College of Engineering selects three projects to receive funding through its ENGINE grant program

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Engineering recently selected three projects for funding through its Engineering for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (ENGINE) grant program.

ENGINE grants provide financial support to engineering faculty so they can commercialize their research ideas.

“Our faculty want their research to have impact in the real world, and two of the best ways to make that happen are to start up a company or license the technology to an existing company,” said Chris Rahn, associate dean for innovation in the College of Engineering. “If faculty are successful in commercialization, their technology can then be accessed by people all over the world. Penn State wants to be known as the birthplace of the next breakthrough technology and ENGINE grants are designed to help faculty with the difficult transition from the lab to the marketplace.”

Fifteen applications were reviewed and evaluated by a panel of internal and external experts in technology commercialization. The panel rated each application for broad commercial impact, current readiness of the technology and the proposed plan.

“The three projects selected for funding include faculty from across the College and have the potential to impact the training of medical professionals, enhance vision in low light environments and increase the durability of concrete,” said Rahn. “These are important areas for society with broad commercial appeal.”

The following faculty are beginning their ENGINE grant research projects:

  • Jason Moore, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, and Scarlett Miller, associate professor of engineering design and industrial engineering, for their project, “Low Cost Haptic Force Needle Insertion Simulator”;
  • Kevin Houser, professor of architectural engineering, for his project, “Prototype and Demonstration of LED Light Source that Improves Vision at Low Light Levels”; and
  • Farshad Rajabipour, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, for his project, “Next Generation Durability-Enhancing Admixtures to Extend the Life and Reduce the Life-Cycle Costs of Concrete Infrastructure.”

The College’s ENGINE grants program is supplemented by the Penn State Research Foundation Fund for Innovation, which matches one dollar for every two dollars provided by the College, up to a maximum of $75,000 total investment per project.

“[College of Engineering] Dean [Justin] Schwartz and I are very excited about the commercial prospects of these technologies and congratulate the awardees for their excellent proposals and potentially impactful technologies,” said Rahn. “We look forward to seeing the commercial outcomes of these ENGINE grant projects.”

Media Contact:

Megan Lakatos