Aaron Sauers

Aaron Sauers is Fermilab’s patent and licensing executive.

Bring a cup of coffee (or tea!) and join Fermilab’s patent and licensing executive for an informal discussion of intellectual property on Friday, May 29, at 1 p.m. If you have an idea for an invention or would like to learn more about intellectual property at the laboratory, drop in. Read on for sign-in information.

During the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Fermilab scientist Arden Warner began experimenting with oil in water seeded with magnetite. He found that magnetite forms a preferential bond with the oil and can be manipulated with magnetic fields. Warner shared his idea with the Office of Partnerships and Technology Transfer in 2011, and the first electromagnetic boom patent was issued in 2014. The technology is in the process of being commercialized.

Fermilab employees are continually creating technologies that address problems in basic science, and it turns out that many of these technologies can be spun off for uses beyond particle physics. That’s a big reason to protect them. When we protect technologies, we can support their use in our everyday lives. Your invention could help improve medicine, the environment, industry and the economy.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Technology Transfer Office Head Michael Paulus shakes Aaron Sauers's hand. Photo: Cherri Schmidt

Members of the national laboratories, leaders from the Department of Energy and experts in advanced manufacturing converged at the third summit in DOE’s InnovationXLab Series. Fermilab had strong representation at the meeting, featuring particle physics technologies that have been adapted for use in our everyday lives. We connected to find ways to wield national laboratory resources to help launch new industries and rejuvenate manufacturing.

On Wednesday, March 13, members of the Accelerator Division will hold their annual Hackathon. The day-long event allows individuals and groups to pursue ideas that daily schedules do not typically allow time to address. The following day, Thursday, March 14, the entire laboratory is invited to the lab’s first Hack-n-Doodle. OPTT will accept inventions drawn or written on napkins as official invention disclosures and potential technologies for patenting.