Awards presented by the Office of Technology Transfer represent the university’s ongoing commitment to turn faculty research into marketable products and services.
NC State celebrated its achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship for 2012 – including 42 U.S. patents issued and 10 start-up companies launched – with the presentation of its Innovator of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
“These outstanding researchers and innovators represent the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates throughout NC State,” says Chancellor Randy Woodson.
“Not only are they conducting terrific science, but they are turning their results into products, services and even companies that benefit the citizens of North Carolina, the U.S and the world.”
Jere Confrey and Josip Simunovic were named Innovators of the Year for 2012. Confrey is the Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor Mathematics Education and a senior scholar at the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.
Simunovic is a research associate professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences and assistant director of the NC State site of the Center for Advanced Processing and Packaging Studies. Simunovic has gained national and international recognition as one of the leading researchers on advanced thermal processing of foods.
Confrey serves as the Chief Mathematics Officer for Wireless Generation, Inc., a company building digital curricula with diagnostic assessments for middle grades.
John Cavanagh, Christian Melander and Mary Tschirhart were named 2012 Entrepreneurs of the Year.
Cavanagh, who is the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, is an expert in protein structural biology, particularly in how bacteria are able to protect themselves. His discoveries led to the creation of Agile Sciences, an NC State spin-off company located on Centennial Campus.
Melander is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry. His research focuses on defining small molecules that control bacterial behavior and small molecule-coated nanoparticles with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Melander is also a co-founder of Agile Sciences. His efforts have resulted in 17 patent filings and three issued U.S patents.
Tschirhart is the director of the Institute for Nonprofits and a professor of public administration. She leads a diverse array of initiatives including research projects, education programs, community collaborations and social entrepreneurship initiatives.
The NC State Entrepreneur and Innovator of the Year awards were established to recognize members of NC State working to promote the commercialization of university intellectual property, train future leaders, and serve as champions of the university’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. NC State’s Office of Technology Transfer oversees the awards program. Read more.