Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial Ambassadors Translational Research

The Entrepreneurial Ambassadors are a group of faculty whose mission is to serve as a first line of assistance to faculty and students interested in entrepreneurship. They will help to spread the word about entrepreneurial educational programs, funding, and competitions which occur on the Purdue campus. These faculty are chosen from a variety of department and units on campus. Our goal with this program is to raise the faculty awareness of the resources available to assist in entrepreneurial efforts. If you are interested in becoming a liaison or connecting with one of the ambassadors, please contact Jessica Huber at jhuber@purdue.edu.

Entrepreneurial Ambassadors

Photograph of Lonnie Bentley
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Lonnie Bentley is a Professor in the Computer & Information Technology Department. He is co-founder of Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems (BATS), an Indianapolis based company with a worldwide customer base in the military and oil and gas industry. He is the faculty director of Tech Ventures, an on campus business accelerator ran by and exclusively incorporating a network of experienced faculty entrepreneurs and successful CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, VCs, and Law Firms to create a mentoring business development program to help students and faculty commercialize their ideas; following the popular and successful west coast Springboard and Lean Launchpad business development programs. See more about BATS at www.batswireless.com.
Phone: 765-494-4545
Photograph of Dino Franco Felluga
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Dino Franco Felluga is Associate Professor of English and is one of the faculty members involved in the Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy in 2012/13. He is working on creating mechanisms that make possible the self-funding of humanities projects, particularly in the area of scholarly publication. He is currently working on creating an iPad app for his encyclopedic project about nineteenth-century Britain, BRANCH at www.branchcollective.org.
Phone: 765-494-3770
Photograph of Kevin Hannon
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Kevin Hannon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Kevin’s main emphasis is the development and delivery of interactive web-based educational applications that are optimized for mobile devices and tablets. These efforts have generated a start-up company (ActiveLesson) and commercial products that hit the market in August 2012. See more about www.activelessonhq.com.
Phone: 765-494-5949
Photograph of Sherry Voytik-Harbin
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Sherry Voytik-Harbin received an Honors BS degree in Chemistry from Indiana University. With interests in biomedical engineering, she pursued a MS degree in Electrical Engineering and PhD in Physiology and Pharmacology at Purdue University while performing interdisciplinary research within the Hillenbrand Biomedical Engineering Center. At present, she serves as an Associate Professor with joint appointments within the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue University. Voytik-Harbin’s research interests focus on the design and synthesis of bioinspired biomaterials and polymeric matrices to predictively guide cell fate and tissue morphogenesis in vivo and in vitro. Voytik-Harbin has an extensive history of translational research related to tissue-derived extracellular matrices, which has resulted in numerous issued patents and a number of FDA-approved medical products that are used clinically for treatment of both human and veterinary patients.
Phone: 765-496-6128
Photograph of Catherine Hill
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Catherine Hill is an Associate Professor of Entomology. Dr. Hill’s main area of research is the discovery and development of new and safer insecticides to control insect pests of humans and agriculture. Catherine is a Fellow and Scholar of the Purdue Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy. Dr. Hill is developing a spin-out company to commercialize her research and bring new insect control products to market for customers in both the developed and developing world.
Phone: 765-496-6157
Photograph of Bill Hutzel
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Jessica Huber is an Associate Professor in the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences department and the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneur in Residence. Jessica’s main area of research is the development and testing of behavioral therapies to improve the lives of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. She is currently bringing a wearable device, the SpeechVive, to market to improve speech in these individuals. See more about the SpeechVive at www.speechvive.com.
Phone: 765-494-3796
Photograph of Bill Hutzel
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Bill Hutzel is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology whose teaching and research targets cost effective High Performance Buildings that are energy efficient and net zero in terms of their demand for electricity from the grid. Professor Hutzel is working with to commercialize a cold climate heat pump that was developed and patented at Purdue. He is also interested in the policy aspects of energy/buildings and spent a year working in the U.S. Senate as a Congressional Fellow.
Phone: 765-494-7528
Photograph of Joseph Irudayaraj
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Joseph Irudayaraj is a Professor of Biological Engineering and Deputy Director of Bindley Bioscience Center. He has degrees in Agricultural Engineering, Computer Sciences, and Biological Engineering. He has published over 200 refereed journal articles in areas covering Nanotechnology and biosensors, primarily addressing diagnostics, drug delivery, and numerical analysis. The Primary focus of his group is on single cell technology development for the detection and quantification of epigenetic modifications, transcripts, and phosphorylation with an ultimate goal to detect cancers in its earliest possible stage. He serves in the Nanotechnology for medicine and biological instrumentation development review panels for the NIH, NSF, and DOD among other national and international review panels. He also is a co-leader of the Drug Discovery and Molecular Sensing Program of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research.
Phone: 765-494-0388
Photograph of Alyssa Panitch
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Alyssa Panitch is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Alyssa's main area of research is the design and development of molecular therapeutics to improve tissue healing and regeneration. Technologies in/from her laboratory have been spun out into three start up companies.
Phone: 765-496-1313
Photograph of Joe Pekny
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Joe Pekny is a Professor of Chemical Engineering, Faculty Director of Engineering Entrepreneurship, and Liaison to the Purdue West Coast Partnership Center. He founded the Engineering Entrepreneurship Task Force (ETF) when he was Head of Industrial Engineering from which the Silicon Valley Boiler Innovation Group (SV BIG) evolved. The ETF functions as an advisory group and SV BIG is developing a mentorship system for Purdue companies. He was a founding Director of Discovery Park and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. He leads the Cancer Care Engineering Project with Marietta Harrison and Pat Loehrer of IU School of Medicine. He is developing projects with Missile Defense Agency with Dan DeLaurentis and others; the United States Military Academy with Eric Dietz, Gabriela Weaver and others; and is developing a project with many others to evolve a Deliberate Innovation System at Purdue University by coalescing the many entrepreneurial subsystems on campus. He founded and advises Advanced Process Combinatorics, Inc. – a Purdue Research Park company. His research interests are in algorithm engineering for combinatorial optimization applications and in devising the best possible system for translating research into practical impact. See more about Advanced Process Combinatorics, Inc at www.combination.com.
Phone: 765-494-7901
Photograph of Rodolfo Pinal
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Rodolfo Pinal is Associate Professor in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy. Rodolfo’s main area of research is on methods for improving the bioavailability of drugs. His latest research focuses on a platform technology for manufacturing the next generation of pharmaceuticals: 3D IP (3D Integrated Pharmaceuticals). With this technology, dosage forms are assembled according to a pre-established blueprint, from prefabricated working parts. Such parts are made from functional layers, enabling the adoption of the advanced manufacturing methods from the electronics industry. A pilot scale, web-based manufacturing setup is currently under development.
Phone: 765-496-6247
Photograph of Karthik Ramani
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Karthik Ramani is the Donald W. Feddersen Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering with a courtesy appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His main interests are in gesture based computing to create shapes in natural ways, geometric computing, design and cyber-learning. He has in the past founded VizSeek/Imaginestics (the world’s first commercial shape based search engine) and currently co-founded a startup ZeroUI (At the core of ZeroUI’s technology is a natural user interface (NUI) driven 3D shape creation framework). He has won both the research excellence award in the college of engineering as well as the commercialization award at Purdue University, and the only Purdue faculty to win both. He also is serving on the NSF advisory committee for small business innovation research as a part of the division of industrial innovation and partnerships.
Phone: 765-494-5725
Photograph of Fred Regnier
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Fred Regnier is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University who has cofounded six companies; BioSeparations (1985-1988) taught courses to big Pharma, PerSeptive Biosystems (1990-1998) manufactured scientific instruments and was acquired by Applied Biosystems, BG Medicine (2000-present) sells clinical diagnostic tests, Quadraspec (2002-2008) developed and sold companion animal blood tests and was acquired by Antech, Perfinity Bioscience (2010-present) manufactures process analytical technology for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and Novilytic (2011-present) develops and sells clinical tests. Collectively the first four of these companies created 700 jobs and ~$500M in shareholder value while the last two are small start-ups in West Lafayette who are struggling to become cash positive.
Phone: 765-494-3878
Photograph of J. Paul Robinson
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J. Paul Robinson is the SVM Professor of Cytomics and professor of Biomedical Engineering. He has been involved with advanced detection and analysis technologies for cell analysis and diagnostics and had developed and licensed patents in this arena to several companies. He is most interested in translation of tools into real world applications that improve the lives of people. He formed a not for profit “Cytometry for Life” with the goal of supporting low cost diagnostics for resource limited countries.
Phone: 765-494-0757
Photograph of Justin Seipel
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Justin Seipel is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Justin's research focus is on the biomechanics of human motion and related robot technology. Discoveries from his lab have led to one current entrepreneurial venture.
Phone: 765-494-3376
Photograph of Steve Wereley
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Steve Wereley is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Fellow of the Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy. He founded Microfluidics Innovations four years ago and has since received SBIRs, matching grants from IEDC, and other investment to support the company. Wereley is currently evaluating strategies for founding a business based on his continuing work assessing the size and environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Phone: 765-494-5624

About Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship fosters the understanding and application of entrepreneurship with faculty and students across the Purdue campus and with stakeholders throughout the State.


1201 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2057

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