Scientist Named 2004 Inventor Of The Year
U.Va. Patent Foundation Honors Haydn N. Wadley
May 19, 2004 --
University of Virginia Patent Foundation has named materials scientist
Haydn N. Wadley the 2004 Edlich-Henderson
the Year. The award, which consists of a plaque and a check for
$10,000, was bestowed May 17 at a dinner in Wadley’s honor
at Charlottesville’s Boar’s Head Inn.
a faculty member at the University of Virginia’s
School of Engineering and Applied Science since 1988, was recognized
for his path-breaking research,
which has led to numerous patents (both issued and pending) for innovative materials
with applications in the defense and transportation industries, and for his entrepreneurial
selecting a candidate for this award, the Patent Foundation’s
faculty advisory committee considers a number of criteria, including researchers’ scholarship
and innovations, and the novelty and potential impact of their inventions
on human welfare,” said committee chairman John C. Herr, director of
Center for Research in Contraceptive & Reproductive Health and himself
the winner of the 1999 award.
its deliberations, the committee also weighed candidates’ efforts to
transform a research question into a commercial product, he said.
“Haydn is a good example of a 21st-century, university scientist who maintains
his intense focus on fundamental research, while appreciating the practical importance
of the technology he is developing,” said Robert S. MacWright, executive
director of the U.Va. Patent Foundation. “His work has the potential to
make significant contributions both to the U.S. economy and to our national defense.”
Herr noted that potential contributions to the local economy also were
a factor in the decision.
is an example of an inventor who is working in an entrepreneurial
way to form Virginia companies to keep his technology in Charlottesville
so the local community can benefit,” he said.
currently has 25 patent applications at varying stages of approval,
Alan Bentley, Patent Foundation assistant director. The U.S.
take up to five years to issue a patent, particularly when the applicant
plans to secure international, as well as domestic, intellectual
far, the U.S. Patent Office has issued three patents for Wadley’s
inventions, including two that relate to a new method of applying
metal and ceramic
coatings to various metal surfaces. The method, dubbed “atomic
MacWright, can be used for coatings needed to protect industrial
equipment against wear, corrosion and heat, among other purposes.
James Groves, assistant professor
in the U.Va. Department of Materials Science, is the co-inventor.
painting” patents serve as the basis of one local start-up
company, Directed Vapor Technologies International Inc., which
was established in 2000 by Wadley’s researchers and associates.
S. Ross, a Harvard Business School graduate, former Chrysler
Corp. executive and former president of the U.Va. Patent Foundation,
among the founders
of DVTI and a second company, Cellular Materials International
Inc., Wadley said.
which was established in 2001, centers on an entirely different
group of research findings from Wadley’s
findings involve the development of new metallic structures that
offer various combinations of attributes, such
and cold exchange, and blast or impact absorption. The
company is currently exploring
the capabilities of two types of “cellular materials” – the
first, a porous metal material; and the second, a material
similar in concept to a sandwich, which has an exterior
of two solid sheets of metal enclosing a
metal mesh interior.
cellular materials research, which received funding from the
Defense Advanced Research Projects
research arm of the
U.S. Department of
Defense, and the DOD’s Office of Naval Research,
has potential applications in the defense and automotive
industries, among others, Wadley said.
A. Burns, the former chief executive officer of Akzo Nobel Salt,
a $500 million international manufacturing
in the Netherlands,
as president and CEO of both companies, which share
on Boar’s Head
Lane and manufacturing facilities on Avon Street.
of the employees were hired locally and many hold
doctoral degrees, Burns said. DVTI has about 12 full-
CMI has about eight
full- and part-time employees.
jet engine operations of Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce plc,
and the French aerospace corporation, SNECMA, are customers of
and are currently testing DVTI’s advanced coatings process
on aircraft engine parts, especially those subjected to high
temperatures, such as turbine blades, Burns said. CMI likewise
has contracts with Northrop Grumman Corp., United
Technologies Corp., General
Motors Corp. and the U.S. Department of Defense’s
Office of Naval Research, which are testing the
with the local economic benefits, Wadley
said there is a practical reason to create start-up
develop the innovations
out of his labs.
typical problem in spinning off technology from a research lab
is that there is a gap between the point where we want to hand
off the technology
and where most companies would like to see
it as a potential product,” he
gap can range from two to five years, he said.
Wadley’s many titles include University Professor, Edgar
Starke Research Professor of Materials Science and Engineering,
and senior associate dean for
research at the School of Engineering and
Applied Science. He also has served on the board of the U.Va. Patent
Foundation, including a stint as chairman from
in 1982, the Edlich-Henderson Inventor of the Year Award was
professor of plastic
engineering at U.Va., who conceived the
program, and U.Va. alumnus Christopher J. Henderson,
of Robbins & Henderson,
a New York financial firm, who funds it.
U.Va. Patent Foundation is a not-for-profit
corporation affiliated with the University
of Virginia that is
responsible for licensing
to business and industry
the intellectual property discovered
and created in U.Va. laboratories.
patents issued to the U.Va. Patent Foundation since Jan. 1,
1) #6,688,123 “Automated Storage and Retrieval Apparatus for Freezers and
Related Method Thereof.” Inventors: Robin A. Felder, B. Sean Graves, James
P. Gunderson. Issued 2/10/04.
2) #6,692,439 “Angular Scatter Imaging System Using Translating Apertures
and Method Thereof.” Inventors: William F. Walker, Michael McAllister,
Gregg E. Trahey. Issued 2/17/04.
3) #6,713,638 “2-Amino-3-Aroyl-4,5 Alkylthiophenes: Agonist Allosteric
Enhancers at Human A1 Adenosine Receptors.” Inventors: Joel M. Linden,
Ray A. Olsson, Peter J. Scammells. Issued 3/30/04.
4) #6,723,703 “Therapeutic Use of Aerosolized S-Nitrosoglutathione
in Cystic Fibrosis.” Inventors: Benjamin M. Gaston, Jonathan
S. Stamler. Issued 4/20/04.
Charlotte Crystal, (434) 924-6858