Mark R. McLellan

Mark R. McLellan joins UNT as new vice president of research and innovation

Mark R. McLellan, a 30-year leader of university research programs with experience at five major institutions, was selected to oversee research and innovation at UNT as it continues to grow its research enterprise and cements its place among the nation's top Tier One research universities. McLellan, whose appointment is effective Sept. 16, will lead the university in developing and implementing new strategies in collaboration with the Office of the Provost and others to transform and expand UNT's research portfolio.

Collaboration Spotlight
USpinX logoUNT to host university technology commercialization conference

On Oct. 9, UNT is hosting USpinX, a one-day event that will bring together a dozen Texas universities to share the technologies developed at each institution with companies, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The unique event, led by UNT's Office of Innovation and Commercialization and held at UNT's Inspire Park in Frisco, will showcase inventions, patents and software created at the universities that are ready for commercial success. Universities use licensing as a way to move inventions and breakthroughs from the lab to products and services in the marketplace. USpinX will be followed by the October Inspire Frisco Talk. Speakers will discuss university technology transfer best practices and success stories. The IFTalk, hosted by Mike Rondelli, UNT associate vice president for innovation and commercialization, is open to the public.

Research News
Vaidya Nathan Ecker
Building a biomedical infrastructure

UNT has opened its new $12.6 million biomedical engineering building at the Discovery Park campus where open concept classrooms and labs create a collaborative environment for cutting-edge research and learning. Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing programs at UNT, having grown more than five-fold since its first class in 2014 by focusing on diverse educational tracks and unique degree plans that give graduates an edge in the highly technical workplace. Four new, full-time faculty bring with them a range of expertise from neuroelectronics to electrophysiology.

April Becker
Prestigious Powe award recipient

April Becker, assistant professor of behavior analysis, earned the prestigious 2019 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities for her improvements in behavioral assessment testing for stroke research. Becker hopes that the new level of test sensitivity will lead to a better understanding of stroke-related effects and treatments in humans. She and Jared Armshaw, a master's student in behavior analysis, will complete the development and validation of the test with the help of other students in UNT's Neuroplasticity and Repertoire Restoration Laboratory.

Anupama Kaul and students
Promoting STEM initiatives

To help fulfill a tremendous need for highly trained engineers and scientists, the U.S. Office of Naval Research is funding an initiative that will help UNT students learn more about Naval STEM careers and develop interdisciplinary skills needed to pursue them. A team at the College of Engineering, led by Anupama Kaul, director of the PACCAR Technology Institute, will receive $750,000 for educational and research initiatives in materials, manufacturing and electronics. The initiative will highlight the benefits of miniaturized systems that are at the heart of micro-electro-mechanical systems and nanotechnology.

Miguel Acevedo
$2.5 million NSF grant to address food-energy-water systems

Miguel Acevedo, College of Engineering Regents Professor and member of UNT's Advanced Environmental Research Institute, was recently awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to dig deep in tackling the growing global problem of food insecurity. Acevedo and his collaborators are seeking solutions to the high amount of salt found in agricultural soil and irrigation water in regions where water is limited or where traditional fertilizer and irrigation management have altered water and soil quality. It's a problem that affects crops in those areas, leading to a decrease in food production.

Gayatri Mehta
Reconfigurable Computing Lab named Tech Titans Award finalist

UNT's Reconfigurable Computing Lab was a finalist for the Tech Titans of the Future – University Level Award, which spotlights educational institutions that encourage and support students in choosing engineering- and technology-related disciplines as a preferred academic and career path. The lab, led by associate professor of electrical engineering Gayatri Mehta, has created Untangled, a series of online puzzle games that task players with solving design problems of increasing difficulty. Player moves are recorded and used to solve placement and architecture challenges for energy efficient circuit design.

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