Getting inventive reaps the rewards for MTU researchers

The competition awards prizes to those whose inventions and business ideas are judged most creative, novel, innovative, and likely to succeed in the marketplace. 
Getting inventive reaps the rewards for MTU researchers

Dr William Whelan Curtain, Senior Lecturer; Prof. Maggie Cusack, MTU President; Dr Chinna Devarapu, Researcher; Adarsh Ananthachar, PhD student ( at the back); Dr Uday Gouda, Researcher; Ronan Coleman, Commercialisation Specialist. Cork-based researchers from the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) were awarded with the 2021 MTU Technical Invention award at this year's virtual ceremony. Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

RESEARCHERS from MTU’s Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) have been awarded Best Technical Invention Award 2021 by MTU’s Innovation and Enterprise Office for their invention PIXCAN (Photonic Integrated Circuit Scanner).

The competition awards prizes to those whose inventions and business ideas are judged most creative, novel, innovative, and likely to succeed in the marketplace as part of the MTU Innovation and Enterprise month.

The purpose of the award is to acknowledge and recognise the work and effort that staff have put into their invention declarations during 2021 and to encourage researchers to engage in the research commercialisation process.

All Invention Disclosure Forms (IDFs) submitted to the Innovation and Enterprise Office in 2021 were included for evaluation and there were twenty entries on the day from different research centres across MTU.

This year there were two prizes. 

The first was Commercial Invention of the Year and the second was Technical Invention of the year.

Dr Joanna Tierney from the Shannon ABC Applied Biotechnology Centre won the award for best commercial invention with CAPPA’s PIXCAN project winning the best technical invention of the year.

PIXCAN is a patent-pending technology, based on the Resonant Scattering Spectroscopy (RSS) technique, which is the first non-invasive system to test the individual components of an optical circuit on a wafer scale.

Existing products test full photonic integrated circuits (PICs) only and not the individual components. This is costly, highly wasteful and undesirable as it results in potentially faulty components being assembled and packaged.

Testing of individual components provides substantial cost savings both during the prototyping and mass production of PICs by allowing the individual components to be screened prior to assembly.

The PIXCAN project involved Dr Chinna Devarapu, Dr William Whelan-Curtain, Dr Uday Gowda and Adarsh Ananthachar. Dr Devarapu received the prestigious MTU Best Technical Invention Award trophy at the virtual event after his presentation.

“PIXCAN, a novel optical technology from MTU, aims to capture a significant share of the optical test market by enabling effective testing of optical circuit elements that are fundamental to modern data communication and silicon photonics industries”, Dr Chinna Devarapu said.

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