June 16, 2021

Purdue Engineering names first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University professor and innovator who works to inspire the next generation of technology leaders has been named the first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow for the College of Engineering.

Yung-Hsiang Lu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has developed several patented technologies and helped his students start their own companies. He is a Purdue Faculty Scholar, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Distinguished Scientist of the Association for Computing Machinery.

"We move our discoveries in the lab out to the world for impact through patents and commercialization opportunities," Lu said. "This new role provides me with a great opportunity to help connect members of our engineering family with resources to move their technologies and research to communities and people in need."

Lu's appointment comes as the College of Engineering has put a new emphasis on the importance of faculty innovation and commercialization. These entrepreneurial activities can be documented in the formal tenure review process.

"Yung is the perfect fit for this position to help connect our College of Engineering with the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and resources to support entrepreneurship and commercialization," said Wayne Chen, associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering and Reilly Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Materials Engineering. "We want to further develop our culture of support for faculty and students who take their research and lab work to the world through patents and startups."

Lu will collaborate with the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub, and the Purdue for Life Foundation. He has advised several student teams that won business plan competitions and helped a company obtain two Small Business Innovation Research grants.

Everett Berry, a Purdue alumnus who, with Lu, co-founded a company called Perceive, said he remembers fondly the professor’s belief in the ability of undergraduate innovators.

"Having seen Silicon Valley inside and out by this point, I know Dr. Lu embodies the best of the entrepreneurial instinct that we celebrate," Berry said. "He was my first, and still strongest, inspiration for building hard technology."

Another alumnus and former member of Lu's research team, Zohar Kapach, started a company called Oqullo. He said Lu helped him realize his love for computer engineering and the opportunities to grow an entrepreneurial career in the field.

"I continue to apply my experiences working with Dr. Lu to my daily research work," Kapach said. "I was able to apply the knowledge I gained from working with him to raise a substantial seed fund."

Lu continues to work with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent inventions. This office operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today's toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Contact: Steve Martin, sgmartin@prf.org 

Sources:
Yung-Hsiang Lu, yunglu@purdue.edu

Weinong Wayne Chen, wchen@purdue.edu

Everett Berry, everett@visitorx.com

Zohar Kapach, zkapach12@gmail.com

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