It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. If so, then surely education is the father. When the two come together in a place like The University of Texas at Austin, great things happen. Last week we honored two faculty members as our Inventors of the Year through UT’s Office of Technology Commercialization.
S.V. Sreenivasan is a professor of mechanical engineering and the Thornton Centennial Fellow in Engineering. His innovations in imprint lithography help create the extremely small features required in today’s semiconductor memory devices and have applications in emerging display, hard disk drive and light-emitting diodes, solar energy, and biotechnology.
Grant Willson is a professor of chemistry and chemical engineering whose research involves the design and synthesis of functional organic materials with emphasis on materials for microelectronics. His work, supported by grants from both government and industry, has enabled the manufacturing of smaller, faster, and more efficient microelectronic components. He was awarded the National Medal for Technology and Innovation by President George W. Bush.
In addition, Molecular Imprints Inc., the company these two faculty members cofounded, has become a model for how top research institutions can partner with business to bring new technologies to market.
I congratulate Dr. Sreenivasan and Dr. Willson for their momentous contributions to society, the full scope of which we won’t know for many decades to come. I also honor the efforts of all the University’s many inventors. It is never more evident than on occasions like this that what starts here changes the world.