April 11, 2014

SIU faculty earn honors for patent work

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Several Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty members received honors at the recent Interdisciplinary Research Forum for receiving patents for their work within the past year.  

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer Office annually honor faculty members who successfully complete the lengthy and time-consuming process involved in acquiring patents for their inventions. 

“It’s especially noteworthy that this year’s award recipients are all actively involved in commercializing their inventions.  Their inventions are either already in commercial use or likely soon will be,” Jeff Myers, SIU’s senior technology transfer specialist, said. 

Those receiving plaques and recognition during the April 8 forum were Peter Filip, Dale Wittmer, Ken Anderson, John “Jack” Crelling and Y. Paul Chugh.  All are professors, with the exception of Crelling and Wittmer who are professors emeritus. 

From the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes in the College of Engineering, Filip and Wittmer, the retired chair of the mechanical engineering department, received a patent Aug. 13, 2013, for “Intermetallic Bonded Diamond Composite Composition and Methods of Forming Articles from Same.”  Additional patents are pending in the United States and five additional countries.  

Filip and Wittmer have, through an option agreement with SIU, founded a start-up company ADCM Inc., to commercialize their invention.  

Anderson and Crelling, who retired several years ago but continues research work at SIU, earned honors for their work in the College of Science’s Department of Geology.  Their efforts resulted in an Oct. 22, 2013, patent for “Process for the Dissolution of Coal, Biomass and Other Organic Solids in Superheated Water.”  The pair has additional patents pending in the U.S. and in 18 other countries. 

Under a license from the university, Anderson and Crelling commercialized their invention through a start-up company they founded, Thermaquatica Inc. 

Chugh, from the College of Engineering’s Department of Mining and Mineral Resources Engineering, earned recognition for his Jan. 21, 2014, patent for “Water Sprays for Dust Control on Mining Machines.” The invention, which works to greatly reduce dangerous coal dust levels in underground mines, is already in use in the region’s coal mines. 

Chugh has received a number of patents in previous years and has two additional patents pending for his latest invention.