Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Look

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Look

Article excerpt

YOU SHOULD KNOW: SUSAN VASANA

UNF assistant professor makes case for research

By TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS

The Times-Union

Many professors spend their time discovering new things and shaping new ideas.

Sometimes, though, the impact of their research can have an effect beyond the groves of academia, actually becoming a product or business -- enriching the university and perhaps creating jobs in the surrounding area.

That's why the University of North Florida has been pushing to transfer more of its research to the private sector, an effort that recently received a boost when assistant professor of electrical engineering Susan Vasana took the first step toward turning her research into a product earlier this month.

Vasana presented her work at the first Florida Tech Transfer Conference, held in St. Petersburg May 17 and 18. The conference attracted researchers from a dozen Sunshine State universities, with presentations dealing with information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Vasana was the only UNF presenter on the program and was selected from 130 statewide applicants.

In the audience: venture capitalists, companies, lawyers and others interested in commercializing research.

Vasana has devised a way to increase the transmission range of "Manchester encoded" data. Manchester encoding is used in Ethernet networks, among other things. Her patent-pending development will allow networks to operate more efficiently, creating less interference with other devices and enjoying longer battery lives.

"It is very functional and generic," Vasana said. "It can be used for a multitude of uses."

At the tech transfer conference, Vasana spoke with representatives from JEA and other interested parties. Commercial products should be on their way "very soon," she said.

"The research on this is pretty much done," she said. "Now we're looking for applications."

timothy.gibbons@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4103

WRITE SUSAN

@Contact Vasana at svasana@unf.edu

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