In The News
Faculty Research Spotlight: Collaboration
Business and Science Collaboration Is Key to Successful NSF I-Corps Grant
By Dr. Jana Minifie and Dr. Jennifer Irvin
Scientists and engineers often come up with great new ideas that could have a huge impact on society. Unfortunately, most of these ideas never go anywhere because the majority of scientists and engineers have no idea how to commercialize their technologies. Texas State University recognized this when it created the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) program, to train doctoral students not just to do outstanding research in materials science and engineering but also to commercialize their work. The MSEC program brings together faculty from the College of Science and Engineering and the McCoy College of Business to train the next generation of materials scientists and engineers.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) also recognized the need to train scientists in the art of commercialization. It created the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program* to provide entrepreneurial training and funding for scientific research teams. NSF utilizes the Lean Canvas methodology recommended by the National Innovation Network to help I-Corps teams develop a streamlined alternative to the traditional business plan.
Dr. Jana Minifie’s expertise in entrepreneurship/Lean Canvas works synergistically with Dr. Jennifer Irvin’s expertise in materials science and engineering to create the ideal combination of skills necessary for I-Corps success. Minifie and Irvin teamed together to create an NSF I-Corps Site at Texas State. With $254K in NSF funding beginning in fall 2018, the Texas State I-Corps Site will train 20-25 teams each year over a three-year period, helping them to commercialize their scientific and engineering research. Teams will be recruited from seven existing entrepreneurial programs across campus, including MSEC’s Commercialization Boot Camp and McCoy’s Three Day Startup (3DS). The I-Corps Team awards will provide each team a series of commercialization workshops, experienced mentors, and $1-3K in funding to be used for business development expenses.
The I-Corps Site will significantly grow the commercialization culture at Texas State, advancing scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to societally relevant outcomes for both domestic and international markets. The site will increase diversity in entrepreneurship by specifically targeting team members and mentors who are women and minorities. Texas State will play an important role in strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Central Texas area by providing more innovations for the region’s workforce. The results will be creation of new jobs, enhanced economic growth, increased STEM investment and commercialization of new technologies benefiting consumers. Ultimately, the Texas State I-Corps Site will result in improved well-being of individuals in society and development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce.
To Minifie and Irvin, the key to putting together a successful team is also the key to getting a project funded: be sure to include all the disciplines and skills necessary to complete the goals. Their unusual combination of business and science is the key to their success.
* It is notable that only 72 universities have I-Corps Sites. Congratulations to Dr. Irvin and Dr. Minifie for putting Texas State in this exclusive group!
MSEC Entrepreneur Teams Chosen as BIG Pitch Finalists
Posted by Sandra Pantlik
Office of Media Relations
October 2, 2018
Two Texas State University student groups are among the eight collegiate finalists chosen to compete in the annual Ocean Exchange BIG Pitch event Oct. 7 – 9 in Savannah, Georgia.
Surge Power Materials and TX20 student innovation teams will present in front of delegates from business, non-government organizations, academia and government. The winning pitch receives a $10,000 cash award, sponsored by the Georgia Southern University College of Business Administration.
The undergraduate and graduate innovations competing where selected because of their intent to improve economies, health, and the environment, and fit under the theme of sustainability.
OceanExchange.org is a 501c3 with the sole mission to help advance the adoption of solutions in the field of sustainability.
Left Picture: SurgePower Materials team members (left to right) Babatunde Adebiyi, Palak Modi, Dr. Michael Opoku and Grace Luangisa
Right Picture: TX2O team members (left to right) Dr. Michael Opoku, Thi Nguyen, Conor Brantley, and Dr. Archana Gujjari
September 26, 2018
As part of Texas State University’s Common Experience: Innovation Week, MSEC Director Dr. Jennifer Irvin served on a panel of local leaders to talk about innovation in San Marcos. The event was moderated by Greater San Marcos Partnership President Adriana Cruz and featured San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides, Paul Brown, President of Bautex Systems, and Steve Frayser, Executive Director of STAR Park, Texas State University in addition to Dr. Irvin. The panel discussed the impact of innovations on the community and what the future will hold for San Marcos.
MSEC Student Club
This fall marks the establishment of a new MSEC Student Club. This new organization, open to all current MSEC students, is planning a range of professional development, outreach, and social activities. The first order of business was electing officers. Club members also created and ratified a constitution, which they will submit to the university to obtain official student organization status. They will subsequently seek to establish a Materials Research Society University Chapter.
MSEC Student Club Officers
President: Tuhin Dey
Vice President: Mahmuda Akter Monne
Treasurer: Chandan Howlader
Secretary: Mohammad Shamim Reza
For more information, contact club President Tuhin Dey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doctoral Research Support Fellowship Recipients
Congratulations to MSEC doctoral students Joyce Anderson and Babatunde Adebiyi for receiving the Doctoral Research Support Fellowship for the Fall 2018 semester!
August 10, 2018
Congratulations to our Summer 2018 graduates: Dr. Raju Ahmed, and Dr. Christopher Manspeaker!
Spring 2018 Entrepreneur Boot Camp II Winner
Kosmik Energy was awarded 1st place in the annual Entrepreneur Boot Camp for their business plan presentation. Students: Mahmuda Monne (MSEC), Bhagyashree Mishra (MSEC), and Ricardo Ramirez (ENGR) received the $8,000 award to continue their startup project.
Congratulations to Mithil Mazumder for Receiving the Outstanding MSEC Doctoral Student Award!
SurgePower Rice Press Release 2018
A Texas State University entrepreneurial team has been chosen to compete in the 2018 Rice Business Plan Competition. The team is SurgePower which has developed new battery technology that yields longer lasting batteries that can be charged in one tenth the time of current batteries. The RBPC normally has 700 applicants from all over the world but only 42 are chosen to compete. The competition awards $1.7 million dollars in prizes to the teams. This is the third team in 5 years to be invited from Texas State. SurgePower will be competing against teams from Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, Carnegie-Mellon, Cornell, UCLA, Yale, Duke, John Hopkins, and UT Austin. SurgePower is a multidisciplinary team consisting of members from the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization PhD program (Dr. Michael Opoku and Babatunde Adebiyi), The McCoy School of Business (Ms. Grace Luangisa) and the Master of Fine Arts graphics Communications program (Ms. Palak Modi). The competition will be held at Rice University on April 5th through the 7th. Faculty sponsors for the team are Dr. Bill Chittenden, Ms. Claudia Roeschmann, and Dr. Gary Beall.
December 16, 2017
Congratulations to our Fall 2017 graduates: Dr. Maedeh Dabbaghianamiri, Dr. Archana Gujjari, and Dr. John Petersen!
Texas State MSEC students receive training in Project Management
In Fall 2017, five students completed the course MSEC 7325 "Principles of Technical Project Management" which trained the students in important and relevant project management skills. The one semester course is designed for Ph.D. students within the Texas State University Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization (MSEC) Program. The course objectives are to equip students with the theory, application, and tools of technical project management to effectively organize, lead, and manage complex technical projects and prepare students to becomes certified project managers. Within the course, students completed 35 hours of project management education and are now eligible for the exam to become a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) from the Project Management Institute (PMI). This is the first time Texas State MSEC students have received training to become certified project managers. Congratulations to our students!
Pictured (left to right): Dr. Darold Barb (Class Advisor, Guest Lecturer), Dr. Christopher Rhodes (MSEC 7325 Instructor), Fei Sun (MSEC Student), Cassie Deardorff (M.S. Chemistry Student), Joyce Anderson (MSEC Student), Eric Welch (MSEC Student), Jacob Armitage (MSEC Student), Dr. Jennifer Irvin (Director, MSEC Program).
MSEC Business Team Success
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
October 3, 2017
Texas State University's TX2O team has been named finalist in the graduate division of the 2017 Collegiate Inventors Competition.
The Collegiate Inventors Competition is an annual event that rewards innovations, discoveries and research by college and university students and their faculty advisors. Each year, individuals representing a broad cross-section of technological fields serve as first-round judges, evaluating entries based on originality of the idea, process, level of student initiative and potential value and usefulness to society. The finalists will travel to Alexandria, Virginia, in November to present their inventions to a panel of final-round judges composed of National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) experts.
“The USPTO is proud to host the 2017 Collegiate Inventors Competition — a program designed to allow undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their emerging ideas and inventions that will shape our future,” said Joseph Matal, undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO. “We look forward to meeting these young innovators at this event, and encouraging their creativity and problem-solving skills to enable them to develop meaningful solutions to real-world challenges.”
TX2O—which participated in the prestigious Rice Business Plan competition earlier this year—has developed an innovative granular absorbent that can reduce the cost of treating contaminated water produced as a by-product of the oil and natural gas industry by more than 30 percent while producing zero hazardous waste. The TX2O solution is a drop-in replacement for current technology with zero adoption cost and can be regenerated without degradation in performance.
The TX2O team, comprised of Archana Gujjari, Conor Brantley, Michael Opoku, Thi Nguyen and advisor Gary Beall, will showcase its invention and interact with thousands of USPTO patent and trademark examiners, sponsors, media and the public at the Collegiate Inventors Competition Expo on November 3. The expo is free and open to the public. The awards ceremony will immediately follow at noon.
August 11, 2017
Congratulations to our Summer 2017 graduates Dr. Susmita Ghose, Dr. Olanrewaju Ogedengbe and Dr. Tugba Yildiz!
MSEC Doctoral Student, Elizabeth LeBlanc, has received a prestigious Department of Energy Solar Graduate Student Research Internship.
May 26, 2017
Beth will work from July to December at the National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) within the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO. The NCPV focuses on technology innovations that drive industry growth in U.S. photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing. Beth will be exposed to multiple facets of PV research, development, deployment, and outreach. She will be part of a larger team whose goal is to make large-scale solar energy systems (at low penetration) cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020. The NCPV coordinates its research and goals with researchers from across the country.
May 12, 2017
Congratulations to our Spring 2017 graduates Dr. Abbas Fahami, Dr. Md Shafiqur Rahman, and Dr. Mark Riggs!
MSEC PhD Student Wins William E. Spicer - Thomas N. Casselman Best Student Paper Award
At the 2016 U.S. Workshop on the Physics and Chemistry of II-VI Materials held in Baltimore, MD, MSEC doctoral student Beth LeBlanc received the William E. Spicer - Thomas N. Casselman Best Student Paper Award for her presentation entitled "Controlling the magnesium composition in CdTe/CdMgTe Heterostructures". This paper has been submitted for publication and is currently under review.
Every year the U.S. Workshop on the Physics and Chemistry of II-VI Materials (a.k.a. the II-VI Workshop) Committee selects one of the student presentations to receive an award for the best student paper. Prior to 2004, this award was called simply the "Best Student Paper Award." Its goal is to encourage student participation and acknowledge excellence in student paper presentations. The award commemorates William E. Spicer’s and Thomas N. Casselman’s memory and is awarded to the student who, in their opinion, had the best student paper at the Workshop. The recipients are presented with a cash award and a plaque. The plaque will have the student’s name and institution engraved upon it and will be his or hers to keep.
Mariana Ocampo awarded NSF-funded travel grant!
We are pleased to announce that Mariana Ocampo, doctoral student in the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization program, has been awarded an NSF-funded travel grant to attend the ASSIST Early-Career Faculty Development Symposium at the 2016 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC). The travel grant, awarded by Great Minds in Science (GMiS), in partnership with Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES), will cover expenses incurred traveling to and attending the symposium and conference, up to $2,000. The symposium, held for traditionally under-served early-career and aspiring faculty in engineering, has a tremendous line-up of engaging seminars and networking opportunities intent on increasing the diversification of the engineering professoriate by helping attendees navigate the academic hiring and tenure and promotion pathways.
You may already know of Mariana as the first place winner in Texas State’s 3MT Competitionthis past spring. A first-generation college student (and the first to go into a STEM discipline as well as pursue a Ph.D.), she is passionate about organic chemistry, sustainability, and renewable energy and hopes to discover environmental solutions through chemistry and engineering. One of her aspirations is to become a faculty member in the predominantly male-dominated science and engineering field. We wish Mariana an informative, beneficial time spent at HENAAC and continued success in her doctoral studies and beyond!
MSEC PhD student wins the University Finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®)
On Thursday, April 7 the University Finals of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) were held. The top 3MT presenters from Texas State’s doctoral programs competed to determine who could best communicate their research to a non-expert audience in three minutes. This was the first year that MSEC students participated in this challenge.
First year MSEC student Mariana Ocampo won first place in the university-wide competition! Mariana won $500, and she will represent Texas State at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ 3MT®competition next year. Mariana attributes her success in part to the outstanding training she has received in the commercialization aspect of the MSEC program.
SioTeX technology spin-off captures grand prize in AUTM competition
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 6, 2016
SioTeX Corporation, a company formed by an interdisciplinary team of Texas State University graduate students, has won the $10,000 top prize in the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) business plan competition during this year’s AUTM Venture Forum held during the AUTM 2016 Annual Meeting in San Diego.
SioTex is a San Marcos-based startup that manufactures a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to fumed silica called Eco-Sil. Fumed silica is a common specialty performance additive, typically used to modify viscosity in hundreds of industries and applications including paints, plastics and tires. SioTeX uses rice hulls, an abundant low-cost biowaste, as a raw material. The specialty chemical company was formed in December 2013 and is built around advancing a technology developed by Haoran Chen, the first Ph.D. graduate in Texas State’s Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) program.
“Many manufacturers are experiencing pressure to switch to more sustainable raw materials. Switching to Eco-Sil will provide customers with an eco-friendly and low-cost alternative to conventional production on the market today,” said Lisa Taylor, co-founder and vice president of sales and marketing for SioTeX.
SioTex was among four finalists who made their pitch to venture capitalists at AUTM’s Venture Forum. The other finalists included Adranos Energetics, LLC (Purdue University), developers of a more powerful and environmentally-friendly solid rocket propellant; Clear Bio (Rutgers University), a biotechnology company providing researchers with improved bio-imaging of tissues; and InBrace (University of Southern California), developers of an invisible orthodontic appliance for faster, more effective treatment of malocclusion. The final four were selected out of 46 total submissions.
"The AUTM Venture Forum is an exciting example of the many ways new technologies are coming out of research universities all over the world and moving into the commercial marketplace,” said AUTM President Dave Winwood. “It allows us to bring real-world examples of how universities are working with industry to create products and services that are truly improving lives and making the world a better place.”
The AUTM 2016 Venture Forum, which was sponsored by Haiyin Capital, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP and Startup Compete, provided attendees an opportunity to hear from and interact with some of the top institutional and corporate venture investors in the country.
The Association of University Technology Managers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing research to life by supporting and enhancing the global academic technology transfer profession through education, professional development, partnering and advocacy. AUTM’s more than 3,300 members represent managers of intellectual property from more than 350 universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals around the world as well as numerous businesses and government organizations. To learn more about AUTM, visit www.autm.net.
Texas State team wins Texas Halo Fund Investment prize at Rice competition
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 17, 2014
SioTeX, an interdisciplinary team from Texas State University, won the Texas Halo Fund Investment Prize during the 14th Annual Rice University Business Plan Competition (RBPC) in Houston.
This marked the first year a Texas State team had been invited to compete in the RBPC, arguably the largest and most competitive business plan competition in the world. Texas State finished fourth overall.
In addition to the Texas Halo Fund Investment Prize, SioTeX also took first place in the Challenge Round Flight and was runner-up in the CASIS ISS National Lab Space Flight prize. The team was also acknowledged as the most engaged in mobile social media activity during the competition.
The $125,000 Texas Halo Fund Investment Prize is awarded for extraordinary entrepreneurship, demonstrated by independent thinking, team motivation, fortitude, ability to change and adapt to the marketplace, and the ability to build a great idea into a globally competitive business using only a small amount of capital. The Texas Halo Fund Investment Prize was the fourth largest prize awarded.
The RBPC, conducted by the Rice Alliance on the campus of Rice University, is the world's richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition where teams pitch their business plans to investors and judges. There were more than 500 applicants this year with only 42 teams invited. In total, the Rice Alliance awarded over $3 million in this year's competition.
SioTeX was formed in December 2013 and is built around advancing a technology developed in the Material Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) Ph.D. Program by team leader Haoran Chen. Chen recently completed his Ph.D. and formed the team which includes Marcus Goss (MSEC student), Ash Kotwal (MSEC Student), Lisa Taylor (MBA student) and Cesar Rivera (MFA student).
With the investment prize, SioTeX will obtain the financing to construct a manufacturing facility and launch their business. SioTeX will produce and distribute Eco-Sil, an environmentally-friendly alternative to fumed silica. Eco-Sil is manufactured from rice hulls and is a renewable resource. Target markets include paint, fiberglass-reinforced plastic and tires. These markets currently account for $1.5 billion in sales annually
Texas State team advances to Rice Business Plan Competition
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
March 12, 2014
A multi-disciplinary team of graduate students from Texas State University has been invited to participate in the 14th Annual Rice University Business Plan Competition in Houston April 11-12.
The competition will take place on the Rice campus. The Rice University Business Plan Competition is the world's richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition. It is hosted and organized by the nationally recognized entrepreneurship initiative Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business--the fourth-ranked Best U.S. Graduate Entrepreneurship program per the Princeton Review.
Forty-two teams from around the world will compete for more than $1 million in cash and prizes in front of over 250 judges, primarily venture capitalists and other investors. More than 800 teams applied to compete in 2013 and the competition was supported by more than 130 sponsors. More than 138 past competitors have successfully launched their business after competing at Rice, are still in business today, and have raised more than $600 million in funding.
The Texas State team includes Haoran Chen, the first Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) Program Ph.D. graduate and inventor of the technology that the company is based upon; Marcus Goss, MSEC student; Ash Kotwal, MSEC Student; Lisa Taylor, MBA student; and Cesar Rivera, MFA student.
A company, SioTex, has been formed to push forward the production and distribution of Eco-Sil, an environmentally friendly alternative to fumed silica. Eco-Sil is manufactured from rice hulls and is a renewable resource. The process has already won an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Target markets include paint, fiberglass-reinforced plastic and tires. These markets currently account for $1.5 billion in sales annually.
More information about the company can be found at http://istart.org/startup-idea/green-materials-energy/siotex-corporation/20044
For more information, contact Gary Beall at (512) 245-8796 or via email at email@example.com.
Grad student to be honored by ACS for innovative cancer research
By Andrew Smith
University News Service
November 11, 2013
Texas State University graduate student Travis Cantu was recently selected to attend the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition in Dallas March 16-23 to present his academic pursuits in reforming cancer treatment through biomedical polymer engineering.
Cantu's research focuses on the creation of synthesized chemical polymers capable of conducting photo-thermal energy. Once injected into the body, the polymers travel to the site of cancerous growths and deliver concentrated bursts of heat and light, killing cancer cells. The localized treatment is a promising alternative to current chemotherapy regiments that flood the entire body with toxins and subject patients to severe, often painful side effects.
As an honorary speaker for the ACS's Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Symposium, Cantu will detail the findings of his work in a short presentation to fellow students, educators and companies from across the industry.
Professors Jennifer Irvin and Tania Betancourt of the university's Material Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC) Program and Associate Dean Thomas Myers provided Cantu with the necessary guidance and resources to conduct his research. The MSEC program is designed to help students refine their research into marketable technologies and services.
Cantu's achievement exemplifies the important role of students in establishing Texas State as a major research university.
Texas State Faculty Members Honored by American Chemical Society
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 22, 2013
Texas State University's Gary Beall, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Bert Powell, of the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization Program, are co-recipients of the American Chemical Society's Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering.
The formal presentation will take place at the National American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas in the spring of 2014.
The national award recognizes significant developments in polymer materials that involved academic and industrial cooperation. Past recipients include Bob Waymouth of Stanford University and IBM and Rod Quirk of the University of Akron and Phillips Petroleum. The citation of the award reads, "For seminal contributions to the science and engineering of nanoclay-polymer nanocomposites which defined the concept of polymer nanocomposites for the community and established the foundation for global industrial enterprises."
Beall and Powell share this award with Emmanuel Giannelis of Cornell University. The body of work that is being recognized is based on the collaboration between Beall and Powell, while they were in private industry, and Cornell.
Texas State doctoral student awarded 'Grow Your Own' scholarship
By Andrew Smith
University News Service
August 1, 2013
The Texas State University System Foundation has named Amber Douglas recipient of the Alan Dreeben Grow Your Own Scholarship award.
Douglas, a doctoral student in the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization Program at Texas State University, will be reimbursed up to $50,000 for required coursework tuition, mandatory fees, course materials and certain living expenses.
"It is a great honor to be selected as a recipient of the Grow Your Own Scholarship," Douglas said. "Although I have worked with great fervor to get to this stage in my life and career, it is truly the support and commitment that I receive from the university and from the MSEC program to which I owe a debt of gratitude.
"The faculty at this university has made it a priority to afford students with any opportunity that becomes available," she said. "This award will allow me to complete my research and educational goals; as well provide the opportunity to mentor and encourage further inclusion of women and underprivileged individuals in STEM."
The TSUS Foundation established the Alan Dreeben Grow Your Own Scholarship Program in 2005 to increase faculty diversity and provide mentoring models for students in the eight universities and colleges that make up the system. Through this program, individuals from groups underrepresented on the faculty receive financial assistance to complete their doctoral degrees. Once the individual completes their doctorate, the successful applicant is given priority for employment in a tenure-track position at the sponsoring institution or another TSUS institution in an appropriate discipline and department, based upon needs of the department and institution at that time.
This scholarship also provides the opportunity for these individuals to mentor college students from underrepresented populations and assist in retaining these students.
"The most recent National Science Foundation report indicates that women only occupy 30 percent of the Ph.D.s granted in the physical sciences, and about 20 percent in the engineering fields," said Thomas Myers, director of the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization Program at Texas State. "Ms. Douglas is one of the outstanding students we believe will help change this demographic in the future. She will be one of the leaders in the near future who successfully helps increase faculty diversity and provides mentoring models for students, minority or otherwise, who struggle to overcome adversity and other barriers to become successful professionals."
About the Texas State University System Foundation
The Texas State University System Foundation, Inc., was established in 1977 by the Board of Regents of the Texas State University System to assist TSUS with gaining private financial support and help the component institutions pursue additional education-related activities and outreach. The Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation that exists solely for the benefit of the Texas State University System. The Foundation has an independent board of directors that governs the Foundation's activities and manages Foundation funds.
Texas State officially opens first STAR Park research facility
By Andrew Smith
University News Service
November 15, 2012
Texas State University officially opened STAR One, the first building at the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park, Nov. 9.
STAR Park is a 38-acre site hosting Texas State's first incubator building, STAR One. Dedicated to the university's research and commercialization efforts, STAR One, a 20,000-square-foot facility, will serve as a technology incubator/accelerator for start-up and early-stage businesses, and will provide companies access to secure wet labs, clean space, conference room, office space and other university-provided services.
Texas State President Denise Trauth, Provost Gene Bourgeois, STAR Park Executive Director Stephen Frayser as well as area dignitaries were on hand for the event.
Texas State deserves latest accolade
January 17, 2012
Institutions, like people, have to work hard to justify the confidence and loyalty of their friends and work constantly to maintain that trust.
If Texas State University were a person, it would be known as reliable, talented and intelligent but modest.
The institution's modesty has always been one of its most endearing traits. Texas State administration, faculty and students have netted honors and recognition but don't usually brag on themselves. They focus energy into doing.
The latest recognition is a big one. Last week, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board designated Texas State University as an emerging research university.
The designation means the San Marcos university is eligible to tap into a special state fund set up to bolster higher education research.
The recognition is one step below Tier 1 status, a designation enjoyed by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and Rice University.
Texas State's fall 2011 enrollment was just more than 34,000 students, making it the fifth-largest institution of higher learning in Texas.
The university's growth in the past 20 years has reflected the phenomenal Central Texas growth over the same period.
Texas State has been aggressive in its recruiting efforts in and out of the region. The institution has also been aggressive in achieving status as a Hispanic Serving Institution.
To earn the designation − and the federal money that comes with it − an institution's undergraduate enrollment must be at least 25 percent Hispanic.
To win recognition as an emerging research institution, institutions must offer a wide range of undergraduate and master's degree programs; serve a geographically diverse student population; award at least 20 doctoral degrees per year; and offer at least 10 doctoral programs.
Institutions also compete by raising money from donors. Money from the Texas Research Incentive Program is proportionate to how much institutions raise from their donors. The incentive fund's appropriation for the current fiscal year is $35.6 million.
Donor generosity is one way of measuring an institution's ability to inspire loyalty.
According to statistics ranking seniors' satisfaction with Texas' top 10 public universities, 91 percent of Texas State's seniors rated their experience as good or excellent.
Even though Texas State has a lot to brag about − including being the only Texas institution of higher learning to produce a president of the United States − it rarely does. Founded in 1903, Southwest Texas State Teachers' College was 27 years old when Lyndon B. Johnson graduated with a degree and headed off to a teaching job in South Texas.
On hearing the news about Texas State's designation as an emerging research institution, state Sen. Judith Zaffirini declared, "Wonderful. Bravo. It's about time." Zaffirini, D-Laredo, leads the senate's Higher Education Committee.
Texas State deserves that accolade and many more.
The people who are the university have more than earned them. More importantly, however, they are on the way to earning many more.
New Texas State doctoral program aims to teach combine science, engineering with business outlook
By Melissa Ayala firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: 7:46 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011
Published: 9:46 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011
Graduate students at Texas State University will now have the opportunity to seek a doctoral degree in materials science, engineering and commercialization, a cross-disciplinary program designed to give students a chance to apply engineering lessons in a business setting.
The program, which was approved Oct. 27 by the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board, will be the first such doctoral program in the state.
Thomas Myers , an associate dean and a faculty liaison for the new program, said the degree has been five years in the making. It aims to equip students to enter the workforce with a more diversified background by cutting across three areas of study: materials science, which is the study of physical and chemical properties of solid materials; engineering; and commercialization.
The College of Science and Engineering program will allow students to apply their scientific knowledge in a commercial setting through partnerships with small businesses.
A student studying commercialization, for example, will have the opportunity to work with small businesses partnering with Texas State at its Science, Technology and Advanced Research Park, currently under construction off campus at McCarty Lane and Hunter Road in San Marcos. The new facility will allow small businesses to conduct research and rent lab and office space while exposing students to a working research atmosphere.
Myers said he hopes that exposure to the commercial side of the degree will connect students with employment opportunities.
"Many of us that are involved in the program have worked in industry, small business or both, and we realize firsthand that we really haven't been training our Ph.D. students in sciences and engineering to be able to go out and do the jobs they're going to do," Myers said.
The program will begin in the spring. Twelve students will be admitted the first year of the program, with 30 more students during the next four years.
According to Myers, the ultimate goal of the new program is to get students trained in growing industries like energy and engineering fields that he said can help lead the country forward.
"We view this program not only as exemplifying our focus on applied research and industrial outreach, but we're also looking at training our graduates to be part of the engine for economic advancement in the state and the country," Myers said.
The new degree will become the 11th doctoral program at the university. Eugene Bourgeois, Texas State provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the program represents Texas State's commitment to enhance its research focus as it works to gain the status of "emerging research university," the next step toward top-tier status and national recognition.
Myers said the university is unlikely to add more degrees for a while because this program completes the goals set in the current strategic plan for the university.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new STAR Park took place on September 7th.
The new Star Park facility, located on a 38-acre site at Hunter Road and McCarty Lane in San Marcos owned by the university, will provide university and commercial tenants access to secure wet labs, clean rooms and office space. Green and bio-technology companies will be a major focus, and backers hope that San Marcos' convenient location between Austin and San Antonio will work to attract corporate research interest from those cities' technology communities.
Texas State has established the Center or Research Commercialization to provide an effective interface between industry, government and academia. The center will be used to launch high-tech start-ups related to the university's Advanced Materials Laboratory and other significant research programs at Texas State.
Interdisciplinary partnership will be a major selling point of the facilities, incorporating expertise from the McCoy College of Business Administration and the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization program at Texas State.
The project, designed by Philo Wilke Architects of Houston, has an estimated cost of approximately $7 million, with funding coming from Higher Education Assistance Funds, an Economic Development Administration grant and the City of San Marcos. American Constructors of Austin has been selected to manage the project.
STAR PARK Announcement
A partnership between Texas State University-San Marcos and the City of San Marcos has landed a $1.85 million award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) in support of the new Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) building.
The grant funds the construction of a state-of-the-art research and commercialization center at Texas State through the Office of Commercialization and Industrial Relations (OCIR).
This project will attract corporate research on alternative energy projects and establish San Marcos as a place for university graduates to find high tech careers.
The new facility will serve as a technology accelerator for start-up and early-stage businesses, and will provide university and STAR tenants access to secure wet labs, clean rooms and office space. Green and bio-technology companies will be a major focus, and backers hope that San Marcos' convenient location between Austin and San Antonio will work to attract corporate research interest from those cities' technology communities.
This building will house 'spin-offs' from research conducted and intellectual property generated by university faculty, and 'spin-ins' from companies outside the state that want to come in and strategically work with the university. Our mission is education with relevance, and this is expanding our university's research profile, and adding depth and breadth to our educational and research programs.
It will have clean room facilities for materials development and wet labs for small business start-ups in this region. The merging of semiconductor nanotechnology with biotechnology as a major opportunity for economic development in the state. Our location along the I-35 corridor is ideal for linking the large biotech/medical activities in San Antonio and the semiconductor community of Austin.
Interdisciplinary partnership will be a major selling point of the STAR facilities, incorporating expertise from the McCoy College of Business Administration and the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization program at Texas State.
The EDA awarded the grant through the Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund, which is intended to foster the green economy by promoting economic competitiveness while enhancing environmental quality.
Engineering Technology lands National Science Foundation grant
By Kristina Kenney
University News Service
September 6, 2011
Texas State University-San Marcos Department of Engineering Technology was awarded $486,599 on Aug. 29 by the National Science Foundation. The grant took effect on Sept. 1 and will go toward helping fund an advanced materials research proposal for upgraded instrumentation over the next three years.
The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program was set up by the NSF to help universities upgrade various technological equipment and instrumentation for areas of advanced research, and Texas State has had a very high success rate with the competitive grants recently, winning several large awards in the last few years.
"It's a good example of how Texas State is increasing its research profile," said Thomas Myers, director of Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization, and associate dean of science at Texas State. "In order to do state-of-the-art research, you have to have the correct set of tools. By getting external funding, we have managed to pull in millions of dollars worth of equipment."
The proposal's principle investigator is In-Hyouk Song, assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, and co-principle investigators include Texas State's Byoung Hee You, Edwin Piner, Hsing-Huang Tseng, Maggie Yihong Chen, Nikoleta Theodoropoulou and Gary Beall.
The particular piece of equipment that this award will help fund is called an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Reactive Ion Etching System, an advanced materials processing system which will allow researchers to define structures with very precise dimensions through innovative dry etching abilities. Such processing systems are crucial to the construction of newly developed and developing technological devices that continue to get smaller in size.
Myers said that the new system will be placed in the College of Science's newly renovated clean room and will be used by many researchers across several different departments including engineering technology, physics and chemistry.
"It allows us to do cutting-edge research and to train students in cutting-edge research that otherwise would not have happened," said Myers.
This most recent award from the NSF is one of the largest given to Texas State through the MRI program, being just slightly less than one for a scanning electron microscope two years ago. Myers said both awards were well above average for the NSF, and the honor should attest to the quality of research being done at Texas State.
Scanning electron microscope acquisition boon to nano research
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
May 21, 2010
Materials science research at Texas State University-San Marcos will soon add a new scanning electron microscope (SEM) to its cutting-edge facilities.
The Board of Regents of the Texas State University System has authorized the purchase of a Helios NanoLab 400 DualBeam Scanning Electron Microscope from the FEI Company. The instrument normally sells for $2.2 million, but was negotiated to a lower level by the principal investigator of the NSF grant, Nikoleta Theodoropoulou of the physics department. The acquisition will be paid for by a combination of National Science Foundation grant funds, Higher Education Assistance funds, Semiconductor Initiative Special Item appropriations, Research Development appropriations and budgeted departmental operating funds.
"This is an important tool for us. It would be almost a show stopper for many of the things we do if we were not able to acquire this instrument," said Tom Myers, director of Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization, and associate dean of science at Texas State. "For us it is a very fundamental tool. It's hard to do nanotechnology if you can't see, manipulate and build things at that level.
"We needed a very good SEM to see things at a nano scale. This gives us that capability we did not have before," he said. "But one reason we are excited about this acquisition is that it also gives us the ability to build structures with dimensions of only a few hundred atoms. For many of the new areas of research our faculty are exploring, this is an indispensable tool."
The National Science Foundation grant marks the sixth time in three years Texas State has won the backing of the foundation for expansion of its research capabilities, and represents an unprecedented run of success.
"That is highly unusual. And the win for the SEM, about three times larger than any previous NSF equipment grant, represents the maturation of what we're trying to do here. Others have recognized that Texas State is a significant player in this arena," Myers said. "We're getting validation from multiple parties of what we're trying to do."
This equipment will be used by the materials science engineering commercialization program as well as the faculty in chemistry and biochemistry, engineering, engineering technology and physics at Texas State, and will leverage the existing capabilities of the university's materials research center, Myers said. The electron microscope has electron beam lithography and other advanced processing and characterization capabilities, including Focused Ion Beam technology, putting Texas State's microscopy capabilities on par with those of other state universities such as the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
"Electron beam lithography is not that uncommon, but now we have a built-in focused ion beam milling. We can use that to make samples or mill structures directly," Myers said. "We can make structures in-situ. Plus we also have an ultra-high-precision stage, so when we put it all together, it gives us unique capability in the state.
"This is a top of the line instrument," he said. "The opportunities it gives us for new faculty research opportunities are tremendous, it's an investment in our future that will reward us far more than most people realize."
Texas State University poised for boom - millions being spent to expand campus
Texas State University in San Marcos is out of space, but $633 million worth of construction slated to take place in the coming years will make room for more students.
Last semester, thousands more students enrolled at the university. And demand is so high for on-campus housing that Texas State is conducting a dormitory lottery for upperclassmen next semester.
"We are absolutely one of the fastest-growing universities at 30,800 students," Texas State President Denise Trauth said. "To grow by 2,500 students [over a semester] is very rapid growth, and I think it shows the demand for our programs."
The growing university has been moving forward with expansion projects and renovations that will eventually position it to enroll more students in academic programs such as engineering, materials science and consumer sciences.
Everywhere you look, development at the university, which is the middle of its 10-year master plan, is starting to heat up. In the past couple of years about $109 million has been invested to expand the campus. But that's only about one-sixth of what the university has in the pipeline.
Texas State has four major projects under construction, including a new family and consumer sciences building in San Marcos and a nursing building in Round Rock. This year, it will break ground on a new undergraduate academic center and a recital hall and theater renovation.
Meanwhile, multiple projects being planned are awaiting funding, including a $56.7 million music building and an $82 million engineering and science building in San Marcos, and two health professions buildings in Round Rock that would have a combined price tag of about $80 million.
The next project to get under way at Texas State will be a $4 million to $5 million research and commercialization center. Funding for the center is in place, and the university will be issuing a request for proposals for land planning in the next few weeks. The site for the commercialization center is just south of campus, at McCarty Lane and Hunter Road.
Additionally, the university will seek regents' approval for a $47 million housing residence hall complex, which will have about 600 beds. Given enrollment increases, there is a huge need for on-campus housing, Trauth said.
Unlike the other projects, the residence complex would not require funding from the Texas Legislature because it would be funded by revenue from residence halls.
The planned commercialization center will assist the university in its effort to become a top research university in Texas.
"We have a responsibility to continue to grow and become a research university," Trauth said. "That will take some time, but that is the ultimate goal. The master plan supports that vision."
The commercialization center would house the materials science program, an interdisciplinary program that consists of engineering, physics, chemistry and other disciplines.
The center also would link faculty and entrepreneurs with cutting-edge research with the goal of spinning out inventions and startup companies. The university is looking closely at research involving energy, security and health.
Amy Madison, economic development director for the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, said the city has taken a special interest in the commercialization center.
The center "will allow us to bring that [commercialization] effort forward, not only for our own businesses and community, but also for businesses that we can recruit to our area," Madison said. "Texas State University is an economic engine for the city of San Marcos. Obviously, their expansion only increases that capacity for our city."
Trauth said Texas State hasn't decided how much it would like to increase capacity, only that it wants to accommodate Texas' growing population for years to come.
According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the university uses 100 percent of its space.
One of its fastest-growing programs is the engineering department. Launched in 2007, the school's inaugural electrical engineering class anticipated 25 students but had 90.
"We believe there is a great deal of pent-up demand for baccalaureate engineering programs here in Central Texas," Trauth said. "And we really believe it's the job of Texas State University to step up to that. But we can't do that until we get the funding for a building."
Texas State, MicroPower to develop energy-saving technology
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 15, 2009
Texas State University-San Marcos has partnered with Arizona-based MicroPower Global to develop cutting-edge "green energy" technology.
The partnership, facilitated by the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and the Innovate Texas Foundation, will initially see MicroPower carry out its 12-month prototype development plan using the new Multifunctional Materials Laboratory at Texas State.
"Our investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund has helped create partnerships like those between Texas State University and MicroPower, and is moving Texas forward by developing cutting edge technology that will continue to enhance our state's global competitiveness and eventually introducing these technologies into the marketplace," said Texas Governor Rick Perry.
The idea is to build on a technology already planned for the 2010 BMW 5 Series, which converts heat into electricity for the car's air-conditioning and other power systems. MicroPower believes that the work it will perform in Texas will yield new efficiencies that will in turn open up huge new applications, such as heat recovery from jet engines. The plan is expected to bring at least 28 jobs to Texas and to participate in a potential $330 billion market.
"Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Perry and the Texas Legislature for their investment from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund in this research center, we are able to partner with Texas State University and are pleased to be working together in Texas toward developing this cutting edge technology." said MicroPower Chairman Max Lewinsohn, who helped finance the development of the company's technology from the outset. "It is clear Texas State has much to offer with their first-class research expertise and facilities and a strong desire to see technologies commercialized. We hope to strengthen our relationship with the university as we work to eventually introduce this breakthrough technology into the marketplace."
An Energy Revolution in Texas
During the initial phase, MicroPower aims to build its first thermoelectric-chalcogenide based chips, a device that can convert heat directly into electricity, leading to significant energy savings. The chips' targeted efficiencies are in excess of 15 percent, or three times more efficient than the conventional material.
"Landing MicroPower with us in Texas is a direct result of the faculty talent and commercialization platform we have been able to assemble due to support from the Emerging Technology Fund and the vision of the university administration," said Terry Golding, director of the Center for Research Commercialization at Texas State.
Working with Texas State, MicroPower's goal is to drive development toward the world's first 20 percent efficient modules, which will revolutionize the thermoelectric market. In addition, the clean, green technology is expected to save energy, reduce harmful emissions and lead to the availability of substantial carbon credits.
"Having searched extensively for a suitable development facility, it was immediately clear Texas State was the perfect fit for MicroPower," said Ali Murdoch, MicroPower CEO. "As well as providing an ideal environment in which to complete this technology and grow the company, the support we have been afforded makes me extremely positive about MicroPower's long-term future in Texas."
Further cementing the relationship is the agreement in principle for MicroPower to relocate operations to the Interstate 35 corridor. MicroPower would be a key early tenant of the off-campus commercialization center, developed by Texas State in conjunction with the City of San Marcos. Groundbreaking is expected to begin within 12 months
About MicroPower Global Limited
MicroPower Global Limited is a private BVI registered company that has acquired the intellectual property rights to groundbreaking technology that can efficiently and cost-effectively convert heat directly into electricity, leading to significant energy savings. For more information on MicroPower, please visit: www.micropower-global.com.
About The Texas Emerging Technology Fund
The ETF, created by the Texas Legislature at the urging of Governor Rick Perry, provides Texas with an unparalleled advantage by expediting the development and commercialization of new technologies, and by recruiting the best research talent in the world. For more information on the ETF, please visit www.emergingtechfund.com.
Materials Science lands $4 million grant from state
November 18, 2008
Materials science research at Texas State University-San Marcos is poised to become a national leader in the developing field of multifunctional materials, thanks to a grant of $4 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
The grant was announced Nov. 17, 2008, at the annual Ready for Commercialization conference in Austin .
The grant will be used to operate and staff a newly established center for the research, development and commercialization of multifunctional materials to drive the development and innovation for the next generation of devices used in the fields of energy, security and health.
The establishment of the materials growth facility has been a priority of Texas State President Denise Trauth and Provost Perry Moore.
Trauth said, 'This is a momentous event for Texas State. It takes us to a new level of prestige within the research community and allows us to better serve our students and the state of Texas."
Tom Myers, professor and director of the MSE program, said, "The establishment of this materials growth capability at Texas State will allow us to attract additional world-class researchers, especially those with an interest in solving real-world problems that have commercial applications and societal impact."
The term "multifunctional materials" refers to the use of a material or class of materials for multiple functions. Information processing and high-density, light-weight information storage are applications that could reap immediate benefits from the field of study, but other, more diverse uses include more efficient solar power generation and entirely new classical and quantum approaches to computing and communication. The federal government has even expressed interest in sophisticated, next-generation sensors that could be developed from this research for homeland security purposes.
Terry Golding, holder of the University Chair in Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization Program, and director of Texas State's Center for Research Commercialization, said, "This will give Texas State an unprecedented capability in terms of different types of electronics materials that can be produced and researched. In effect, this immediately places Texas State at the center of multifunctional materials research."
The MSE program is a collaborative effort involving the chemistry, biochemistry, physics, technology and engineering programs at Texas State, as well as the Nanomaterials Application Center, the Center for Nanophase Research, the Center for Coatings and Biobased Technology and the Institute for Environmental and Industrial Science.
Gary Beall, associate professor of chemistry and associate director of the MSE Program, said, "The interdisciplinary research fostered by the study of multifunctional materials is also having a strong impact on student education, allowing them to be a better-prepared resource for emerging high-tech industries within the State of Texas."
One of the key roles of the MSE program is to nurture and expand the expertise and talent necessary to foster new fields, industries and technologies. Research conducted within the program will have an immediate impact on the Texas economy, and is expected to attract additional federal research funding as it produces new commercial endeavors in support of civilian, defense and security applications.
"Such developments are at the forefront of current science and technology and promise to provide breakthroughs that can strengthen current industries and facilitate the emergence of entirely new industries," said Bill Covington, associate vice president for research and federal affairs.
The multifunctional materials center has also been supported by equipment gifts from Freescale Semiconductor and Motorola.
Freescale Semiconductor donated a molecular beam epitaxy tool and related equipment valued at more than $4 million. Motorola has donated a dual chamber production type molecular beam epitaxy system in support of the materials science program at Texas State.
The grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund was made as part of the program's Research Superiority Acquisition effort. Priority for ETF Research Superiority Acquisition is given to proposals that involve scientific or technical fields that have a reasonable probability of enhancing the state's national and global economic competitiveness, may result in a medical or scientific breakthrough, are interdisciplinary, have or may attract federal and other outside funding for research superiority, and are likely to create a nationally or internationally recognized locus of research superiority.
III-V MOSFETs for future CMOS transistor applications
M. Passlack, U. of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA USA;
R. Droopad, Texas State U., San Marcos, TX USA;
I. Thayne, A. Asenov, U. of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
III-V semiconductors are commonplace in laser and lighting applications and provide enabling components, such as power amplifiers, for mobile products including handsets and WLAN transceivers. In recent years, research into III-V semiconductors to complement silicon in mainstream electronic applications, such as microprocessors, has dramatically accelerated. Some interesting concepts have emerged that show promise to further enhance CMOS performance and provide new levels of functionality. Solid State Technology Magazine website.