Two Purdue innovators named to Forbes 30 Under 30

January 9, 2015  


Rebecca Kramer

Rebecca Kramer, a Purdue assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was recognized by Forbes magazine for her work in "soft machines" made of elastic materials for potential applications in robotics, medical devices and consumer electronics. (Purdue University photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Two Purdue University innovators have been selected by Forbes magazine for its annual "30 Under 30" list of outstanding young researchers who are younger than 30.

Rebecca Kramer, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering's School of Mechanical Engineering, and Ian Klein, a graduate student in the College of Science's Department of Chemistry, were selected for the honor. Kramer and Klein were both chosen for the award’s Manufacturing & Industry category and honored for "modernizing the way things are made in a greener, tech-savvy world."

The magazine describes the recipients as "today's greatest gathering of young game changers, movers and makers" and includes "600 millennials in 20 fields." This is the fourth year that Forbes has published the list.

Ian Klein

Ian Klein, a graduate student in the Purdue College of Science's Department of Chemistry, was recognized by Forbes magazine for his work with a team of Purdue researchers who founded Spero Energy Inc., a company that is commercializing technology that creates high-value, renewable chemicals used in the flavor and fragrance industry. (Purdue Research Foundation photo) 
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Kramer is working on technologies related to "soft machines" made of elastic materials for potential applications in robotics, medical devices and consumer electronics. Last year she was among seven researchers selected by NASA for Early Career Faculty awards to pursue new concepts for space exploration, and more recently she was awarded an Early Career Development award from the National Science Foundation, one of the most prestigious NSF honors for outstanding young researchers.

Klein is part of a team of Purdue researchers who founded Spero Energy Inc., a company commercializing a technology that creates high-value, renewable chemicals from wood lignin and used in the flavor and fragrance industry and that could make biofuel production more efficient. Spero raised $150,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy, a $150,000 Phase I SBIR grant from the NSF and a matching $50,000 from Elevate Ventures. The company also won the 2014 Midwest Clean Energy Challenge Biofuel Prize. 

Purdue alumna Livia Eberlin also was among the honorees. Eberlin, a postdoctoral research associate at Stanford University, is developing methods that use mass spectrometry to identify cancerous tissue. Eberlin was a part of the research team of  R. Graham Cooks, Purdue's Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, that demonstrated the capabilities of ambient ionization mass spectrometry in cancer diagnosis and surgery. While at Purdue she led the design and testing of a tool that uses ambient ionization mass spectrometry to characterize the type and grade of brain cancer and detect boundaries between healthy and cancerous brain tissue.  Eberlin earned a doctoral degree in analytical chemistry from Purdue in 2012.

Writers: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org 

Sources: Rebecca Kramer, 765-494-2219, rebeccakramer@purdue.edu

Ian Klein, iklein@purdue.edu 

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