Friday, November 27, 2015


UTSA Honors 16 researchers for innovation in sciences and engineering


Yusheng Feng

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(Dec. 5, 2013) -- UTSA President Ricardo Romo, Interim Vice President for Research Mauli Agrawal and the UTSA Office of Commercialization and Innovation recognized 16 researchers yesterday with UTSA Innovation Awards. The inaugural awards spotlighted the efforts of UTSA scholars who have greatly contributed to creating a university environment that promotes innovation and the commercialization of research discoveries.

Thirteen of the 16 recipients were honored for receiving patents during the past fiscal year. They included:

  • Sos Agaian, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • David Akopian, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Arturo Ayon, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Rajendra Boppana, Department of Computer Science
  • James Chambers, Department of Biology
  • Neal Guentzel, Department of Biology
  • Karl Klose, Department of Biology
  • George Negrete, Department of Chemistry
  • Robert Renthal, Department of Biology
  • Dhiraj Sardar, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Bruce Smith, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Richard Tangum, Department of Architecture
  • Jieh-Juen Yu, Department of Biology

Additionally, Bernard Arulanandam, assistant vice president for research support and UTSA Roland K. and Jane W. Blumberg Professor in Bioscience, and Banglin Chen, professor of chemistry, were presented with the licensing revenue their respective discoveries generated during FY 2013.

Mechanical engineering professor Yusheng Feng was named the UTSA Innovator of the Year. The award recognized Feng's research on the use of nanoparticles for cancer treatment as well as his work in computational modeling and visualization. Feng oversees UTSA's Advanced Visualization Laboratory.

Since fiscal year 2008, UTSA has built a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem to encourage faculty and students to develop and commercialize innovative products and discoveries. That environment includes:

  • academic programs of study to spur entrepreneurship and technology management, technology development and technology transfer;
  • research administration support through the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Commercialization and Innovation that includes a clear invention disclosure and patenting process as well as a structure to help researchers explore licensing partners;
  • a generous royalty policy, by higher education industry standards, that allows UTSA researchers to split revenue from license fees and royalties with the university 50/50;
  • a New Venture Incubator to help UTSA faculty and students move their ideas from the university to marketplace;
  • the bi-annual Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) Boot Camp, a daylong crash course allowing entrepreneurs from throughout the region to explore key topics to nurture a successful start-up;
  • CITE's $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition, which allows undergrads the opportunity to develop and market an actual technology before they graduate;
  • a regional network of partners and supporters such as the Commercialization Council, an elite group of C-suite executives dedicated to creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in San Antonio, and SBIR, STTR and ETF partnerships, among others

Those efforts have proven beneficial. Over the past five years (FY 09 vs. FY 13), UTSA has increased its annual:

  • commercial memoranda of understanding and nondisclosure agreements from 31 (FY 09) to 52 (FY 13)
  • new invention disclosures from 24 to 62
  • patents filed from three to 76
  • students competing in the $100K Student Technology Venture Competition from 98 to 128
  • entrepreneurs trained in the UTSA CITE Boot Camp from 155 to 295
  • incubated companies from 3 to 13



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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UTSA's Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

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