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Here's the latest news from UC and UCRI of interest to business:

  • Grant critical to grow Cincinnati area’s 3-D manufacturing industry

    by Evan Cohen | Mar 15, 2016
    “I think the goal is to produce high skilled workers to understand the technology well enough to quickly and capably operate the machines and also, there’s a big need for design and understanding of how you design parts that suit the technology,”
    -Dustin Lindley, UCRI Lab Manger

    Read the story here
  • The Accelerant Fund, Dayton Development Coalition, University of Cincinnati Research Institute and the Thompson Center agree on investment partnership

    by Rafael Castaneda | Nov 13, 2015
    In an exciting example of the facilitation prowess that UCRI (University of Cincinnati Research Institute) provides as it acts as the gateway between industry and UC smarts is the recent investment made by the Accelerant Fund and DDC into surgical instruments being developed by the Thompson Center and Standard Bariatrics. The fund will invest a half million dollars into research surrounding the commercialization of a medical stapler aimed at bringing higher levels of efficiency to weight loss surgeries. Dr. John Thompson of the Thompson Center and Standard Bariatrics has been developing the tool and plans to have it in market by 2017. Click here to read full article.
  • Making Over-the-Rhine a little more "pleasant"

    by User Not Found | Sep 24, 2015

    At UCRI, we thrive on powering and inspiring innovation. Our various centers help businesses tap into the world-class expertise found around virtually every corner at the University of Cincinnati.

    One of the latest examples of this innovation recently came to life through MetroLAB in one of Cincinnati’s fastest growing communities: Over-the-Rhine (OTR).

    For the uninitiated, the goal of MetroLAB is to design, construct, research and evaluate innovative projects that support the infrastructure and development of the built environment. It combines students and faculty from the UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and across the University with local, national and international communities, developers and stakeholders

    In their latest venture, MetroLAB partnered with several groups including the Corporation for Findlay MarketPeoples Liberty (the outreach arm of the Haile Foundation), and the OTR Community Council to explore how Pleasant Street could become a more pedestrian-friendly experience.

    The design process emerged from collaborative conversations with long-time Pleasant Street residents, the Corporation for Findlay Market, faculty and students from the School of Planning, School of Art and many others. This summer, MetroLAB hosted three public community engagement events to help properly shape the project.

    The first event was designed to give students direct contact with community members using interactive stations to find out three important things:

    - Who is Pleasant?
    - What’s pleasant about Pleasant?
    - What would make Pleasant more pleasant in the future?

    Residents said they don’t want more murals. They want permanent, functional elements on the street with safe, well-lit areas that are enjoyable to walk down. From these interactions came four primary elements that led to further discussion and additional brainstorming:

    - Expanded seating
    - Lighting/security
    - Cooking/dining
    - Play spaces for the kids

    For their second event, MetroLAB students then began building full-scale prototype elements such as interactive cooking stations, playgrounds, and Parklets to implement and test. If you’re wondering what a Parklet is – it is, in effect, an extension of the sidewalk into the street, exchanging a private auto space for additional public gathering space.

    These various concepts were tested in four different places on Pleasant Street during a third and final event on July 11, receiving rave reviews. Hundreds of people flocked to participate and offered extremely helpful feedback. Out of these summer events emerged a final Parklet design that MetroLAB hopes to construct and implement in the spring of 2016. It is, indeed, very exciting progress for a rapidly budding urban living environment and we’re excited to be a part of its evolution.

    Not surprisingly, this project is garnering attention from more than just the Pleasant Street community. Both the Cincinnati Business Courier and Urban Cincy have reported on MetroLAB’s efforts.

    To learn more about MetroLAB – or to see how UCRI can help spark innovation with your business – visit their website or contact us at connect@ucri.org.

  • Thompson center innovating to improve bariatric surgery

    by UCRI | Aug 21, 2015

    One of the latest examples of UCRI’s dedication to innovation comes from the Thompson Center – a hub for the creation of need-driven medical device technology.

    With one-third of our country’s population considered obese, it’s not surprising that the annual cost for healthcare continues to skyrocket. In fact, a recent study by the CDC estimates that the medical expense of obesity is nearing $150 billion per year and rising. Yet less than 1% of eligible patients undergo the life-saving surgeries thy need.

    In the complex field of bariatric surgery – or in layman’s terms, weight loss surgery – patients and surgeons alike are looking to increase their success rates and decrease complications. Take a gastrectomy, for example: under the current approach, surgeons use a clamp of sorts to hold the stomach in place while they remove up to 80 percent of the stomach. But current devices don’t keep the stretchy, “floppy” stomach tissue in place, because they affix to the side of the stomach that is being removed… which means surgeons don’t have a straight line to cut against, creating a zig-zag pattern of incisions and stitches. As a result, each surgery has a level of variability – increasing the risk of complications such as leaking or reflux. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 31 percent of bariatric surgeries fail due to variable results and surgical inefficiencies.

    It is this variability that innovators at the Thompson Center are hoping to eliminate.

    Dr. Jon Thompson, MD, the center’s Chief Medical Officer, and his team of industry veterans have established Standard Bariatrics – a new benchmark for how these types of procedures are accomplished.

    As the name would suggest, the team’s goal is to standardize bariatric surgery so that it can be easily replicated and the outcomes can be more predicable. The Standard Bariatric sleeve uses gentle pressure to keep the stomach in place and provides a fixed line against which surgeons can operate. Dr. Thompson describes it as, “like clamping a ruler on the half of a piece of paper that you want to keep, then using an X-acto knife to cut away the portion of the paper you don’t want to keep.”

    It’s a startlingly simple way of approaching bariatric surgery, but it took stepping out of the box – and partnering with the brilliant minds at the University of Cincinnati – to bring new thinking to a life-saving surgery.  

    This innovative breakthrough has tremendous potential for the healthcare community across the board. With the Standard Bariatrics sleeve, physicians operate on more predictable anatomy, which limits complications. In turn, it reduces the cost of healthcare. And most importantly, it offers the patient the greatest benefit for the least amount risk.

    Not surprisingly, The Thompson Center and Standard Bariatrics both continue to garner attention. The Cincinnati Business Courier published a piece in mid-August - touting the incredible potential this innovation has moving forward.

  • ATT Conference Offers Glimpse at Future of Aerospace Industry

    by David Linger | Jul 01, 2015
    What’s next for the aerospace industry? As an attendee at the Aerospace Today and Tomorrow (ATT) conference, one advancement was referenced again and again: additive manufacturing. Read more on our blog.
  • UCRI's laser shock peening research featured in ASM International

    by User Not Found | Jun 05, 2015
    Researchers S.R. “Manny” Mannava and Vijay K. Vasudevan, both professors in the department of mechanical and materials engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, have joined in a unique partnership with Airbus to make airplanes more resilient, longer lasting and more efficient. 

    In a nutshell, their research uses a laser to alter the physical, mechanical and environmental properties of a metal; making it stronger, more durable, and less sensitive to corrosion, while increasing its longevity. This process is known as “laser shock peening,” or LSP.

    Both Mannava and Vasudevan recently shared more about fascinating process with ASM International.

  • Recent CEAS Aerospace Graduate Presents UAV Research at AHS International

    by User Not Found | Jun 04, 2015
    Recent UC College of Engineering and Applied Science aerospace engineering graduate Wei Wei presented his work at the AHS (American Helicopter Society International's 71st Annual Forum and Technology Display on May 7. 

    Wei’s PhD work focused on the system identification and control development of a quadrotor (having four propellers) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Under the guidance of his advisor, Kelly Cohen, PhD and professor in the CEAS Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Wei developed a dynamic model essential for autopilot design for a wide variety of unmanned aircraft having multiple rotors. 

    His time as a CEAS PhD student was also marked by his work with Workhorse Group (formerly known as AMP Electric Vehicles) on the HorseFly octocopter delivery device. Wei led a team of his fellow aerospace engineering students to develop an autonomous UAV that works in tandem with Workhorse electric delivery trucks to create a fast and safe method for delivering packaged goods.

    Read more about Wei's presentation and his contributions to the HorseFly here
  • Provost Beverly Davenport Appointed to UCRI Board of Directors

    by User Not Found | Jun 04, 2015

    University of Cincinnati Provost Beverly Davenport will join the leadership team of the University of Cincinnati Research Institute (UCRI), an independent not-for-profit commercialization mechanism.

    Davenport, who has served as the university’s chief academic officer since 2013, accepted an appointment to the UCRI Board of Directors during the spring semester.

    A key aspect of the University of Cincinnati’s ability to impact community economic growth and development is having an effective interface for faculty and student interactions with business and community partners. UCRI works as this entity for the UC community.

    “Strategic partnerships with business and communities will help drive UC’s Third Century,” Davenport said. “I’m looking forward to adding my voice to this important initiative.”

    UCRI serves the community through three specific mechanisms. The organization:

    • Serves industry clients by connecting them with internationally recognized faculty experts at UC and providing them with access to highly specialized facilities and equipment they would otherwise have to develop or purchase themselves. This service attracts local, national and international industries and promotes sponsored research at UC.
    • Helps faculty and students commercialize their intellectual property through mentoring, marketing and support programs. 
    • Provides UC students with experiential learning experiences with industry partners while providing the opportunity to learn commercialization strategies.

    The UC Board of Trustees approved UCRI for business in 2012. During the first year of operation, $1.6 million of new business was created through industry partnerships and commercialization opportunities with the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services and the College of Medicine.

    “We are thrilled to add Provost Davenport to our board of directors. Her leadership and pulse of the University will be a valuable addition to UCRI’s board. Especially now in time for the start of our third full year – a critical growth phase of UCRI’s development,” said David Linger, president and CEO of UCRI.

    Several UC and Cincinnati leaders also serve on the UCRI board; a full list is available here.

    # # # 

    About the University of Cincinnati Research Institute

    The University of Cincinnati Research Institute (UCRI) is an independent 501(c)(3) serving to connect UC experts to industry partners, facilitate commercialization of intellectual property from all UC’s colleges and enhance cooperative and experiential learning for UC students interested in working with industry. UCRI will also help the university develop commercial centers through which faculty will provide services to local, regional and national partners. Learn more at www.ucri.org.

     

  • University of Cincinnati and Airbus Land on the Right Equation

    by University of Cincinnati Research Institute | May 14, 2015

     
    Scientists have long sought to improve human life through lasers—otherwise known as “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”—since Albert Einstein first established the theoretical foundation for them in 1917. For years, lasers were the stuff of legend and imagination; just look at “Austin Powers,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,”Diamonds Are Forever” and the grandfather of them all, “Star Wars.” Lasers may one day change the way we fly the friendly skies.

    The technology has certainly come a long way since Einstein dreamed it. Laser printers, laser cancer treatment, laser pointers … now ubiquitous with everyday life, the laser is one of the most important and revolutionary inventions of the 20
    th century.

    But just because lasers have become commonplace doesn’t mean the innovation has ended. At the University of Cincinnati, in fact, the power of lasers is being harnessed to change the way we fly the friendly skies.

    Researchers S.R. “Manny” Mannava and Vijay K. Vasudevan, both professors in the department of mechanical and materials engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, have joined in a unique partnership with Airbus to make airplanes more resilient, longer lasting and more efficient. 

    In a nutshell, their research uses a laser to alter the physical, mechanical and environmental properties of a metal; making it stronger, more durable, and less sensitive to corrosion, while increasing its longevity.

    The process is known as “laser shock peening,” or LSP. In layman’s terms, that means a sophisticated laser system consisting of several lasers working in tandem to shoot beams of infrared light at portions of a metal, typically aluminum, titanium or nickel-based superalloys that are used in aircraft structures and components. The laser deeply compresses and changes the structure of the metal, fortifying it.

    When the metal is processed; a ridged, geometric grid patterns its surface… that’s the portion of the sample that is enhanced for fatigue and corrosion resistance. Each sample goes through a rigorous series of manipulations and stress , heat and environmental tests, to name a few—and its structural and chemical properties are assessed right down to its nanostructure.

    While the process may sound relatively simple, rest assured: it’s not. It’s not commonplace, either; UC is the only university in the U.S. to offer LSP for use in research and development and prototyping efforts through the Ohio Center for Laser Shock Processing for Advanced Materials and Devices, which was recently established with a $3 million grant from the State of Ohio Third Frontier Program. General Electric  (GE), which developed and patented the process, gifted its original equipment and know-how to the university in 2005.

    “Critical aircraft components are made of high-strength materials that are susceptible in service to high stresses, fatigue and corrosion. Should these critical components fail, the reliability of the aircraft would be compromised. We hypothesize that—when we use the LSP processes to impart deep, compressive, residual stresses to these components—we strengthen the metal in a very deliberate way, which makes it less likely to fail. This process can also contain any failures, should they occur,” Mannava explains.

     “When we have confirmed the metal itself won’t fail due to fatigue, cracking or corrosion, we will fortify huge pieces of metal for use in prototypes and, eventually, mass production,” says Vasudevan. “We will also conduct basic research to understand the effects of the process on how the material behaves in order to optimize the process for specific, future applications.”

    The LSP project with Airbus is the latest manifestation of the university’s vision to commercialize research and serve as an incubator for innovation. Just over one year ago, UC established the University of Cincinnati Research Institute  (UCRI) to connect industry to the resources, labs, faculty and research taking place at UC. UCRI has gone to great lengths to strengthen the university’s offerings to industry.

    “Working with a university can sometimes be daunting and overwhelming; there are many colleges, faculty, and facilities to leverage. Not to mention the various levels of student experience, from undergraduate through graduate and post doctorate resources,” said David Linger, UCRI’s CEO. “We eliminate the hassle and make it easier to connect industry to UC smarts. And that’s speeding the path to new products, processes and innovations.”

    Director of research and technology at Airbus Americas, David Hills, is quite happy with the results to date. “If we can improve the properties of our aluminum components and reduce their degradation with time, we can extend both the reliability and life of the aircraft,” he says. “It makes good sense on both a human and a business level.”

    Turning research into real-time industry change is what UC does best. And if the project underway with Airbus is any indication, the path to innovation is moving at quick clip. So far, hundreds of samples have been fortified and tested by Mannava, Vasudevan and many of their graduate students.

    The technology is currently being tested for use in passenger aircraft, though the team indicates the technology may eventually make its way to many other high technology product applications. Even deeper research could open up a whole new world for metal-based manufacturers everywhere.

    “Medical devices, automobiles, power generation, nuclear imaging components and chemical processing—all of these applications depend on the strength and corrosion resistance of alloys to survive,” said Linger. “The possibilities for leveraging LSP across a spectrum of industries are truly endless, proving once again that the collaboration of academia and industry change lives.”  

  • Cincinnati Students Will Be Louder Than A Bomb

    by UCRI admin | Mar 10, 2015

    Louder Than A Bomb, March 14We are proud to support Louder Than a Bomb, the world’s largest poetry slam, which is coming to Cincinnati for the first time ever. Join us for the semifinals on Saturday, March 14 at 9:30 a.m. in DAAP room 5400 on UC's campus. Find more details atlouderthanabombcincy.com

  • UC Research Partnership Explores How to Best Harness Solar-Power

    by UCRI admin | Mar 10, 2015
    Now here's a bright idea! A University of Cincinnati research partnership is reporting advances on how to one day make solar cells stronger, lighter, more flexible and less expensive when compared with the current silicon or germanium technology on the market. Yan Jin, a UC doctoral student in the materials science and engineering program, Department of Biomedical, Chemical, and Environmental Engineering, will report results on March 2, at the American Physical Society Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Keep reading at uc.edu
  • GE Aviation Invests Millions in New Jet Engine

    by User Not Found | Feb 23, 2015
    Our partners in innovation, GE Aviation, recently announced the anticipated release of its newest commercial jet engine, LEAP. According to the Dayton Daily News, the engine's debut is already having an impact on southwest Ohio's local economy. 
  • Can UC researchers reverse the effects of Type 1 Diabetes?

    by Jermaine Fields | Dec 17, 2014

    Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5% of all diabetes and is usually diagnosed in young people. There is no cure for the disease - which happens when the immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells and the body's only source of insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. Now researchers at the University of Cincinnati report they have successfully tested a new therapy that appears to reverse new onset type 1 diabetes in mice. Read about it on Medical News Today.

  • Earning while Learning: UC Co-op Student Earnings Hit $50 Million

    by User Not Found | Dec 16, 2014
    For the first time, UC reaches the $50 million mark in collective student co-op earnings, continuing a steady rise in this area and other important measures of success. Read more at uc.edu.
  • Rockin' On with UC Geology

    by User Not Found | Dec 05, 2014
    UC Geology recently completed its first two projects. You can read about them on our blog
  • Tristate Teachers Pack Innovation in Classes

    by Jermaine Fields | Aug 07, 2014

    For the first time, UC reaches the $50 million mark in collective student co-op earnings, continuing a steady rise in this area and other important measures of success.The Cincinnati Engineering Enhanced Mathematics Program (CEEMS) Closing Showcase displayed local teachers’ preparations for a great upcoming school year with lesson plans packed full of innovative, challenge-based learning experiences. Read more at uc.edu.

  • UCRI Helps Horses Fly

    by User Not Found | Jun 10, 2014
    A recent partnership between UC and AMP Electric Vehicles is the perfect example of how UCRI can facilitate the path to innovation. UCRI connected AMP with university resources to develop an "octocopter,” an autonomous, unmanned aerial vehicle for deliveries. Read about it on Wired.com.

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