Three UCF professors have it down pat when it comes to inventions and innovation.
These professors, who have more than 100 patents among them, have secured a fellowship with the National Academy of Inventors for the year 2014.
Innovators such as Sudipta Seal, director of the Advanced Materials and Processing Center and Nanoscience Technology Center; Emeritus Professor of optics, physics and the division of Electrical and Computer Engineering Michael Bass; and PeterDelfyett, University Trustee Chair and professor of optics, ECEand physics, will create inventions in the coming year, with the assistance of the U.S. military.
“We receive funding from American sources like the National Institute of Health, NASA, the Navy, the department of defense, as well as local industries in and outside of Florida,” Seal said. Some patents are pending, he said, but others don’t make it through the application process. He has even submitted the same patents every couple of years after they’ve been denied. Some fail and some get sent back for re-application, Seal said.
His personal experience with patents has been highly successful. Currently, Seal has 38 patents in the works for inventions within the fields of biotechnology, energy and functional nanomaterials. He is working with biomedical oil and gas and materials, which yield zero-carbonated concrete. The depth of carbonation for concrete shortens the age and limits the quality of the material, so creating zero-carbonated concrete would be an advancement in the field if it’s being used for such things as mortars.
Among his other biomedical endeavors in the field, Bass is using nanodiamonds to detect cancer cells in patients and Delfyett is working with lasers to harness state-of-the-art radar technology in jets to discern friend from foe during military procedures.
“UCF has some of the best scientists and engineers, producing the kind of scientific papers now recognized on the world stage,” Delfyett said.
UCF professors Bass, Delfyett and Seal believe they are changing the way scientists interact with the world and it all starts right here in the heart of Central Florida, at scientific labs at UCF to be exact. Delfyett is utilizing laser technology for advanced radar systems.
“When you are listening to my voice, there is an electrical signal that goes through the phone. Now, there might be interference, what you might call noise, when the sound from the signal becomes staticky or corrupted. We use computers to filter that out,” Delfyett said.
Delfyett is working on the concept to make this process work as efficiently as possible and in order for this to work, one would need to enlist the process of analog to digital conversion. Delfyett is currently managing a project to assist the U.S. military’s defense system, working with six graduate students in the field of laser technology.
“We are building a laser for advanced radar systems so that the military can send out microwaves and see objects more than 100 miles away. Jets can recognize whether a vehicle is friend or foe,” Delfyett said.
In addition to his laser invention, he said he is creating a device more advanced than the state-of-the-art technology being used at the moment.
“We live in a world where all the while computers process information in ones and zeroes,” Delfyett said.
This is where he comes in. Delfyett is currently working on taking the analog information (recording of sound transmitted through Y-bandwidth frequencies) and converting it digitally, so that persons involved in military training procedures can access the data and are then allowed to manipulate and share the figures as they please to further future investigations in the field of radar technology.
“I am confident that UCF’s strength of patents will rise in the coming years. I have 36 patents, with several more in the process,” Delfyett said.
Delfyett is not the only UCF inventor making waves in his field. Bass is working with man-made diamonds to destroy cancer cells or protect normal cells from the same radiation.
“There are already diamonds in your cellphone right now, used to carry heat away; we want to harness that power to create something new,” Bass said.
Nanodiamonds particles make them a likely candidate in use of biomedical probes by detecting and either eliminating or encasing molecules ranging from proteins to DNA.
The magnetic properties of the diamond become altered as they come in contact with the host’s cellular makeup. Then they go to work.
When you mine diamonds, there are always impurities scientists try to eliminate, to deter interference between the object and the light projected to pass through that item. Bass is working on an invention, which allows him to create his own diamonds, instead of mining them.
“In optics, diamonds, because they’re strong and sturdy, they have tremendous potential for use as optical windows in high-powered lasers,” Bass said.
His research includes applications in science and technology, such that his experiments extend so far as fiber optics and solid state, ceramic lasers as well.
As for the fellowship, professors view this as an honor and have bestowed kind words in esteem of the award.
Published in the Central Florida Future.