Cal Poly received $26 million in grants and external funding for the 2014-15 school year, and its employees created four patents, university officials announced.
The patents include a substance that helps prevent fruit from browning; Mars-related, nano-satellite technology; and a water-purification system geared to help during natural disasters.
“Last year, we had 570 externally funded research projects, which is as many as we’ve ever had in the institution’s history,” said Dean Wendt, the university’s dean of research, at a campus reception earlier this month. “Research by our faculty created robust learning opportunities for our students; improved Cal Poly’s academic reputation among universities, agencies and industry; and taught students that they can Learn by Doing through research.”
The 570 research projects funded by outside organizations supported the wages of 65 staff members; paid 700 students more than $1.7 million in wages to do research; bought more than $700,000 in equipment; and paid more than $400,000 in tuition fees and scholarships for students, Wendt said.
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The patent holders were: professor Wyatt Brown and lab technician Jim Green from the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences (food anti-browning composition); professor John Chen, a mechanical engineering professor from the College of Engineering (detection of internal defects in layered composite material, which are found in various commercial products ranging from passenger jets and cars to personal-use products); professor Jordi Puig-Suari and Austin Williams of aerospace engineering (CubeSat, or nano-satellites that piggyback on the launches of larger satellites); professor Tryg Lundquist, a civil and environmental engineering professor (portable water purification system that can save lives during natural disasters).