Guido Verbeck

Detecting drugs by analyzing a person's breath

UNT chemistry professor Guido Verbeck has been fighting the war on drugs since 2016 when he developed a system — the world's first mechanical drug-sniffing "dog" — that can locate specific drug-related chemical molecules in the air from a moving car. Now, he's created a smaller device that uses a mini mass spectrometer and special filters to detect and identify chemical molecules in a gas. "The device can literally smell and identify substances on your breath," Verbeck says. He is collaborating with Frisco-based InspectIR Systems LLC to commercialize a system for employers and law enforcement officials to analyze a person's breath to detect drugs on the spot. Possible applications include on-the-job testing of bus drivers, pilots and people who operate heavy machinery.

Collaborator Spotlight
Denton Angel Investment Group at Stoke DentonUNT center joins Denton's new angel investment group

UNT's Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is collaborating with the Denton community to launch a new investment group in the North Texas region. The Denton Angel Investment Group — whose founders include several successful entrepreneurs, two CEOs, a seasoned corporate attorney and the leader of UNT's Murphy Center — was recently created to provide investment and strategic advisory support to early-stage ventures within Texas, emphasizing the Denton area. "Between our university and the Denton community at large, we have a rich environment for startups to access creativity, technology, educational support, economic growth and capital," Jon McCarry (third from left), senior director of the Murphy Center, says. "We are looking to support the group's growth, assist entrepreneurs and help investors access opportunities."

Research News
Dr. Renee Bryce receive an a 2018 Tech Titans award - Photo courtesy of Natalia Florencio /Tech Titans
Exposing students to tech careers

For her work encouraging high school and college students to pursue the computer science field, Renee Bryce, a computer science and engineering professor, received the 2018 Tech Titans of the Future University Level Award. Bryce, founder of the Bug Catcher software testing competitions, has engaged thousands of students in DFW and the nation exposing them to the field and ultimately increasing the pipeline of tech workers.

Flowing Chinese violet cress
Seed oil strong competitor in lubrication industry

UNT researchers in the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Process Institute and the BioDiscovery Institute are collaborating to examine the oil contained in the seeds of the Chinese violet cress from different perspectives. The seed oil has a high viscosity beneficial for friction and wear reduction and stands up to the heat needed to be an industrial lubricant. But, unlike petroleum oil and synthetics, it is 100 percent renewable.

Aerial view of Hurricane Harvey flooding
How do natural disasters impact real estate markets?

UNT researchers are providing new insights about how natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey's landfall in Texas a year ago, are affecting real estate markets. Among their results, real estate expert and professor John Baen's findings show that the National Flood Insurance Program is underfunded because premiums are lower than costs. Tammy Leonard, associate professor of economics and assistant director of UNT's Economics Research Group, found these premium prices are directly reflected in the housing market.

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