I’ve often described UTA as an institution of IDEAS – Innovative, Diverse, driven by Excellence and Access, and focused on Student success. As we began preparing for the start of a new academic year our faculty and an alumnus were lauded by the DFW technology community as being innovators and TechTitans.
At its annual awards gala the technology association of North Texas celebrates those who innovate and recognizes the “outstanding technology companies and individuals in the North Texas area who have made contributions during the past year.” This year the organization honored three faculty (with a fourth being a finalist for an award) and one alumnus, highlighting UTA’s contributions to innovation and our role in making North Texas one of the country’s premier regions for technology. Of the four individuals recognized in the category of Technology Inventors for “pioneering accomplishments…for the creation of breakthrough ideas, processes or products” two were our faculty – Professor Sandy Dasgupta and Professor Liping Tang. Sandy, described by TechTitans as a “Patent-Making Machine” won the award for his work on simplifying chemical analysis with separation of individual components by chromatography with applications in a range of areas from environmental to health care, and semiconductor fabrication to law enforcement. Liping Tang, who was also a finalist, was cited for his development of an embedded “cancer trap” that attracts and isolates metatastic cancer cells.
Professors Kevin Schug and Laura Mydlarz won in the University category for their wonderful efforts in engaging with undergraduate students in discovery through a unique set of courses that gives them an opportunity to perform scientific research in their first year at the university. The ASSURE program, which was launched by Dr. Ashley Purgason, has been an outstanding success with over 87% of the students going through the program remaining in science, exceeding national averages. Chris MacFarland, Chief Executive Officer of Masergy Communications and a Computer Science & Engineering alum, was named Corporate CEO of the year. I’m extremely proud of each of them, as I am of all our other faculty, staff, students and alumni who lead in the creation and dissemination of knowledge, in economic development and the establishment of a wonderful climate of innovation in the North Texas area.