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March / April 2004


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UMaine Today Magazine


First Impression from the President

President Peter S. Hoff
President Peter S. Hoff

Photo by Warren Roos
 

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Technology transfer the process of turning research-based ideas into real products is one of the University of Maine's major contributions to economic development. Faculty research in marine sciences, engineering, psychology and other fields leads to new technologies with the potential to start new businesses or give a greater competitive edge to existing industries. Through hands-on learning opportunities in research and entrepreneurship, our students are prepared to apply their technological expertise in the knowledge-based economy.

In Maine, the university has an effective structure to support technology transfer, including the patenting and licensing of research. A case in point: last year, UMaine created six start-up companies four of them founded by UMaine graduate students.

This type of work is also done in the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites (AEWC) Center, directed by Professor of Civil Engineering Habib Dagher. AEWC is a globally recognized leader in wood composites, conducting research leading to commercial development of the next generation of cost-effective, high-performance, wood and nonwood composite materials.

With the help of the 2003 Maine Jobs Bond, the center is expanding this spring. To date, AEWC research has resulted in numerous patents and patents-pending. Students work side by side with AEWC engineers and scientists, taking roles in world-class research and development projects.

The initiatives are all part of Professor Dagher's vision for the AEWC Center and its potential for technology transfer. At UMaine, we have recognized his outstanding achievements in this area. Earlier this year, the New England Board of Higher Education recognized them as well.

Habib is among the recipients of the prestigious 2004 New England Higher Education Merit Awards, given to a person or program from each New England state that has demonstrated innovative work and shown exceptional leadership in behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity.

In recognizing Habib's work, Maine State Sen. and NEBHE delegate Mary Cathcart noted that it "epitomizes the economic and civic contribution of America's land-grant universities." Through technology transfer, Habib Dagher and many UMaine faculty members like him make knowledge the state's most valuable and most renewable resource.

President Peter S. Hoff's Signature

Peter S. Hoff
President

 

UMaine Today Magazine
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