College names Yih among first class of Entrepreneurial Ambassadors

Professor Yuehwern Yih is among 12 faculty members named as as Entrepreneurial Ambassadors, a new offshoot program of the University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellowship initiative.

Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship created the ambassador program to provide more advocates for innovation and entrepreneurship. Faculty members will have renewable three-year terms. Each college at Purdue is expected to name a fellow and a team of ambassadors. 

“The Ambassador program is an essential part of Purdue’s ecosystem for innovation,” said Matthew Lynall, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Lynall also manages Purdue’s co-leadership of the recently announced $15M Great Lakes Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Hub. One of five across the country, the hub is part of a continuing effort by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to evolve the I-Corps program, which trains scientists and engineers to carry their promising ideas and technologies beyond the university and into the marketplace to benefit society.

The main purpose of the ambassador program is to encourage students, staff, faculty, and alumni to think about moving their innovations from research laboratories to markets and make real-world impacts. 

“The ambassadors can do many things, such as identifying people who could benefit from Purdue’s entrepreneurial resources, mentoring potential entrepreneurs, connecting entrepreneurs with students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Arnold Chen, managing director of the Burton D. Morgan Center.

Wayne Chen, associate dean of Engineering for Research and Innovation, added, “These ambassadors will be the seeds in the College to create a new generation of students and faculty with entrepreneurial minds.”

In June, the College appointed Yung-Hsiang Lu, professor in the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as its first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow. Lu also serves as director of the John Martinson Entrepreneurial Center, which supports faculty and students by providing resources to move their technologies and research forward to the patent and startup stages. Lu will coordinate the ambassadors’ activities in the College.

The College of Engineering Ambassadors:

Photo of Euiwon Bae


Euiwon Bae
Senior Research Scientist/Continuing Lecturer
School of Mechanical Engineering

Bae, who specializes in optical metrology and leads the Applied Optics Laboratory, was a finalist in 2008 for the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition, which targeted commercializing a laser scatter-based bacterial colony classification system. He hopes to transform new pathogen detection technology into food safety applications. 

Photo of Sogand Hasanzadeh


Sogand Hasanzadeh
Assistant Professor
Lyles School of Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering and Management

Hasanzadeh’s research focuses on advancing smart construction safety through the application of cyber-physical-human systems, wearable sensors, VR/AR/MR/XR, and data analytics. Her transformative interdisciplinary research addresses real-world challenges in current and future construction and manufacturing environments, and how new technological advances will revolutionize the AEC industry. She has supervised undergraduate and graduate students to develop ideas regarding wearable technologies, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and future automated construction environments for future startups.  

Photo of Klein Ileleji


Klein Ileleji
Professor/Extension Engineer
Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Ileleji is the co-founder, CEO and CTO of JUA Technologies International LLC, a startup company that develops solar dehydration technologies and mobile off-grid power generators for everyday use on small and mid-size farms. The company has launched one product to the market, a portable solar food dehydrator that has been sold in 28 states and shipped to more than 10 countries.

Photo of David Iseley


David T. (Tom) Iseley
Beavers Heavy Construction Distinguished Fellow and Professor and Professor of Engineering Practice
Construction and Engineering Management

Iseley was instrumental in 2018 with the start up of International Infrastructure Solutions, LLC, which is one-third owned by the World Trade Center-Indianapolis. The firm transfers technical and management solutions to the global underground infrastructure industry through 320+ WTC franchises.

Photo of Byunghoo Jung


Byunghoo Jung
Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Jung is the co-founder of AccuPS, Inc., a company that provides 3D interaction solutions for virtual and augmented reality applications. He also is co-founder of Aizenn, Inc., which develops non-invasive current sensors and machine learning-based diagnostic solutions of electrical systems. 

Photo of Tamara Kinzer-Ursem


Tamara Kinzer-Ursem
Marta E. Gross Associate Professor and Associate Head of Academic Affairs
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering

Kinzer-Ursem is co-founder of Omnivis, Inc., which makes handheld devices to rapidly detect dangerous pathogens anywhere in the world. The company’s mission is to create rapid detection technology that equips communities around the globe with the power and knowledge to protect their health. 

Photo of Hyuwon Lee


Hyowon ‘Hugh’ Lee
Associate Professor
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering

Lee is co-founder of Rescue Biomedical, LLC, which has developed a wearable device that detects an opioid overdose and automatically delivers the life-saving antidote. The device monitors respiration levels in the event of an overdose and simultaneously triggers the immediate release of naloxone from a small subcutaneous capsule. 

Photo of Luna Lu


Luna Lu
ACPA Professor
Lyles School of Civil Engineering

Lu is founder and CSO of Wave Logix Inc., a Purdue-based technology startup developing Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and databases for infrastructure monitoring. She also has transferred technologies from her research lab into engineering applications and formed companies based on her innovations.

Photo of Ajay Malshe


Ajay P. Malshe
Eugene and Susie E. Goodsen Distinguished Professor
School of Mechanical Engineering

A scientist, an innovator engineer, educator and entrepreneur, Malshe founded NanoMech (now VinTech Nano Materials) to apply breakthrough nanomanufacturing innovations to advance the productivity, efficiency, durability and reliability of mechanical machines in multiple industrial sectors. Many of his and his students’ patented inventions and award-winning innovations are licensed for commercialization and resulted in breakthrough products, new high-paying and high-tech jobs, and business opportunities across multiple industry sectors. He has mentored entrepreneurs and studies models of faculty-led entrepreneurship for commercialization of breakthrough ideas. His current areas of interests are equitable agriculture and food manufacturing for food security, in-space manufacturing and bio-inspired frugal engineering.

Photo of Enrico Martinez


Enrico N. Martinez
Professor of Engineering Practice
Davidson School of Chemical Engineering

Martinez has supervised Purdue teams in the Student Soybean Innovation Competition since 2015, with several teams finishing in the top five, leading to several patent applications. He is co-PI for a research project that introduces technology to substitute formaldehyde in the production of wood boards.

Photo of Shaoshuai Mou


Shaoshuai Mou
Assistant Professor
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Co-director, Center for Innovation in Control, Optimization and Networks (ICON)

Mou has been supervising teams of undergraduate students for research projects on autonomy, drone design and simulations who have the goal of pursuing future startups. At ICON, he works to integrate classical theories with recent advances in machine learning, AI, and data science.

Photo of Yuehwern Yih


Yuehwern Yih
School of Industrial Engineering
Academic Director, LASER PULSE

In partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Yih developed a humanitarian supply chain management platform (E+TRA) to support emergency response operations. E+TRA is currently licensed to CRS Somalia and South Sudan. Her prior work to form an integrated nutrition and food distribution system has supported 38,000 HIV patients and their families in western Kenya.