Happy First Friday!
For generations, university researchers have sought answers to the questions that plague our society, and the contributions higher education has made to humanity are immeasurable in this regard.
My own academic research has focused on geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. I can remember carrying my early GPS equipment in a very large (and very heavy!) suitcase. Now, Google Maps and other web-based apps are carried in our pockets everywhere we go. We have seen so much progress in the field of GIS alone in such a short amount of time due to academic research, and I am proud of the contributions my students, my colleagues and I have made to that development.
At Ohio University, faculty mentorship is a huge component of the student experience. We are designated a “Doctoral University – High Research Activity” institution by theCarnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, a reflection of the quality of research by our faculty and graduate students. More than half of our 6,000 graduate and medical students are involved in research-based degree programs. Ohio University research, scholarship and creative work also provides important learning opportunities for more than 2,000 undergraduate students.
Each February, Ohio University shows its appreciation for our student and faculty researchers by hosting a number of events. On February 21, we will host the annual Inventors Dinner to recognize faculty, staff and students “who engaged with the University’s Technology Transfer Office over the past year to commercialize their research findings, by protecting their intellectual property through the patent process.” It is during this annual Inventors Dinner that we award the prestigious Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship. The award is named for distinguished alumnus Wilfred Konneker, who was instrumental in advancing Ohio University’s entrepreneurial endeavors. Ohio University has awarded the Konneker Medal to 11 individuals, including the 2018 recipient, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine alumnus Dr. James Joye.
Ohio University has a successful track record in commercializing technologies. Ohio University inventors have received patents for discoveries in areas such as growth hormones and aging, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, avionics engineering, wound healing and superconductors. As of January 2019, Ohio University has a portfolio of 94 active issued U.S. patents and 174 active issued non-U.S. patents.
Ohio University research has led to ground-breaking, life-altering breakthroughs that have improved our human experience, and the evidence can be found all around us. Ohio University researchers are leading the way, searching each day for innovative solutions, and I look forward to celebrating their many accomplishments this month and beyond.