Research expo highlights student and faculty creativity

Event helped connect UTA inventors and entrepreneurs to leading business minds

Friday, Apr 26, 2024 • Katherine Egan Bennett : contact

sustainability research expo

Hundreds of faculty, students and business leaders flocked to The University of Texas at Arlington for its second annual Research and Innovation Expo, an event designed to showcase the University’s research efforts.

“This is an event where we can showcase our research achievements and encourage everyone to learn about and engage with other investigators outside their own fields,” said Eileen Clements, interim executive director of the UT Arlington Research Institute and an organizer of the event.

Researchers learned how to find external funding for their projects from such varied sources as federally funded government organizations like the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, private foundations, or industry leaders who need technology solutions to advance their companies.

Jon Weidanz Research Expo

“This expo was a way for researchers who have been successful in securing extramural funding to offer advice to others,” said Jeff Campbell, director of the Shimadzu Institute for Research Technology at UTA and an event organizer. “We put together a cross-section of faculty from around campus to share their success stories and offer tips for future collaborations.”

UT Arlington President Jennifer Cowley and Paul Corson, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Development, recognized the many researchers who had their inventions patented in 2023.

“It’s all about the mindset,” Corson said. “Anyone on campus has it within them to embrace their entrepreneurial aspirations and get engaged, whether it’s an artist who is going out for their first gig or someone curing cancer.”

In addition to showcasing the talented faculty on campus in Arlington, the expo also featured business and entrepreneurial leaders from the community who offered their wisdom and words of motivation to the next generation of leaders.

“We need to be able to stay ahead of the curve by utilizing technology and innovation,” said attendee and speaker Troy Alley Jr., chief operating officer and president of real estate at Con-Real LP, the largest Black-owned construction and real estate company of its kind in the southern United States. “This is what helps you stay competitive.”

The expo was a platform for top private-sector, philanthropic and academic leaders from across the county to share lessons learned from their entrepreneurial experiences and advise UTA faculty. Additional guest speakers included:

  • Kirk Ririe, co-founder of Idaho Technology
  • Azad Madni, professor at the University of Southern California, member of the National Academy of Engineering and recipient of the Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education
  • Thom Ruhe, president and CEO of NC IDEA
  • Brian Kelsey, manager for economic development advisory services at EY
    2024 Research Expo