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Official Magazine of the Charlotte Research Institute

finding clarity

magnetic fields on display in Ferrofluid

vol. 3 no. 1 Winter 2013

“Research is fundamental to the mission of UNC Charlotte. New knowledge and creative works change the world and shape the future of the University.” These words frame the mission and vision for research and economic development at UNC Charlotte, North Carolina’s Urban Research University. Our Millennial magazine once again portrays the spectrum of research activities and results at UNC Charlotte. Dr. Greg Gbur’s highly integrated efforts of teaching, research, and outreach are changing the world! Research grants like The Integrated Network for Social Sustainability generate new ideas and connect our faculty and students with collaborators around the world. The Charlotte Venture Challenge Pitch Day links research ideas with challenging business requirements. With entrepreneurship courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level, UNC Charlotte now has many ways to engage students in social and business startups. Partnerships continue to initiate and grow strongly as demonstrated by our 11th Annual Charlotte Life Sciences Conference, a new initiative with the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and new steps forward with CanDiag, Dot Metrics, and InfoSense. We will have even more activities and results to draw you to the Charlotte Research Institute Campus when the PORTAL building is completed in 2014! Thanks for all of your support in growing research at UNC Charlotte. We look forward to new partnerships in coming months and years.

Building the Future

PORTAL Partnership, Outreach, and Research to Accelerate Learning

Opening January 2014

The four story, 96,000sf building is making its presence known in the northern district of the UNC Charlotte campus! Whether seen from North Tryon Street (Route 29), the new UNC Charlotte 49ers football stadium, or the nearby campus shuttle stop, PORTAL has clearly taken its place at the main gateway to the Charlotte Research Institute. Future PORTAL business and research partners will enjoy their CRI business address and its prominent University City location on the UNC Charlotte campus.






16 18  32




Charlotte Life Sciences Conference NSF I-Corps Program Charlotte Venture Challenge Pitch Day

Finding Clarity Through a Wide Lens

Close Up:

Chip Yensan

Effort By Giving = Success2


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contents vol. 3 no. 1

CanDiag, Inc. Dot Metrics

11 12 34

Other Topics

Social Sustainability 24 Collaborative Efforts and Grants 25 Urban Forest Water Quality Grants 25 Ivan Howitt 26 IEEE Recognition 28 Strides in NeuroImmuniological Funding 29 What Big Grains You Have 30 Popular Certificate Program 33

Winter 2013

we make research happen




Official Magazine of the Charlotte Research Institute

the Cover

magnetic fields on display in Ferrofluid

finding clarity

magnetic fields on display in Ferrofluid

Official Magazine of the Charlotte Research Institute

Editorial Staff

Editorial Director Chip Yensan

Editorial Assistant Karen J. Ford

8 8

ORAU & UNC Charlotte Agreement ATP Graduate Darrell Pate Patent Corner Entrepreneurship Meets Technology Strides in Veterinary Care About

Creative/Design SPARK Publications Editorial Assistant Julie M. Fulton

Editorial Assistant Robyne R. Vickers

Photography Cress Photography

Copyright 2013 Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte is the PORTAL for business-university partnerships. UNC Charlotte’s research capabilities represent a vital economic development tool for business attraction and is a geographically distinct part of UNC Charlotte located on the University’s Millennial Campus.




vol. 3 no. 1 Winter 2013

Dr. Gbur is a professor in UNC Charlotte’s Department of Physics and Optical Science, an active optical science researcher, an active author – he writes textbooks, popular science books, does science journalism, history of science and even literary scholarship – and is as well the creator of an award-winning science blog, “Skulls in the Stars.” He’s also an enthusiastic skydiver and a figure skater, to name a couple of his other interests. As Gbur admits, “I like a lot of stuff.”

g n i d iF n arityh a l C roug

Do you see where the coherence comes in yet?

In his life as an optical scientist, one of Gbur’s current research projects involves studying the transmission of partially coherent beams of light through turbulent media, such as the transmission of laser light through the atmosphere. The work is being funded by a


for the transmission of light waves, which change direction when they encounter a difference in the density of the materials they are traveling through. This is particularly problematic for beams of coherent light (like laser beams), where such conditions cause a phenomenon known as scintillation – a rapid, random flickering or fluctuation in the intensity of the light beam. In physics, coherence is a measure of how well different parts of a wave (in this case, light waves) oscillate in synchronization with each other. In lasers, such coordinated photons allow the light to be concentrated in a tight, high intensity beam over long distances - under ideal conditions. However, when coherent light waves are traveling through a turbulent medium, there are uneven amounts of diffraction affecting the beam and the synchronization of the light waves resulting in disruptive wave cancelation or amplification


grant from the US Air Force, which is interested in improving the use of lasers in the field, particularly for secure, highly directional communication. The atmosphere has many layers of different density that are constantly moving and changing – a condition called turbulence. If you have ever ridden on an airplane, you understand what traveling through it is like. Turbulence presents a problem, Gbur explains, millennial



UNC Charlotte optical scientist Greg Gbur is all about coherence. The coherence of light is one of the topics he studies in his research, but it also seems to be a defining characteristic of his life.

within the light beam as positive or negative interference occurs. This shows up as scintillation where the beam is being detected. This is a problem, Gbur noted, when the laser is being used for communication purposes. “We don’t want that because the way we send information over a laser beam is to use high and low intensity. If your beam is naturally flipping from high to low intensity because of this interference effect, the information

is going to get garbled,” he said. On the other hand, Gbur explained, incoherent light sources – like the sun or a light bulb -- are not uniformly directional like a coherent laser beam. They are emitting light waves “all propagating in a huge spectrum of different directions” and thus the light signal becomes rapidly diffused in traveling long distances, requiring impractical amounts of energy to produce a signal strong enough to detect at a distant receiving station. Lasers are far more energy efficient. “So the trick is how can we reduce this speckled pattern from a laser? We know that an incoherent light source like sunlight isn’t directional and we know that a fully coherent light source like a laser produces a speckle pattern, so we go for something in between –

partially coherent light,” he said. Partially coherent light sounds like a less-than-perfect, fuzzy laser, but Gbur explains that this is not exactly what “partially coherent” means. “If you use a coherent laser, you get one unified beam and it goes through the turbulence and it gets bent around and it may or may not arrive at the detector and if it does arrive at the detector it may still be distorted by interfering with itself,” he said. “But one way to think about a partially coherent beam is that it is essentially a bunch of different coherent beams all propagating a little bit differently.“ By taking the counter-intuitive approach of breaking up a uniformly coherent beam by replacing it with a varied group of different coherent beams, Gbur believes it is actually

possible to strengthen the signal the transmission provides at the end. He visualizes the transmission of such a light as a group effort to reach the target, rather than a unified, all-ornothing approach. “Now a partially coherent field is trying all sorts of different paths through the turbulence,” he said.. “It’s basically like you are communicating through multiple channels at the same time. You lose some, but the others make it and, because they don’t interfere with each other… it’s like a race where you have teams. All that matters is that some members of your team get to the end.” Like the “partially coherent” beam, this research into mitigating turbulence is just one of many research paths that Gbur is pursuing

E Greg Gbur demonstrating how a magnet interacts with electron beam in a cathode ray tube. 2013



In his life as an optical scientist, one of Gbur’s current research projects involves studying the transmission of partially coherent beams of light through turbulent media, such as the transmission of laser light through the atmosphere.

– he is also interested in cloaking and invisibility effects, optical “wormholes,” inverse problems and their application to scattering (in medical imaging, etc.), optical vortices, light interactions on the nanoscale – and so on. His intellectual activity may seem to be shooting off in a dozen directions at once, but don’t mistake that for a lack of coherence. He’s simply a high-energy researcher with a broad spectrum of interests. But, of course there is also the question of Gbur’s other interests. His blog has three major subject areas, optics/physics, history of science and horror/science fiction/ film, and he writes about them all expertly. (One of his posts was millennial



recently honored and republished in Best Science Writing Online 2012.) In his science writing, he has recently written a college textbook in optics (Mathematical Methods for Optical Physics and Engineering, Cambridge University Press, 2011), popular articles in Optics and Photonics News (“Visions of Invisibility in Fiction,” “Arago’s Inadvertent Test of Relativity”) , and he has plans to write a book on invisibility that publishers have shown an interest in. Due to his earned reputation as a blogger, he has been asked to do a very different kind of writing project – to write literary introductions to novels in a series of “classic” horror fiction being

published by Valancourt Books. “I am going to be writing semischolarly introductions for classic horror fiction because I made a name for myself writing about that in my blog and Valancourt knew who I was and approached me,” he said. “This is actually my favorite thing among everything that is going on right now.” Researcher, blogger, textbook writer, science writer, historian of science, literary critic and scholar… Gbur shows a kind of Da Vinciesque intellectual breadth, but how does that make sense at a time when academic researchers are generally expected to show a “laser-like” focus in a narrow research specialty? Gbur argues that his various divergent activities actually do show a natural, if unexpected, coherence. “All three interests really combine,” he said. “I just sent off last week a review article on invisibility physics and cloaking, where I cover the history and the most recent developments, from Sir Isaac Newton to the present day. It really is a perfect synthesis of everything, because I included a section in the end on invisibility in horror and science fiction, and the scientific explanations that people have used. These are all relevant in looking at the topic - it’s a perfect example of how all these interests of mine relate to each other.” A special situation, perhaps, but widen the view to include all Gbur’s research and outreach activities and a larger picture emerges. “One of the reasons I like doing outreach is that it opens up new opportunities, like writing for Optics and Photonics News… but it really improves everything else overall,” he added. “I think a lot of faculty members and scientists don’t appreciate is that outreach and the effort to make your work understandable

plays a really big role in your own writing and that it can directly affect your non-outreach success as well,” he said. “The fact that I’m learning to write things that are non-technical means that, even when I write a technical article, I have this instinct and this better tendency towards making things comprehensible.” Gbur points out that wellhoned writing skills and practice in making technical subjects accessible are especially important for a researcher who is interested in seeing his or her work gain wider attention and perhaps attract collaborators from other fields. “You can read a lot of papers written by brilliant people and yet they are not that readable and accessible, so they are not reaching everybody they could be reaching,” he noted. “Nobody is an expert on everything and when you write a research paper you don’t want it to just get the attention of just those people who are directly involved in exactly the same things you are - you want other people (beyond your field) to pick up on it too.” Being able to present work in an accessible way is also a critical skill in the search for research funding. “Learning to be accessible is likewise important even in grant writing,” he continued. “Especially in writing grants, you want to be able to describe your research in a technical way, but for the broadest audience possible, because the people who are going to be reviewing it are almost certainly not going to be specialists in your field.” As anyone who has ever tried to land a competitive research grant knows, a key element in a successful proposal is conveying to the grant reviewers the sense that the project is important. “You want to be able to explain to them what you are doing,

y l g n o r t S On et g r Ta and also why it is exciting – to convey the excitement in your work,” he said. “If you can convey the impact of your findings to someone who is not an insider in your field, you are far more likely to succeed in getting funded.” Interest in outreach is an interest in engagement, and, as Gbur went on to point out, that attitude can have an impact in almost all aspects of a researcher’s life, from publication to professional relationships to conference presentations to teaching. Presentations, lectures and teaching require a developed sensitivity to audience, and skill in crafting the material to fit the context. Many researchers do not have much training in thinking this way and are uncomfortable with the idea that they should be able to perform such a wide variety of tasks, all coherently. This brings us back to Gbur’s research in methods to improve communication in a turbulent environment. What do you get when you combine high energy and many coherent beams firing at once? Answer: Greg Gbur, optical scientist, writer, scholar, teacher – all focused strongly on target. For more information contact Dr. Gbur by email at 2013 7 millennial

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, Bob Wilhelm, hosted the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc. (ORAU) Director, Cathy Fore at an October 24th information exchange luncheon with several UNC Charlotte (UNCC) faculty and research support administrators. During that session Ms. Fore discussed the many grant opportunities and partnerships available through ORAU/UNC Charlotte sponsoring institution collaboration. ORAU’s website clearly states their mission, “As a university consortium, Oak Ridge Associated Universities creates and promotes collaborative partnerships among academia, government (with a focus on Oak Ridge National Laboratory), and industry to strengthen our nation’s scientific research and education enterprise.” ( Director Fore was also given tours of several UNC Charlotte research centers including the Charlotte Visualization Center, EPIC, the Center for Precision Metrology, and the Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications. As a followup to that meeting, Dr. Wilhelm recently announced that the University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ORAU that further strengthens UNC Charlotte’s long standing relationship with that agency. Specifically, the new ORAU/ UNC Charlotte MOU enhances the process for information sharing via a confidentiality agreement and facilitates indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity grant proposals without requiring an exclusivity provision. Commenting on this new ORAU agreement, Dr. Wilhelm said, “Our recent agreement with ORAU offers new opportunities for faculty members to pursue research funding with defense and intelligence agencies. This is an important step in our efforts to increase research funding and attract partners to our new PORTAL building and the facility that it will offer for classified research.”

Oak Ridge Associated Universities and UNC Charlotte Agreement Offers New Opportunities UNC Charlotte business and finance major and 2012 graduate of the Bank of America Applied Technology Program (ATP) at UNC Charlotte, Darrell Pate, was featured in the Winter/Spring issue of the Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology web magazine. The ATP is a partnership between Bank of America (BOA) and UNC Charlotte which places fifteen junior and senior business and technology majors into very competitive seventeenmonth internship programs with BOA each year. The program is designed to provide undergraduates with real world experience in the financial services industry allowing these interns to be eligible for employment with Bank of America after they graduate. This very successful program is just one example of outstanding UNC Charlotte students interfacing with Charlotte area businesses. Congratulations to Darrell and all of our ATP interns for their great work!

Congratulations to ATP Graduate Darrell Pate!




n Patent Corner

to a

Effective March 16, 2013, the United States will join the rest of the world and move to a first-to-file patent system. The change comes as the result of the passage of the America Invents Act (AIA) signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The United States was the last country to make the switch to a firstto-file patent system after Canada and the Philippines made the move in 1989 and 1998 respectively. Under a first-to-file patent system, the US patent office will award a patent to the first inventor who files a patent application without regard to who actually came up with the invention first. Under the previous first-to-invent patent system, an inventor had the option to prove to the patent office their date of invention was earlier and could be awarded a patent, even if their competitor filed a patent application first. The procedure to determine the date of invention was termed an “inference proceeding” at the US Patent and Trademark Office and it will soon become obsolete. Proving your date of invention under an inference proceeding was one of the reasons why it was important for researchers to keep detailed lab notebooks that should be signed and witnessed regularly. Supporters of the change to a first-to-file patent system claim the move will reduce risk and uncertainty in the patent process and lead to increased investment in early stage technologies. They also claim it will harmonize the US patent system with the rest of the world. Critics of the move claim the change will penalize independent inventors and small businesses who may not have a patent attorney on staff or be able to afford frequent patent filings to protect their innovations. Although the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) came out in support of the America Invents Act, many well respected universities within the AUTM community disagreed publically with AUTM’s support and claimed the changes implemented in the AIA will hurt university technology transfer activities as well as university start-up companies.




File Patent System -

By: Bradley C. Fach, Senior Associate Director Office of Technology Transfer UNC Charlotte’s Office of Technology Transfer is fortunate to have one patent attorney, one patent agent and a patent paralegal on staff and is able to quickly file patent applications in-house, typically within 3-5 business days after receipt of a new invention report. Because of the change to a first-to-file patent system, it is extremely important that faculty and student researchers work with the office early on in the invention process and well before publishing or presenting their idea outside of the university. About the author: Bradley Fach is a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and has been filing patents for over 12 years. Mr. Fach has filed over 500 patent applications in a multiple technology areas ranging from biotechnology to consumer products and software and is currently the Senior Associate Director of UNC Charlotte’s Office of Technology Transfer. Mr. Fach can be reached by email at: 2013



Section Name

11th Annual Charlotte

Life Sciences Conference

October 25th 2012, the Charlotte Research Institute presented the 11th Annual Charlotte Life Sciences Conference. Formerly called the Charlotte Biotechnology Conference, the event name was changed in its eleventh year to encompass what it has always been about; life sciences, technology, and the growth of innovation.

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Derek Raghavan.

Drawing a crowd of over threehundred, both attendees and presenters alike were treated to dynamic conversations ranging from cancer research and technologies that accelerate innovation, to discussions on the progression of cancer research, health, and fitness and nutrition


Life Sciences 2012 Conference

11th Annual Conference

Section Name

Where Innovation Begins

science. Experts spoke to their specific interests from humble beginnings to the commerciality of bringing science to consumers. This year, the committee selected twelve finalists, who competed for cash prizes in the 6th Annual Graduate Student Competition Judges: Devin Collins, Poster Competition, led by UNC Marcy Corjay, Blake Vande Garde, Charlotte graduate student Sheetal Ghelani, and John Richert. Shatavia Morrison. Prior to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer conference, students presented Growth.” Second place prize their ideas, research, and projects of $500.00 was awarded to to a panel of judges, conference Stephen Rengo of UNC Charlotte speakers, faculty, and community for his project titled, “Targeting members. The judging panel was Sheddase Activity on Tumor comprised of Devin Collins, UNC Cells to Promote Cytotoxic Charlotte, Marcy Corjay, Rowan Macrophage Chemotaxis.” Cabarrus Community College, Two Wake Forest University Sheetal Ghelani, PPDI, John students were selected to Richert, Retired Biotech Senior Executive, and Blake Vande Garde, receive the Runner-Up award of $250.00 each; Bryan Wilson Hammer & Associates. Students were judged on their presentation, won for his project, “Racial Difference in Plaza Omega-3 the quality of their research, and the commercialization opportunity Long Chain Fatty Acid Levels in African Americans and their project would present. European Americans.” And The grand prize of $1,000.00 Malaak Moussa won for her work was awarded to Alison Arter of titled, “Consistency of Network Wake Forest University for her project “Angiotesin-(I-7) as First- Modules in Resting-State fMRI Connectome Data.” in Class, Targeted Inhibitor of

Graduate Student Poster Competition Participants.

For more information call Clare Cook Faggart at (704) 250-5760 or contact her by email at Visit millennial




UNC Charlotte Team Selected to participate in the prestigious NSF I-Corps Program. The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently launched a new program designed to reinvent federally-sponsored research commercialization through entrepreneurship. Through this new program, researchers with NSF-sponsored research ideas and entrepreneurs nearing commercial probability can apply for funding to help determine the business potential of their innovations. To qualify the funding, making a go/no-go decision on their project’s commercialization potential, Primary Investigators (PIs) must do two things: assemble an entrepreneurial team and commit that team to enroll in an NSF supported entrepreneurship course tailored for engineers and scientists. The UNC Charlotte Team’s PI this year was Dr. Na Lu, Assistant Professor in Engineering Technology and Construction Management. Dr. Lu developed a high-performance natural fiber composite with NSF funding and qualified for the program. From there she selected an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL), her Ph.D. student Shubhashini Oza, and a mentor, Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) Assistant Director of Entrepreneurial Development, Devin Collins. Once the team was assembled they had to pass the selection process which required several interviews by the instructors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs. The UNC Charlotte team was one of twenty-four teams selected out of approximately 150 that applied for the intense eight-week program which began October 9th 2012 at the University of Michigan. “The program was designed to simulate a start-up environment which involves getting out of the lab and buildings to talk to

customers and a lot of late nights.” Devin Collins explained. The team’s chief task was to figure out which market was the most viable and had the biggest problem they could solve. Initially, the natural fiber composite had a number of potential markets including automotive, aerospace, and construction. Faced with the daunting task of contacting a minimum of one hundred potential clients Shubhashini remarked, “at the beginning of the NSF I-Corps, when the teaching team mentioned

impact on our society.” After eight weeks, the UNC Charlotte team returned to Michigan for their final presentation to the NSF and venture capitalists. They had learned much about how to commercialize the technology and about themselves. Shubhashini stated, “personally, this was an amazing experience for me since I always believed that I am only good at my lab work and publishing my research. NSF I-Corps not only helped me understand the business

that we would need to conduct one hundred interviews, we thought they were joking. It was practically unimaginable to interview a hundred people in less than eight weeks.” One hundred and three interviews later, the team discovered that the most promising commercial market was in building materials. In that market, high performance composites could potentially overcome the low durability of wood lumber. The natural fiber composite also offers substantial benefits over current plastic lumber for structural applications due to the three-times weight reduction and three-times strength increase that it provides at competitive cost estimates. Dr. Lu stated that, “as a researcher, I always think my job is to generate new knowledge for the scientific community, but now I believe it is more important to be an inventor and to provide novel solutions to existing problems. It is very exciting to see a huge market attraction for my innovation as it will provide sustainable solutions and positive

side of what we do, but also helped me rediscover myself. The initial interviews which I was required to conduct on my own, without Dr. Lu or Devin as a shield, were challenging since I was scared to talk to people one-on-one. It was hard to talk to strangers about your research and product but with time, I got better at it, today I am very confident that I can conduct these interviews on my own.” The UNC Charlotte team was one of two teams recognized for their performance at the I-Corp finals event. The team discovered that the technology has significant commercial potential and they are continuing to move the technology forward toward a commercial product. For more information about this and other entrepreneurship endeavors, contact Devin Collins at 704-250-5753 or 2013



1st Annual Charlotte Venture Challenge Pitch Day 14 New Technology Innovations Presented

The 1st Annual Charlotte Venture Challenge Pitch Day took place at UNC Charlotte on December 6th, 2012. Pitch Day is the lead into the 2013 Charlotte Venture Challenge Start-up competition.The Pitch Day event featured fourteen presentations of innovative new technologies in three categories consisting of UNC Charlotte masters and Ph.D. students, UNC Charlotte faculty and researchers, and members of the Inventors Network of the Carolinas. Cash prizes were awarded, but the main goal of the event was to accelerate the growth of new technologies by exposing innovators to business executives, entrepreneurs and investors. Each presenter made a threeminute pitch and responded to questions from the judging panel. The judging panel was comprised of innovation executives from Lowes, Electrolux, Belk, Husqvarna, Ingersoll Rand, and Blackarch Partners. Mike millennial



Weaver a member of the Inventors Network of the Carolinas described his experience, “My goal from the start was to get IMI smartShelf slide presentation sets into the hands of each judge and work for a follow up face-to-face meeting. That happened already so I am a big CVC Pitch Day winner.” The category winners included Student category winners Nicole Laville and Arnab Pal for their Glucose Sensor technology; Faculty and Researcher category winner Richard Giles for his BioFuels production technology; and Inventors Network of the Carolinas category winner Pam Delhotal for her Gilly Mobility Assist Device. Cash prizes awarded to the 1st and 2nd place winners of each category, were made possible by the Hauser Family Fund.

Student Category:

1st Place Team – Glucose Sensor Nicole Laville, Arnab Pal ($500) 2nd Place Team – Magnetic Gear Technology Theresa Myers, Soheil Razmyar ($250)

Faculty and Researcher Category:

 st Place Team – BioFuels 1 Production Richard Giles ($1,000) 2nd Place Team – Laser Surgery Application Vasily Astratov ($250)

Inventors Network of the Carolinas:

 st Place Team – Gilly Mobility 1 Assist Devices, LLC Pam Delhotal ($1,000) 2nd Place Team – IMI smartShelf Mike Weaver ($250)

For more information call Devin Collins at (704) 250-5753 or Visit

NEW Partner Focus:

CanDiag, Inc. It has been a busy year for UNC Charlotte Irwin Belk Distinguished Scholar of Cancer Biology, Dr. Pinku Mukherjee, in advancing her cancer research and commercializing components of that research.

Supported by a grant from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), Dr. Mukherjee and her lab team’s research on antibody development yielded very promising data. From this work, Dr. Mukherjee applied for a patent on her intellectual property through the UNC Charlotte Office of Technology Transfer. A patent was secured and, with encouragement from a colleague and the Charlotte Research Institute, Dr. Mukherjee began to pursue a related spin-off company. She entered the 2012 Charlotte Venture Challenge, competed with several regional entrepreneurs, and won the Challenge Grand Prize. This award, in combination with considerable visibility gained from various research presentations such as the 2012 Southeast

Biotechnology Conference, generated venture capital interest in her work. CanDiag, Inc. is a result of these efforts and recent successes. CanDiag Inc.’s Drs. Mukherjee and Rahul Puri have established a business partnership with the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) as they advance the initial phases of CanDiag, Inc.’s business plan. From its on-campus research lab, and under the direction of Research Director Dr. Lopamudra Das Roy, CanDiag Inc. will be conducting clinical studies to test the effectiveness of the TAB 004 antibody in detecting breast cancer. Following these studies, they will consider obtaining CLIA certification for this laboratory so they can commercially offer this test (as a Laboratory Developed Test) while

Pinku Mukherjee is busy setting up.

pursuing the appropriate regulatory pathway to market the CanDiag test to other laboratories. CanDiag Inc. is a current partner with Duke University Medical Center and will also conduct preclinical and clinical studies for other cancers. CRI welcomes Candiag, Inc. as a new partner and wishes Pinku Mukherjee and her Candiag, Inc. team much success in advancing their important work in cancer research and diagnosis. For more information contact Dr. Mukherjee at or 2013



Launches New Product and Receives NSF Phase II-B Funding




Congratulations to Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) partner Dot Metrics Technologies for two exceptionally successful endeavors during the past several months! UV Tetra

Dot Metrics has successfully released its new UV Tetra, a selffunded product that has already generated sales. As noted on the Dot Metrics Technologies web site, the UV Tetra is a mercury-free, modular UV-A LED device that can be used for a variety of applications such as biological testing, counterfeit detection, sanitation, and UV curing. This new device is portable, operates quietly, and provides instant-on power. It is especially versatile, and hot swappable; thus it can be connected to other modules while it operates, without reconfiguring the device or changing its electrical connecti and most importantly it is manufactured entirely in the Charlotte area.

NSF SBIR Phase II-B Award for UV Pearl

In addition to its work in releasing the new UV Tetra, Dot Metrics has received NSF Phase II-B funding for its UV Pearl water disinfectant device which has been jointly developed with Aquionics. The Phase II-B award helps bridge the

funding gap between Phase II and Phase III development and extends funded development for a period of up to two years. This extension is designed to meet the product/ process/software requirements of a third party investor to accelerate the Phase II project to the commercialization stage and/ or enhance the overall strength of the commercial potential of the Phase II project. The very successful UV Pearl offers highly efficient disinfection for the pharmaceutical and health care industry using a mercury free design for flows lower than 5 gpm. The Phase II-B award is a significant milestone accomplishment for Dot Metrics. Also noteworthy, Dot Metrics’ involvement in the NSF Research

Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and its use of UNC Charlotte undergraduates as part of that program. The REU program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. Dot Metrics Director of Research, Dr. Jennifer Pagan, noted, “we have benefited greatly from our access to high caliber UNC Charlotte students through the REU program. They have been an exceptional asset to our research and work at Dot Metrics.” On the heels of UV Tetra and UV Pearl product announcements and promotions of their products at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January (an international exposition featuring fifteen miles of showroom floor and housing three thousand exhibitors presenting their products for thirty-three hours), and elsewhere, congratulations and continued success to CRI partner Dot Metrics Technologies. For more information visit Dot Metrics Technologies, Inc. on the web at or contact them: 704.687.7312 dotmetricstechnologies@ 2013



The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s latest commitment to expand its business and research partnership and outreach is now on display at the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) campus entrance. This new campus facility, appropriately named PORTAL - Partnership, Outreach, and Research to Accelerate Learning, stands front and center at UNC Charlotte’s northeast gateway to campus. PORTAL’s prominent campus location not only provides immediate access to Route 29 and the University City retail sector, it also provides direct interface with a creative mix of students, faculty, and specialized facilities which exist on this urban research campus. Opening January 2014, the four story PORTAL building will provide approximately 96,000 square feet of space in which to connect emerging and mature businesses and governmental agencies with exceptional UNC Charlotte academic talent, facilities, and resources. PORTAL will enhance innovation, accelerate technology commercialization, cultivate the development of entrepreneurial and start-up ventures, create global educational and industry partnerships, and spur economic growth and job creation. From the outside, the newest addition to the Charlotte Research Institute fits right in with the neighborhood aesthetic: traditional red brick, columns, and landscaped terraces. However, inside, PORTAL tenants and visitors will experience very contemporary and engaging building surrounds. Natural light brought into the building core by way of a three-story atrium is just one of the green building elements of PORTAL. PORTAL administrative support and partner tenant offices wrap around the atrium and millennial



Opening January 2014, the four story PORTAL building will provide approximately 96,000 square feet of space in which to connect businesses, researchers, and governmental agencies with exceptional UNC Charlotte academic talent, facilities, and resources. intersect with community spaces and meeting rooms designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information. Included as part of the grand lobby on the main floor, a the PORTAL café will offer sandwiches, beverages, and other light food items on a cash and carry basis. Students, faculty, staff, and business partners will find the PORTAL café to be popular for lunch meetings. Also adjacent to the grand lobby is a sixty seat seminar and training

room which will be available for use by Charlotte Research Institute business partners. In 2008, the concept of creating a UNC Charlotte campus building in which business start-ups and entrepreneurships could be supported and cultivated alongside more mature businesses and research programs, was first developed. As part of the visioning process, it was determined that the University affiliated Ben Craig Center – recently renamed Ventureprise, Inc. and currently located on nearby Mallard Creek Road – would be relocated to this new “portal” building. With the on-site support and consultative services provided by Ventureprise, Inc., PORTAL will serve as both a business incubator and a center for commercial partnerships with sustaining businesses. Further supporting entrepreneurship and commercialization of intellectual property, UNC Charlotte Office of Technology Transfer will be located alongside Ventureprise Inc. on PORTAL’s main floor. Additionally, PORTAL includes approximately 11,000 square feet of secure area space for defense and security related projects. Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Bob Wilhelm and his CRI staff

have worked closely with UNC Charlotte’s Facilities Management construction design team to provide program development expertise throughout the entire planning process. The result of their efforts is a stunningly handsome and highly functional commercial partnership and outreach facility. Regarding the PORTAL project, Dr. Wilhelm recently remarked, “UNC Charlotte and the Charlotte Research Institute

ceremony for the PORTAL project was held on December 15, 2011. In April 2012, Charlotte-based Edifice Building Contractors began its initial site preparation and building construction. Commenting on PORTAL’s unique design, UNC Charlotte Construction Manager Jen Evans notes, “The PORTAL building is an exciting construction project in which to be involved, and offers some very unique features. With

Pease Architects-Engineers, in partnership with nbbj, serve as the primary project architects, and Charlotte- based Edifice General Contractors is the principal construction contractor for the PORTAL project. Highlighting their enthusiasm for this project, Edifice Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Vicki Barton, indicates that, “We are very pleased to be partnering with

have been successful at attracting a number of business partners to locate at UNC Charlotte. The PORTAL building offers the capacity to build on these successes and increase our partnership activity by a factor of ten! PORTAL will be the place to be for startups, new research ventures, and business partnerships.” The official groundbreaking

its glass-walled open floor plan and skylights above the core of the building that allow for an influx of natural lighting to the bridges that span the atrium, PORTAL will truly make its mark on the UNC Charlotte campus. As the construction manager for the PORTAL building, it is a wonderful experience to see these pieces and parts come together to create this magnificent structure.”

UNC Charlotte and its Charlotte Research Institute on the PORTAL Building. To be a part of a new frontier on the CRI campus and to build a facility with cutting edge components and technology is a great honor. We look forward to finishing this next building block for the campus and are currently on track for a January 2014 completion.” 2013



Chip Yensan

In August 2012, Chip Yensan joined the CRI staff as the Interim Associate Director with responsibilities that include serving as principal liaison on the PORTAL project. Recently relocated from Rhode Island, Chip’s background in university administration includes extensive involvement in campus master planning initiatives as well as campus renovation and new construction projects spanning twenty-five years. Speaking to his involvement on the PORTAL project, Chip offers, “I believe that my experience as a principal project team member on large student life campus building projects over two and a half decades provides a solid foundation for my work on the PORTAL project. I understand the critical importance of collaborative decision making with the end user in mind, and I look forward to being a part of the project team for this new and innovative campus facility. I am certain that PORTAL will serve as a source of pride for UNC Charlotte, a catalyst for regional business and economic development, and a valued place of business for our partner tenants.” The project is currently on budget and on schedule. Noting that PORTAL is no ordinary business address or incubator facility, Chip added, “This is a state-of-the-art facility. With immediate and convenient access to UNC Charlotte’s world-class faculty and outstanding resources PORTAL offers prospective business partners an exceptional value-added option that makes good sense for businesses in all sectors of the growth cycle.” millennial



Ventureprise, Inc. (formally known as the Ben Craig Center) will oversee approximately 25,000 square feet of PORTAL space for the specific purpose of supporting and enriching business start-up and entrepreneurial endeavors. A student incubator space will be within the PORTAL facility as well. Ventureprise, Inc. President Paul Wetenhall has stated that, “UNC Charlotte’s new PORTAL facility will provide a point of interaction for academia, corporations and entrepreneurs in the Charlotte region. Its creative architecture and floor plan will provide the physical setting for new forms of collaboration across disciplines, as much of an ‘innovation center, as a business incubator. PORTAL will be a place where we can experiment with innovative approaches to commercialization and venture creation, and it will enable increased student entrepreneurial engagement. PORTAL can be the catalyst for the Charlotte region’s development as a 21st century magnet for innovation-based entrepreneurs.” In addition to Ventureprise Inc. supported partners, PORTAL will provide almost 11,000 square feet of secure research space – a desirable option for government, defense, and classified research projects. PORTAL will offer approximately 24,000 square feet of office space for mature business development activities.

“My experience as a principal project team member on large student life campus building projects over two and a half decades provides a solid foundation for my work on the PORTAL project. Meeting rooms will be conveniently located throughout PORTAL as well. In addition to tenancy accommodations provided within PORTAL, CRI business partners will have immediate access to UNC Charlotte’s outstanding campus resources. This unique blend of startup and mature businesses alongside research activity will position PORTAL as an important new address for innovation and business development in the Charlotte area. PORTAL occupancy begins January 2014, but partner tenancy and space licensing transactions can begin now! More information about the PORTAL building, construction updates, and partnering opportunities is available on the UNC Charlotte Research Institute website . Prospective PORTAL business and research partners are encouraged to contact Chip Yensan at

Chip Yensan, Jennifer Evans, Construction Manager John Hajney, Edifice Senior Project Manager for UNC Charlotte

Emerging and start-up businesses also may wish to contact Director of Venture Development Marilyn Carpenter at marilyn.carpenter@ for more information about Ventureprise, Inc. and PORTAL partnerships

Chip Yensan is the current Interim Associate Director for Infrastructure. He serves as a business contact for potential University Business partners, collaborators, and tenants, and chief project liaison during the construction and commissioning process for the PORTAL building. He is responsible for managing economic development services and relationships, and handling reporting requirements for various economic development activities. Prior to accepting this position, Chip served as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Housing and Residential Life at the University of Rhode Island, and brings with him a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success. To learn more about Chip Yensan and PORTAL visit the Charlotte Research Institute’s website, Or by contacting Chip Yensan at 704-687-8283 or 2013



Fourteen UNC Charlotte engineering and science graduate students have a new perspective on the opportunities and challenges associated with bringing technology from the lab to the market. Several have even experienced the tangible cash benefits of commercialization…but more about that in a moment. The students participated in the first offering of Technology Entrepreneurship as a fall 2012 graduate elective in The William States Lee millennial



College of Engineering. The course had its start in January 2012 when Dr. Charles Lee, director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering and

Science, brought together a group to explore a graduate academic experience focused on commercialization and entrepreneurship. It was clear that the course would need a sound theoretical foundation and a practical, hands-on experience. Paul Wetenhall had taught such a course at the University of Rochester for many years

Entrepreneurship Meets Technology In Graduate Course before joining the Charlotte Research Institute and Ventureprise, Inc. in 2008. He volunteered to teach the new course and Dr. Lee established it as a special topics offering in mechanical engineering. By August, fourteen biologists, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and nanoscientists were enrolled. The students included Ph.D. candidates and

international students. Most had no entrepreneurial experience; all were interested in exploring how entrepreneurship intersects with technology. The syllabus defined the course goal: provide students with an introduction to technology commercialization and entrepreneurial strategy that will provide a foundation for additional learning and will

increase their effectiveness in businesses of any size or in academic research. The course was designed to provide the foundational knowledge and skills to operate effectively at the intersection of technical development, market, and business considerations. The course content and the student assignments focused on advancing an idea through 2013



The course was designed to provide the foundational knowledge and skills to operate effectively at the intersection of technical development, market, and business considerations.

an opportunity assessment process. Selection and implementation of an appropriate business model was a major focus. As the instructor, Ventureprise, Inc. President Paul Wetenhall brought his personal Paul Wetenhall experience as a technology entrepreneur and his work with numerous early stage ventures into the classroom. Excellent guest speakers from the community addressed specific topics and shared their own entrepreneurial successes and failures. The course culminated in development of a technology opportunity assessment by student teams. The student teams analyzed UNC Charlotte intellectual property proposed by Carl Mahler and Brad Fach of the university’s Office of Technology Transfer. Students participated in the millennial



Charlotte Venture Challenge Pitch Day in December 2012 offering 3-minute presentations of their technology and its possible commercial opportunity. A panel of industry experts selected two top teams who received cash awards funded by the Hauser Family Fund. For the students, it was a great exposure to the reality of pitching a new idea to a discerning business crowd and enjoying the rewards of their entrepreneurial efforts. Student evaluations gave the course a perfect score on “I learned a lot in this course”. And, their work means that the university has learned a lot about its intellectual property. Most importantly, fourteen of UNC Charlotte’s brightest technologists are better prepared to translate future research into products for the benefit of all. For more information contact Paul Wetenhall at


Great strides are being made to grow programs and interest in veterinary science at UNC Charlotte as well as understanding and advocacy of animal care and research throughout the state and nationwide. North Carolina hosted a meeting that was a first of its kind throughout the country. From September through December members of the Research Triangle Branch – American Association for

animal health. Through training, members will be able to moderate and facilitate discussions with educational, civic and legislative organizations. As of fall 2012, students at UNC Charlotte are able to participate in the University’s first ever PreVeterinary Club (PVC). This student run club provides “an environment where UNC Charlotte students can expand their interests in veterinary medicine and animal care of all

Second row: Regina Mamro, Alisha Potter, Stephanie Graham, Megan Limbert. First row: Kaitlynn Ban (VP), Mallorie Hartmann (president), John Rodermund (treasurer), Dr. Chandra Williams (advisor).

Laboratory Animal Science (RTB AALAS) gathered at the Hamner Institute in Research Triangle Park to learn how to become advocates and spokespersons for the use of animals in research. The AALAS is a non-profit, educational association which dedicates itself to advancing knowledge about the responsible care and use of laboratory animals for the benefit of human and

kinds.” The goals of this new group are to allow pre-veterinary students the ability to interact with other students while expanding their experiences and understanding of veterinary medicine. President of the UNC Charlotte Pre-Veterinary Club is Mallorie Hartmann who, working with UNC Charlotte Veterinarian Dr. Chandra Williams, Kaitlynn Ban,

and John Rodemund, will provide resources to help students interested in pursuing veterinary medicine to obtain the coveted acceptance letter! The group holds monthly meetings to discuss service events, trips and fundraising ideas. You can check out the PVC calendar at index_files/Page560.htm for more information on meetings and club activities. Dr. Chandra Willliams, who attended the RTB AALAS meeting at the Hamner Institute in December, will work with this new club to provide insight into growth and innovation along with open communication. These elements are essential to providing the most ethical and advanced care for the animals. To learn more: Links: Page377.htm President: Mallorie Hartmann OrganizationPhone: 607-727-4399 Organization Email: Web Site: Social Networking Page: 2013



The Language of

Social Sustainability

“A sustainable world is one in which human needs are met without harm to the environment, and without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs in turn.” NSF Website ( Under the leadership of the IDEAS Center, which fosters interdisciplinary sustainabilitythemed research, faculty members from several departments across campus have come together to collaborate on a project that could impact generations to come. The coordinated efforts of professors from three UNC Charlotte colleges sought out funding for a social sustainability project and won big. Three faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – Dr. Elizabeth Miller, Dr. Jennifer Munroe, and Dr. Nicole Peterson, two faculty members from The William States Lee College of Engineering – Dr. Helene Hilger and Dr. Brett Tempest, and Dr. Thomas Gentry from the College of Arts and Architecture were awarded $718,055 from the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Coordination Network-Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (RCN-SEES) project.

Nationally, the NSF RCN-SEES grant was awarded to seven universities who are all working on various aspects of sustainability issues. The issues being explored are on various disciplines ranging from climate change to sustainable food systems, exploring specific ecological systems and how environmental changes affect them, the promotion of urban areas in specific locations, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. Led by Dr. Nicole Peterson as the Principal Investigator, the team at UNC Charlotte is exploring the uses and functions of how people communicate as it relates to social sustainability. Their project is titled Integrated Network for Social Sustainability: Concepts, Language, and Assessment. The focus of this project is to understand social aspects of sustainability, which have been largely ignored in the focus on environmental and economic sustainability. The group will do this by creating a network of practitioners, professionals,

and academics working on this topic and engaging them through five annual conferences, two of which will be entirely virtual (and thus more sustainable). Given the variety of ideas and projects about social sustainability, the grant supports bringing together a variety of voices and experiences, with an emphasis on openness and participation. The meetings will be available online for those who cannot attend in person. In addition, UNC Charlotte’s Dr. Elizabeth Miller, an applied linguist specialist, will be conducting the linguistic analysis of network language during meetings and other public postings to help participants see the variety of ways that social sustainability is understood: “The linguistic analysis will focus on features of the language produced, such as definitions, frequently used words, or metaphors and compare how these differ among network participants as well as how such language usages change over the duration of the study.”

To learn more about the specifics of this project or to join the network, please visit For more information regarding this ongoing study contact Dr. Peterson at 704-687-4077 or by email at millennial



Collaborative Efforts Win Grant for UNC Charlotte Departments This year, the departments of chemistry and physics received a grant exceeding a half of a million dollars to help further the education of students pursuing careers as chemistry and physics teachers. With collaboration from the College of Education, the chemistry and physics departments, and the Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools, UNC Charlotte was awarded the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program grant; a grant worth $698,123 from the National Science Foundation. These funds were divided among twelve secondary education majors to: • study pedagogy courses, • attend seminars focused on pedagogy and science, • attend state and national meetings on science education, • receive mentorship from three professionals – science faculty,

education faculty, and a classroom teacher, • receive summer internship opportunities In addition to enhanced training opportunities these students will receive while attending UNC Charlotte, they will also be given support and mentorship as new teachers for an additional three years. David Pugalee, director of the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education in the College of Education notes, “This project’s success rests on seamless collaboration among disparate disciplines, strong administrative support, and the well-developed Learning Coach model. It addresses a key need for well-trained high-school chemistry and physics teachers, particularly in underserved areas such as rural North Carolina.”

For more information, contact David Pugalee at 704-687-8887 or email

Urban Forest Water Quality Grant UNC Charlotte’s Center for Applied Geographic Information Science (CAGIS) recently won a large grant from the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) in the amount of $87,520 for their project, Assessment of Urban Forests for Water Quality. This interdisciplinary research center focuses on collecting data in natural environments and relating that information to laboratory testing and high performance computer modeling to best understand how urban growth impacts the natural world. Dr. Ross Meentemeyer, executive director of CAGIS, and Dr. Wenwu Tang, Director of Computing & Technology, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences’ Chair, Dr. Craig Allan, and Dr. Sandra Clinton, research assistant professor, are the PI’s for this project. Dr. Meentemeyer explains, “This new project . . . will develop advanced GIS-based scientific workflow technologies to automate sophisticated spatial data-mining and analyses which are direly needed to examine dynamic interactions between land-use change and ecological-hydrological 2013

factors in North Carolina.” Along with his excitement about the funding opportunity, he notes that the enthusiasm stems from the fact that the funding will help support student research as well as the recruitment of a new postdoctoral researcher. “I love all aspects of my work, but doing research with students is the most rewarding part of my job. Students in CAGIS are actively publishing their research in top journals across a range of disciplines, and their involvement is integral to the Center’s numerous federal research grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, RENCI, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, among others.” ( ross-meentemeyer/) For more information about CAGIS and the research taking place at the center, please contact Dr. Ross Meentemeyer by phone at 704-687-5944, by email: rkmeente@uncc. edu, or by visiting CAGIS’s website at



IVAN HOWITT and his practical problem solver

Question: What does UNC Charlotte Electrical Engineering Professor, Ivan Howitt and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities (CMU) have in common? Answer: a passionate desire to create a way to maintain a robust and highly functioning waste water system. When the daily problems of blocked waste water pipes plagued the Charlotte Mecklenburg area, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in and demanded that a solution be found. Rather than looking for a short term answer for a long term




problem, CMU realized there was an opportunity to collaborate with the resources offered by UNC Charlotte to find a more permanent solution. When they requested a brainstorming session be set up, several faculty responded, including Dr. Howitt. A

InfoSense team getting to work

A problem solver at heart, Dr. Howitt recognized that there was a better way to detect clogged pipes in the system than by using remote controlled robots which was the method CMU was utilizing at the time. Initially, he proposed using radio-waves as a detection method and though CMU found the outlier idea “weird” they agreed to give it a try. There’s a saying that the “mother of invention is necessity”, and another that claims that “success can be found through failure.” These idioms apply here in the fact that the solution to CMU’s problems could not be found with radio-waves due to the poor conductivity of the concrete pipes that make up the 4,000 mile network. However, through this revelation Dr. Howitt learned that while radio-waves cannot travel sufficiently, sound waves do, and that led him to his multi-award winning invention, the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT), which uses sound waves to calculate where blockages are located.

This highly portable device has been in use by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities since February 2011, and it’s reported that this product has saved considerable time and effort in the short time that it has been in use. That’s a huge savings to CMU which estimates the annual cost of cleaning pipes was cut in half with this device (roughly onehalf of one dollar per foot of one-million feet per year). With the engineering of the SL-RAT, Dr. Howitt founded InfoSense which is a name derived from Information Sensors. He realized the potential for this product would not simply apply to the local utility company, but had a likely chance of making the world wide solution to this common problem possible. He also realized that while his area of expertize lies with invention; expanding a business would be something he would need help with. InfoSense now includes Dr. Howitt along with a chemical engineer - Dr. George Selembo as the chief executive officer, and a senior manager, Alex Churchill as the

chief operations officer, as well as three Board of Advisors Members who specialize in technology leadership; David Rizzo, Scott Cardais, and Lloyd Breedlove. As a team, InfoSense has won many prestigious awards and has been able to demonstrate the SL-RAT across the country. Some of their awards include the 2009 National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Grant, the NC IDEA Grant in 2011, and in 2012 it won $10,000 in the New Energy & High Technology category at the Charlotte Venture Challenge, and the 2012 WEF Innovative Technology Award at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFtec) in Chicago, Illinois. Among the awards, InfoSense has realized several accomplishments worth touting. In 2012 alone, InfoSense presented the SL-RAT to Utilities and Associations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia, gained sales representatives from the southeast all of the way to Nevada, participating in the inspection and preparation for the 2012 DNC in Charlotte, won the inaugural Charlotte Chamber Power Up competition, became involved with a six month EPA study to evaluate Acoustic Inspection for waste water collection system maintenance, and demonstrated the speed at which SL-RAT can be used at a presentation to a South Carolina military installation where 8,000 feet of sewer lines were inspected in five hours. For more information on Dr. Ivan Howitt visit his UNCC web page: or contact him by email at or by phone at 704-687-8406. InfoSense’s website can be found at 2013



IEEE Recognizes

Distinguished UNC CHarlotte Faculty

UNC Charlotte is happy to boast that not just one but two faculty members have been recognized this year as Fellows by the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE – pronounced “Eye-triple-E according to their website). Dr. Johan Enslin, director of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) and Dr. Jing Xiao, Professor of Computer Science in the College of Computing and Informatics have been recognized by both their peers and IEEE for the contributions they’ve made in their respective fields. “IEEE is the world’s largest professional association that is dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.” ( about/index.html) With 400,000 members world wide, IEEE contributes thirty percent of the world’s electronics, engineering, and computer science publications and sponsors or co-sponsors around 400 international technical conferences every year. With IEEE’s focus on benefiting millennial



“IEEE is the world’s largest professional association that is dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.” humanity, anyone seeking nomination for the association’s prestigious awards must make significant contributions for the benefit of their fellow man. Some of those recognized spend decades tirelessly working in their respected fields, most spend their entire careers. Nominees are selected by IEEE’s Board of Directors only after the member has established an outstanding history of accomplishments in the fields recognized by the organization. Less than one-tenth of one-percent of the total voting membership may be nominated each year. Prior to coming to UNC Charlotte,

Dr. Enslin was the chief technology officer at Petra Solar. In 2011 he was named the Director for EPIC. In a career that spans nearly three decades, Dr. Enslin has served as a faculty member at four universities, both here and abroad, and has taken on several leadership appointments in the US, Europe, and in South Africa. In addition to his appointment as director of EPIC, he is also an adjunct professor at NC State University. He has also worked extensively in the private sector and holds fourteen patents. Dr. Enslin is being recognized by the IEEE for his contributions to the integration of renewable energy into power networks and using power electronics. Dr. Jing Xiao was recognized by IEEE for her significant contributions to the field of robotics which include but are not limited to robot compliant motion planning involving complex contact scenarios, which enables accomplishing an assembly task of tight tolerance. She has also made novel contributions in simulating haptic interaction involving multiple contact regions between a rigid, articulate object, such as a tool, and a deformable object. Her contributions have also aided in real-time motion planning of high-degree of freedom robots in uncertain dynamic environments. Dr. Xiao served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs at the College of Computing and Informatics from Jan. 2008 to Dec. 2012. She is establishing an NSF I/ UCRC site of the Safety, Security, and Rescue Research at UNC Charlotte. To learn more about Dr. Enslin’s and Dr. Xiao’s accomplishments visit the Graduate School’s website at News/IEEE_Fellow_2013_article.pdf Contact Dr. Xiao at or Dr. Enslin at

Strides in

Neuro-immunological Research Funding

UNC Charlotte’s Department of Biology Chair, Dr. Martin Klotz recently communicated “spectacular news in the present dismal funding climate.” He was congratulating Dr. Ian Marriot and his team, and spreading the word to all interested parties on the team’s acceptance of a sizable grant award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), entitled “Substance P exacerbation of CNS inflammation.” Along with the efforts of his CoPrincipal Investigators, Drs. Mario Philipp (Tulane), Vinitia Chauhan and Ken Bost (UNC Charlotte Biology), the team attracted a fiveyear collaborative R01 grant (with Tulane University), of which approximately one million dollars will support research and Graduate Student training in the Biology Department at UNC Charlotte. Dr. Ian Marriot is a Professor of Biology at UNC Charlotte. For more information regarding Dr. Marriott’s research you may contact him by email at 2013



WHAT GRAINS YOU HAVE Dr. Ann Loraine is part of a team that recently won a very large grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the tune of three and a half million dollars for their study into cytokinin, a hormone found in rice. The importance of this study is that cytokinin has been linked to




the size potential of grains and the overall yield of crops. The research into this hormone is not just applicable to rice but also to all grains, including cereals. Heading the project is Dr. Joseph Kieber, the Principal Investigator and a professor at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. George Eric Schaller is

one of the Co-Investigators and a professor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and Dr. Ann Loraine is the second Co-Investigator, and a professor at UNC Charlotte at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis. As a professor and researcher Dr. Loraine is not only interested in making discoveries, but passing the information and the techniques to understand these discoveries on to others. In fact, a component of this grant states, “This project will enhance the infrastructure of research and education by providing training for undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. And, their intention is not just for adult students, but for future generations as well, In addition, through partnerships with local groups including the Montshire Museum of Science (, programs aimed at fostering science education in grades K-12 will be created and maintained.” More information regarding the grant can be found on NSF’s website: http://nsf. gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ ID=1238051 “In the Loraine lab, we investigate fundamental and applied questions in plant biology, using techniques from genomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, and genetics. We also develop visualization software for genomics,” Dr. Loraine explains on her website ( Dr. Loraine is an Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology in the UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics. Since 2008 Dr. Loraine has worked at and watched the North Carolina Research Campus expand to include not only eight universities but partners such as Monsanto, General Mills, and Dole Foods as well. For more information regarding Dr. Loraine and her research contact her at 704-250-5750 or through email at

As a professor and researcher Dr. Loraine is not only interested in making discoveries, but passing the information and the techniques to understand these discoveries on to others.

Researcher hard at work at the Loraine Lab.




In October this year, The UNC Board of Governors recognized Dr. Harold Reiter for his ongoing and exceptional effort to provide and enhance enrichment opportunities for children gifted in mathematics in the Mecklenburg area. The Board gave Dr. Reiter the award for Excellence in Public Service

which was established in 2007 to identify, recognize, encourage and reward distinguished public service and outreach by faculty throughout the 17 UNC campuses In North Carolina. UNC President Tom Ross and Public Service Award Committee member Ed McMahan of Charlotte presented the $7,500

Effort by Giving




Harold Reiter accepted his award and posed for pictures with Dean Nancy Gutierrez, Ed McMahan, and Chancellor Phil Dubois.

award to Dr. Reiter. Harold Reiter, a professor of Mathematics at UNC Charlotte since 1972, has dedicated much of his free time volunteering to mentor and tutor exceptional students of all ages in mathematics. His efforts to make math fun leads him to create clubs, competitions, and activities, and the fruits of his labor bore an infectious love of the subject in his students, many of whom went on to pursue their own careers in education at the university level. Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Nancy Gutierrez, spoke to Dr. Reiter’s

accomplishments during the award ceremony. “He brings the utmost respect to those around him, mentoring individuals who are gifted in math and creating opportunities for those who find math more difficult but who also benefit from learning new ways to approach math. His puns, puzzles and tantalizing problems are legend.” Among his extra-curricular activities, for the last decade he served as state director in the nation’s oldest and most prestigious math competition, the American Mathematical Competitions, as well as participating in the middle-school program MATHCOUNTS, a program which encourages them to think critically, develop problem-solving skills and pursue STEM careers. In addition, he founded both the Charlotte Math Club, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Regional Julia Robinson Mathematics and Computing Festival (JRMCF), and using the Charlotte Math Club’s model he organized the Mecklenburg Mathematics Club. “When UNC Charlotte was named a community engaged university by the Carnegie Foundation, the work of faculty like Harold Reiter was the reason why. His dedication and creativity in fostering a love of mathematics in children in our community and across the state is unparalleled. We are proud that Harold is the second member of the UNC Charlotte College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to receive this honor,” said UNC Charlotte Provost Joan Lorden. This short list can’t possibly contain all of the reasons Dr. Reiter earned this award, but even by listing some of them it is easy to see he was more than deserving of the recognition. To find out more, visit Harold Reiter’s UNC Charlotte home page: http://math.uncc. edu/~hbreiter/.

Certificate Program in

The fourth year of the Certificate Program in Grants and Contracts Administration is well under way. The 28hour certificate program is intended for UNC Charlotte employees who provide financial and administrative support for grants and contracts. The sessions are presented by staff from units across campus who have expertise in grants and contracts administration. Participants are taught a core of knowledge about grants and contracts in general, and about the administration of grants and contracts at UNC Charlotte in particular. The Office of Research Services and Outreach (ORSO) works collaboratively with UNC Charlotte’s Human Resources Department to offer the program. Ellen Zavala, ORSO Director, states, “This program broadens the horizon of our departmental and college grants administrators and gives them a network of colleagues and experts to call upon when confronting complex issues in grants management. There is genuine comradery among the group that extends beyond the end of the academic year when all sessions are complete.” Each year’s cohort consists of 16 staff members. This year’s participants are from the Colleges of Health and Human Services and Arts + Architecture and the departments of Bioinformatics and Genomics, Anthropology, Mathematics and

Statistics, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Criminal Justice, History, and English. The FirstYear Writing Program, and the Controller’s Office are also represented. The certificate program was one of several initiatives begun approximately four years ago as part of the Research Administration Project, which sought to ease the administrative burden on faculty who manage grants and contracts. A team of staff members led by Connie Martin, director of Continuing Education, studied similar programs at 16 universities. Martin’s team suggested the topics for the course and got feedback from deans and other college representatives. The program was piloted in 2009-2010. Ellen Zavala subsequently worked with instructors to revise the program based on pilot evaluations. The program receives high praise from those who have completed it. Past participant Margaret Williams of the CLAS Sponsored Research Office stated that she appreciated the wealth of information provided and the opportunity to meet people across campus who do similar work. “There are still days when I pull out my binder or call a colleague to find the answer to a question,” she said.

Grants and Contracts Administration Remains Popular

For more information contact Leslie Brown at or visit





Carolinas Manufacturing Innovation Institute | Planning Workshop March 4, 2013 | 1:00pm – 5:00pm UNC Charlotte’s EPIC Building, room G256 For more information, contact John Ziegert at

Southeast Venture Conference

March 13-14, 2013 Ritz Carlton, 201 E. Trade St., Charlotte, NC

North Carolina Science Festival, UNC Charlotte Science Expo

April 21, 2013 | 10:00am – 2:00pm UNC Charlotte | Lower campus mall between Halton Arena and the Student Union Free and open to the public nc-science-festival

Charlotte Venture Challenge May 1, 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame

Senior Design Expo

May 2, 2013 | 11:00am – 2:00pm UNC Charlotte | Halton Arena




Dr. Robert G. Wilhelm

Robyne R. Vickers

Vice Chancellor Research & Economic Development CRI Executive Director (704) 687-8428

Technical Assistant Charlotte Research Institute Research & Economic Development (704) 687-5690

Chip Yensan


Associate Director of Infrastructure Charlotte Research Institute Research & Economic Development (704) 687-8283

James Hathaway

Research Communications Research & Economic Development (704) 687-5743

Karen Ford

Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor Research & Economic Development (704) 687-8428

Julie M. Fulton

Office Manager & Administrative Assistant Charlotte Research Institute Research & Economic Development (704) 687-5690

Business Officer & Manager CRI Millennial Campus Business Office Research & Economic Development (704) 687-8286

Lolita Gonzales

Accounting Technician Assistant Manager CRI Millennial Campus Business Office Research & Economic Development (704) 687-5697

Marilyn Carpenter

Director Ventureprise Charlotte Research Institute (704) 602-2170

Carolyn Smith

Administrative Assistant Ventureprise Charlotte Research Institute (704) 548-9113

Holly Dimmitt

Accounting Consultant Ventureprise Charlotte Research Institute (704) 548-9113

CRI AT NCRC Devin Collins

Pearl Brown

Assistant Director, Entrepreneurship and Business Development Charlotte Research Institute Research & Economic Development (704) 250-5753

VENTUREPRISE Paul D. Wetenhall

Clare Cook Faggart

Business Office Specialist CRI Millennial Campus Office Research & Economic Development (704) 687-7733

Executive Director / President Ventureprise Charlotte Research Institute (704) 548-9133

Program Manager Life Sciences Conference Charlotte Research Institute Research & Economic Development (704) 250-5760




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Millennial Magazine, Winter 2013  

Research is fundamental to the mission of UNC Charlotte. New knowledge and creative works change the world and shape the future of the Unive...