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UT Arlington researchers to present ideas at WBTshowcase

Monday, March 23, 2009

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082,

ARLINGTON - UT Arlington researchers dedicated to changing the world for the better are scheduled to present their innovations at the seventh annual WBTshowcase March 24-25 at the Arlington Convention Center.

Finding more cost-affordable fuel, developing an environmentally friendly paint-stripping agent and providing better images for surgeons in their operating room are cutting-edge ideas that University of Texas at Arlington researchers are to discuss.

Richard Billo, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering; Krishnan Rajeshwar, distinguished professor and associate dean of the College of Science; and Karel Zuzak, assistant professor in bioengineering; are the UT Arlington presenters at the World's Best Technologies (WBT) showcase.

The WBTshowcase is the nation's premier event showcasing the largest collection of somewhat undiscovered technologies emanating from the world's leading universities, labs and research institutions.

This is the sixth year in a row UT Arlington has been one of the sponsoring institutions. The Center of Innovation at Arlington, which is a joint effort by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the University, and the Office of the Governor also are hosts.

More than 100 venture investors and Fortune 500 licensees will attend the event. The 2008 showcase brought together more than 75 world-class deals and attracted about 450 attendees including bona fide investors and Fortune 1000 licensees.

About a third of past WBTshowcase presenters have gone on to secure venture capital or a licensing/strategic partnering agreement with a Fortune 500 company, said Paul Huleatt, WBTshowcase chief executive officer.

Dr. Billo - along with Brian Dennis, mechanical engineering assistant professor, and John Priest, industrial engineering professor - is developing a low-cost process to convert lignite coal into heavy crude oil. They will work with researchers at West Virginia University, hoping to produce heavy crude at approximately $30 per barrel. His research has been featured in The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Business Press.

Dr. Rajeshwar has developed Photostrip, an environmentally friendly product for the removal of paint. It contains no toxic chemicals, produces no harmful fumes and requires little protective gear. The product also is naturally biodegradable in water and oxygen. See this Web site for more about Photostrip.

Dr. Zuzak's research focuses on illuminating bodily tissues utilizing Texas Instruments' digital micromirror device enabling a non-invasive optical biopsy for visualizing tissue chemistry and hence identifying living tissue based on chemistry and morphology during surgery at near video rate. When performing open or endoscopic surgery, it is often difficult to differentiate between neighboring tissues. For example, when removing the gallbladder, it is important not to damage the common bile duct. The novel device can be used to aid surgeons in determining where to cut, similar to the way GPS aids people in navigating through traffic. Zuzak and his colleague, Dr. Edward Livingston, a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center surgeon, are working to fine-tune the system so it can be used in gastrointestinal surgery, brain surgery, monitoring eye disease and clinical diagnosis.

Visit the WBTshowcase Web site for more information about the event.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.