Lab Curiosity to Commercial Process- what it takes

Alan W. Weimer (Colorado Centre for Biorefining and Biofuels, University of Colorado)


DATE: 2014-11-24
TIME: 14:00:00 - 15:30:00
LOCATION: Engineering Lecture Theatre
CONTACT: JavaScript must be enabled to display this email address.

The road from the chemical engineering lab to a commercial process is a difficult one. It requires not only great technology and intellectual property (IP), but also, a market, a great team of generally multi-disciplinary staff who can work together effectively and are driven, money, and a lot of perseverance. This talk will present first hand examples of both the path taken from a laboratory curiosity to a successful commercial process at a major company (Dow Chemical) and the path taken to commercialize lab IP out of the university.

Alan W. Weimer joined the faculty of the University of Colorado in 1996 after a 16-year career with the Dow Chemicals. He is an award-winning inventor on 31 issued U.S. patents and an author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications. He has successfully commercialized his academic discoveries, among others high-temperature processing to produce advanced materials during his time with Dow Chemicals. He was named University of Colorado Inventor of the Year in 2004 and received both the campus-wide and the College of Engineering and Applied Science Faculty Research Awards in 2005. He is recipient of the 2005 U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Program R&D Award for developing solarthermal technology to split water, the 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineeras (AIChE) Thomas Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems for his pioneering effort to functionalize fine particles with thin films, and the 2010 AIChE Excellence in Process Development Research Award for his persistence to commercialize his academic discoveries.

He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University, College of Engineering and Computer Science.

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