the innovators. The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago will serve as the second mentor.