Skip over navigation

PRISM at the forefront of leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship

For the past number of years, PRISM has been a leader in the innovation world with winning technologies at the Princeton University’s Innovation Forum. Sponsored by the University’s Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, the Forum offers University researchers the opportunity to pitch ideas and showcase research with commercial potential. Most recently in March 2013, PRISM members took first and third places in the Forum. The winners are:

Lei Tao, Arvind Ravikumar

First Place: Fingerprinting the air for health and climate with high-performance, portable gas sensors
Prof. Mark Zondlo's postdoctoral researcher Lei Tao took first place with his plan to break into the growing market for environmental sensors with a powerful, portable and inexpensive device. This device could tap into the $2.2 billion market that industry and government spend on sensing gases for safety, health and environmental monitoring.

Third Place: High performance II-VI infrared detectors
Graduate student Arvind Ravikumar, a member of Prof. Claire Gmachl's research group, presented a new type of chemical sensor. The sensor is for use in military, environmental and other fields, and offers the possibility of replacing multiple expensive devices with a single modestly priced unit.

Both sensors emerged from the work of Princeton's Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE).

In 2012, PRISM members once again won top prizes. Taking first place, Prof. Branko Glisic presented “Sensing sheet for high-resolution structural health monitoring over large structures” who teamed up with electrical engineering professors Naveen Verma, Sigurd Wagner and James Sturm. The nanotechnology sensing sheets may provide high-resolution monitoring of large structures to reveal problems before disaster strikes. The sheets could be applied to everything, from bridges to oil pipelines.

“Chirped laser dispersion spectroscopy, a new method for gas sensing” won second place, and described a method for increased speed and sensitivity in detection of potentially harmful industrial gas emissions and atmospheric greenhouse gases. This new technology was presented by visiting research scholar Michal Nikodem and led by Prof. Gerard Wysocki.

2011 Innovation Forum Winners
First Place: Tunable acoustic gradient technology
Princeton engineering alumnus and president of TAG Christian Theriault presented TAG Lens, a new kind of optical device made of fluid instead of glass that might one day be used for applications ranging from medical imaging to detection of environmental pollution. The lens, developed in mechanical and aerospace engineering Prof. Craig Arnold’s lab, uses sound to shape light, and is a low-cost programmable optical component easy to use in association with standard optical systems.

Second Place: SuryaTech
SuryaTech, a startup company, was founded by graduate students Sushobhan Avasthi and Yifei Huang, led by PRISM director and electrical engineering Prof. Sturm to develop a new photovoltaic technology based on silicon-organic heterojunctions, tiny electronic structures fabricated using inexpensive high-throughput manufacturing techniques. Because of concerns over energy independence and climate change, a high demand for this technology was developed to convert sunlight to electricity and may reduce the cost of producing solar cells.
Third Place: Multifunctional targeted imaging nanoparticles
Graduate student Vikram Pansare and chemical and biological engineering Prof. Robert Prud’homme presented a flexible, personalized and cost-effective way to produce nanoparticles that can be targeted to specific diseases such as cancer. This innovation uses ultra-small particles to deliver medical imaging dyes during biomedical research.
2010 Innovation Forum Winners
Second Place: HepatoChem
HepatoChem, a new technology chemistry Prof. Groves helped develop, along with visiting associate professional specialist Marc Bazin, could catch dangerous side effects of drugs in the earliest stage of development, long before they would be tested in humans. This technique mimics the way liver works, enabling the automated and rapid biochemical analysis of drug compounds to speed the scientific discovery of new drugs and drug metabolites.
2009 Innovation Forum Winners
First Place: Deep Penetrating Upconverting Nanoparticles for Photodynamic Cancer Therapy
Prof. Prud’homme, in collaboration with Prof. Ju and associate research scholar Shan presented a Princeton-patented design of composite nanoparticles in which upconverting phosphors nanoparticles (UCNP) placed in close proximity to photosensitizers (PS) are used to improve the treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.  
Second Place: Ultra Efficient Laser Spectroscopic Trace-Gas Sensors for Sensor Networks and Portable Chemical Analysis (Stephen So, Gerard Wysocki)
Developed by postdoctoral research associate Stephen So and electrical engineering Prof. Wysocki, the prototype laser-based sensor platform for trace-gas sensing provides a highly flexible, modular system, and permits the integration of various semiconductor laser sources and detection techniques. This technology provides critical solutions to current and future problems facing science, engineering, and society in general.
Congratulations to all of our entrepreneurs at PRISM for working to translate our research to the benefit of society.