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Alum Honored for Commercializing MTU Research
For more information on this story contact:
Email:Marcia Goodrich

June 27, 2005--Governor Jennifer Granholm has presented one of the first University Commercialization Excellence Awards to Michigan Technological University alumnus Glen Barna.

The award was created to celebrate the successful commercialization of technology developed at Michigan's public universities. Barna, president of IR Telemetrics, received a $25,000 prize.

The awards are underwritten by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the University of Michigan.

"Our world-class university researchers are critical to planting the seeds of the latest technologies here and growing Michigan's economy," Granholm said at the June 15 awards ceremony. "Successful commercialization of cutting-edge research will turn the ideas of tomorrow into the jobs we need today."

Barna was a graduate student at Michigan Tech when his research led to the formation of IR Telemetrics Inc. The Houghton firm has since become a worldwide technology leader in wireless data transfer from reciprocating and rotating components.

It counts among its clients Ford, GM, Caterpillar and Cummins. Using wireless technology and small sensors, IR Telemetrics can gather data from some very inhospitable places, such as the inside of a running internal combustion engine.

"IR Telemetrics' economic contributions reach far beyond its own employees and their direct participation in the local community," said Jim Baker, Michigan Tech's director of technology partnerships, who nominated Barna for the University Commercialization Excellence Award. "Their customers can troubleshoot existing products and advance technologies in ways that improve their competitiveness and profitability."

The high-tech company has $1 million in annual sales and expects to create 30 jobs over the next five years.

Barna developed the technology in cooperation with his advisor, Professor Carl Anderson, and former electrical and computer engineering faculty members Doug Brumm and Rick Campbell. He received assistance from Corporate Services in establishing and expanding his business.

Barna was honored in Category I of the University Award for Commercialization Excellence competition, which includes universities with under $100 million annually in research spending. Category II was reserved for researchers at public universities with average annual research expenditures above $100 million, including the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Michigan State University and Wayne State University. The award recipient in Category II was U of M electrical engineering and computer science professor Farnam Jahanian, for the creation of the software firm Arbor Networks.

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