Top MSU tech awards

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version

April 24, 2018

Professors Drzal and Morelli honored by MSU for their technology accomplishments

The 2018 MSU Innovation Celebration highlighted groundbreaking technology from labs and startup companies from across Michigan State University during ceremonies April 18 in the Huntington Club in Spartan Stadium.

Advanced materials, the Internet of things, new therapies for fighting antibiotics-resistant bacteria, and many more technologies were showcased, along with new startup companies.Family members help University Distinguished Professor Lawrence Drzal celebrate his 2018 MSU Technology Transfer Achievement Award. 

Two from the College of Engineering received top honors:

• Lawrence T. Drzal, University Distinguished Professor in chemical engineering and materials science, was presented the 2018 MSU Technology Transfer Achievement Award. His accomplishments include nearly 100 inventions, more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, 35 patents and 16 technologies licensed to industry. Applications for his expertise range from automotive and construction industries to fuel cells, batteries and electronics. 

• The MSU Innovation of the Year Award was presented to Donald Morelli, chair and professor of chemical engineering and materials science, for his work in thermoelectric technology. His work in thermoelectric materials converts waste heat sources into electricity. "In our search for efficient, abundant, and nontoxic thermoelectric materials, we were led to the tetrahedrites, a family of compounds of commonly occurring elements,” he said. "The fact that they are naturally-occurring minerals is an added bonus.”

See the full list of faculty and student startups.

Read more on the 2018 ceremony.

Each year, the MSU Innovation Center recognizes the MSU Innovator of the Year, Innovation of the Year, Corporate Connector of the Year, and an award for lifetime Technology Transfer Achievement. Award winners are commended for their perseverance and creativity and are presented with plaques and a cash prize.

"Bringing a totally new product or service to the marketplace is a long process that requires hard work, dedication and immense creativity. It is our responsibility to ensure that the innovations being created by MSU faculty and students make their way into practice in the World," said Charles Hasemann, assistant vice president for Innovation & Economic Development at MSU and MSU Innovation Center executive director. "The Innovation Center is here to provide resources that lower the barriers for MSU faculty and students to move their work along the path from nascent innovation to a ready-for-market product.”

Donald Morelli is presented the 2018 MSU Innovation of the Year Award.The MSU Innovation Center combines innovation, technology transfer, start-up support, and a portfolio of dedicated business and community partnerships to bring cutting-edge ideas to the marketplace. Composed of Business-CONNECT, MSU Technologies and Spartan Innovations, the MSU Innovation Center stewards ideas from concept to product, launching more than 160 discoveries into patented products and start-up businesses annually. Learn more at


Story courtesy of MSU Innovation Center.