On Feb. 21, Fermilab recognized 64 individuals for their technological innovations, honoring them at the Fermilab Inventor Recognition Ceremony. Hosted by Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer Manager Cherri Schmidt, the event celebrated inventors, creators and entrepreneurs.
Over the course of the 2019 calendar year, six patents were awarded and 33 disclosures were submitted to the Fermilab Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer, or OPTT, further expanding the Fermilab Intellectual Property portfolio, the first step in developing technology transfer with industry engagements. Among Schmidt’s introductory remarks at the ceremony were a year-in-review, including the inaugural year of OPTT’s Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Practicum, and her perspective on changing the culture at the lab.
“Changing the culture of Fermilab to embrace entrepreneurship and commercialization as part of our organizational DNA begins with the people we recognize at this ceremony — the people who have taken the time to disclose their inventions and software creations,” Schmidt said. “By working with us to protect this important intellectual property, you give Fermilab the opportunity to license these technologies to industry and giving the U.S. taxpayer a bigger bang for their research buck.”
Also offering their welcoming remarks were Tim Meyer, head of technology engagements; Mark Bollinger, DOE Fermi Site Office deputy manager; and Sarah Habansky, regional engagement executive at the Office of Technology Transitions at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Michelle Hoffmann, senior vice president of life sciences and health care, P33 Chicago, delivered the keynote address: “Speaking While Thinking: Reflecting on a Few Lessons Learned as a Woman Among Scientists (and Doctors and Bankers).” Hoffmann leads P33’s early science commercialization program where her role is to help the Chicago area benefit from the deep technology being developed in the Chicago research community at universities and the national laboratories.
Hoffmann detailed how P33’s goals intersect with her personal experiences, one of the key commonalities being a search for diversity. As she advanced professionally, she wondered not only why she’d become one of few women in the room, but also why women were less willing to speak up. The overall lesson of speaking while thinking applies to all innovators:
“I think that speaking and the articulation of concepts, theories, and phrasings is a way of testing your ideas,” Hoffmann said. “I think that explaining what you are thinking, even when it is not baked, and especially when you are wrong, is actually vital to making better ideas.”
Subsequently, Meyer and Bollinger presented the awards to the employees who earned patents and submitted invention disclosures.
Also recognized at the ceremony:
- Jim Admunson, Patrick Gartung, Chris Green, Adam Lyon and Marc Mengel, the R&D 100 Award team from Fermilab, for their contributions to Spack: A Package Manager for HPC Systems
- Ram Dhuley, winner of the William E. Gifford Award from the Cryogenic Society of America
- Jayakar Charles Tobin Thangaraj, Halo Awards 40 Under 40 Chicago Scientists
- Jessica Esquivel, American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassador
Next up for the Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer is the Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Practicum, an eight-module short-course for Fermilab researchers who are interested in connecting their work with direct societal impact. Participants should feel free to BYOT: Bring Your Own Team! Seats are limited. For more information and to register for the class, visit http://partnerships.fnal.gov/internal/.
In the reception following the ceremony, Habansky summed up the overall takeaway of the day: “DOE is proud to support our lab innovators and their technologies as they continue their journey from the lab toward commercialization. Congratulations to all of this year’s Fermi inventors!”
- Grzegorz Deptuch, Farah Fahim: Edgeless Large-Area ASIC
- James Hoff, Tiehui Liu, Jamieson T. Olsen: Method and System for High Performance Real Time Pattern Recognition
- Brian E. Chase, Ralph J. Pasquinelli: Vector Control of Radio Frequency Signal in Narrow Band Loads Driven by Injection Locked Magnetron Using Carrier Amplitude Modulation by Spectral Energy Spreading via Phase Modulation
- Sergey Kazakov: Superconducting Cavity Coupler
- Robert Kephart: Compact SRF-Based Accelerator
- Mohamed Awida Hassan, Donato Passarelli: Radio-Frequency Tuning of Dressed Multicell Cavities Using Pressurized Balloons
Disclosures submitted by:
Julian Andres Badillo Rojas
Laura Rogas is the program administrator for the Fermilab Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer and the Illinois Accelerator Research Center.
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