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Business Review lists WMU researchers among top innovators

Aug. 20, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Business Review of West Michigan has cited two researchers at Western Michigan University for being top regional innovators.

Dr. Margaret Joyce along with one of her project teams and Dr. William Liou are among the 35 individuals and organizations the business publication named as finalists for its 2007 Innovation Michigan Awards.

The awards program, now in its second year, recognizes the development or use of innovative products and services in West Michigan. The 2007 finalists come from across the region and represent the cities of Buchanan, Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Holland, Kalamazoo, Kentwood, Muskegon, Portage, Rockford, Schoolcraft and Zeeland.

Joyce, who came to WMU in 1996, is an associate professor of paper engineering, chemical engineering and imaging. She was recognized for assembling a team of industry professionals and faculty members to develop technology that directly prints antennae and integrated circuits on paper and board to form radio frequency identification--RFID--tags.

The director of WMU's Center for Coating Development, Joyce recruited the multidisciplinary team and overcame many barriers to collaboration between industry and academia, including formulating a mutually acceptable intellectual-property agreement.

The team has successfully printed working antennae directly to paper and board at commercial-press speeds and is further developing the new technology. Their discoveries are garnering national attention and have led to additional companies expressing interest in joining the project team as well as to publication of nearly a dozen journal articles and numerous invitations to present papers and business talks.

Liou, who came to WMU in 1996, is a professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering.

He was recognized for conceiving the Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation, or CAViDS, which he directs.

The research consortium provides breakthrough applied computer simulation technology and knowledge to the auto industry, particularly in the areas of vehicle design and analysis. Government and industry fund development of the necessary simulation tools, and the technologies developed are customized to the automakers' needs.

CAViDS was launched in October 2006 and is composed of four manufacturers of civilian and military vehicles, Dana Corp., Eaton Corp., L-3 Communications and Mann+Hummel, in addition to two government laboratories, the Army's TARDEC and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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