ENGINE grants provide funding for College of Engineering faculty entrepreneurs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Three projects have been selected for funding through the College of Engineering's ENGineering for Innovation & ENtrepreneurship (ENGINE) grant program.

Now in its second year, the program provides financial support to faculty to help transition their early stage research results through a proof-of-concept phase, with the ultimate objective of forming a startup company or licensing the technology to an established business.

Tim Simpson, professor of mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, engineering design and architecture, and chair of the 2016 ENGINE grants selection committee, said the committee received 11 exceptional proposals vying for only three grants.

"It was a very competitive process given how few projects we could fund," he said.

The following faculty will receive ENGINE grants for 2016-17:

  • Weihua Guan, assistant professor of electrical engineering, for his proposal "AnyMDx: A Mobile Diagnostics Lab for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime"
  • Aman Haque, professor of mechanical engineering, for his project "Powering the Internet of Things"
  • Siyang Zheng, associate professor of biomedical engineering, for his proposal "Development of a circulating tumor cell (CTC) analysis instrument"

The one-year projects will begin March 15.

Simpson said President Eric Barron's Invent Penn State initiative is helping to change the culture of entrepreneurship at Penn State in the College of Engineering.

"Engineering faculty are starting to think more entrepreneurially about the possible impact of their research in the marketplace," he said.

This year, three of the college's most successful alumni also served on the selection committee.

"The three alumni volunteers on our selection committee have extensive entrepreneurial experience, and their input was extremely valuable in helping us assess the market potential and commercialization opportunities of the proposed projects," said Simpson.

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 $75,000 total investment per project.

Last Updated February 29, 2016