Governor Dannel Malloy visits Fairfield University campus
Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., and School of Engineering faculty were among those on hand recently for the presentation of an award to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy on the Fairfield campus.
The Governor, who has long been supportive of the state's technology sector and innovation community, was given the 2013 Innovation Policy Leadership Award by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC).
The event at the Kelley Center brought together the School of Engineering community with like-minded people who see entrepreneurial engineering as vital to fostering economic growth in the state. It was sponsored by Fairfield University's School of Engineering, CTC, the Inventors Association of Connecticut (IACT) and the Angel Investor Forum (AIF). The School of Engineering, the University's Dolan School of Business, and IACT regularly sponsor presentations on campus. The mission of IACT is to bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization.
"There is an interface between entrepreneurship and engineering development, and it's important to the establishment of new companies and job creation," said Bruce W. Berdanier, PE, LS, professor and dean of the School of Engineering.
Dr. Berdanier had an opportunity to talk with Governor Malloy at the event.
"The Governor asked me about how the School of Engineering was growing and we talked about the undergraduate and graduate numbers," the dean noted. "He said, 'This is great, we definitely need more engineers.' "
Doug Lyon, Ph.D., professor of computer engineering at Fairfield and IACT president, is experienced in developing start up business models. "The role of entrepreneurship cannot be understated and has led to the creation of a series of businesses," said Dr. Lyon. "Presently, we have several teams competing in the [university's student] Business Plan Competition, and our students are very excited by the prospect of commercializing products."
An entrepreneurial spirit clearly runs through Fairfield students.
Working with undergraduates from the Dolan School of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences, engineering students have had success competing in the three-year-old competition, in which they've presented plans for new devices and apps. Recently, senior Robert Garrone won the competition's Startup Day pitch contest after presenting plans for a wearable wireless device that uses infrared light to monitor bone density. It's a product he's developing with School of Engineering classmates Stephanie Sutherby, Michael Raymond and Joseph Musubire for the Senior Design course.
Over at the Fairfield University Accelerator & Mentoring Enterprise (FAME) - a business incubator program in downtown Fairfield, Diego Mamani, a senior at the School of Engineering, is collaborating with Jamie Ramerini, a 2013 Dolan School graduate, on BluStrip by Watt U Control, a smart power strip to coordinate home automation. The startup company had its origins in the Business Plan Competition.
Image: (L-R) Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.; Bruce W. Berdanier, PE, LS., professor and dean of the School of Engineering; Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. Photo courtesy of CTC.
Posted on December 18, 2013