October 2, 2007
Faculty entrepreneur honored for contributions to national securityWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
The award, sponsored by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, is being presented to Alok Chaturvedi, a professor of management at the Krannert School of Management, founder and former director of the Purdue Homeland Security Institute at Discovery Park and founder, president and CEO of Simulex Inc. at the Purdue Research Park.
Chaturvedi will speak about his research at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in Stewart Center, Room 218, and will receive a plaque and $5,000 stipend from Purdue President France A. Córdova. The lecture, sponsored by Purdue's Office of Engagement, is free and open to the public.
Chaturvedi also will be honored during the Inventors' Recognition Dinner at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms. The event, sponsored by the Purdue Research Foundation, will highlight the accomplishments of 32 university faculty or staff whose research has or may soon result in commercial applications.
In the fiscal year from July 2006 to June 2007, Purdue Research Foundation reported 222 invention disclosures, compared with 216 the previous year, and 31 issued patents. The foundation also reported the creation of 15 new companies from Purdue-licensed technologies, compared to five the past fiscal year.
“The outstanding accomplishments of these university faculty or staff already have or will soon result in commercial applications to benefit society,” said Joseph B. Hornett, the foundation’s senior vice president, treasurer and chief operating officer. “Our Office of Technology Commercialization helps Purdue inventors protect, market and license their discoveries.
"Alok Chaturvedi is a perfect example of a Purdue faculty researcher who uses his knowledge and expertise to help governmental officials at the local, state and national levels prepare and respond quickly and appropriately to disasters."
Chaturvedi is being recognized for his role in the development of the Synthetic Environments for Analysis and Simulation (SEAS) technology, which seeks to explain how governments, companies, organizations and the public respond to certain situations, including terrorism. The technology's commercialization led to the formation in 1999 of Simulex Inc., which has 40 employees.
"Dr. Chaturvedi has made a major contribution to the economy of Indiana and the security of the entire country," said Jay T. Akridge, Purdue's interim vice provost for engagement. "His company has a bright future, with numerous new grants and pending contracts. His pioneering research should be fruitful for years to come."
SEAS resulted from more than a decade of research conducted at Purdue in association with the U.S. Department of Defense and Fortune 500 companies. Funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, Indiana State 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, Office of Naval Research, and other agencies, SEAS combines research from diverse disciplines such as physics, biology, artificial intelligence, computational neuro-science, economics, psychology, sociology, international relations and management science. The technology can run on any platform, including handheld devices or high-performance computers.
Innovations in SEAS have led to the creation of Sentient World Simulation, a continuously running model of the world. The technology also was recognized by the National Training and Simulation Association in 2005 as the best simulation for analysis.
Clients using the technology include Fortune 500 firms and government agencies. Exercises and programs conducted by the U.S. armed forces and Department of Homeland Security also are based on SEAS data.
In one model, Chaturvedi created a scenario in a virtual foreign country to test responses to a terrorist threat using weapons of mass destruction.
"Even though we call this 'war-gaming,' we're trying to understand how we can all work together to make the world a more peaceful place," Chaturvedi said. "We focus on political, social and economic aspects of other cultures in our exercises. As we realize our weaknesses and strengths when it comes to understanding the motives and reactions of these cultures, we put ourselves in a better position to achieve peace."
Besides national and homeland security, companies use the SEAS data to make market segments more profitable and determine the best time to introduce a new product or technology.
Simulex Inc. will move its primary location from the Purdue Technology Center to the new LakeView Technology Center. Both structures are located in the Purdue Research Park. Once the company moves into the new building, it will reorganize into two divisions - Simulex Government and Simulex Global. The firm also has offices in San Francisco, Atlanta and Norfolk, Va., as well as a subsidiary in India.
The Purdue Research Park encompasses 591 acres in West Lafayette, Ind., and is home to the largest university-affiliated business incubator complex in the nation. Within the park, 140 businesses, of which more than 90 are high-tech, employ more than 2,900 people. The Association of University Research Parks recognized Purdue Research Park for the Excellence in Technology Transfer in 2005, and the park received the organization's Research/Science Park Company of the Year Award of Excellence in 2004.
This is the fifth time Purdue has presented the Outstanding Commercialization Award. Previous recipients include Phillip Low, the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science; Leslie Geddes, the Showalter Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Bioengineering; and Fred Regnier, the John H. Law Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.
Writers: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, email@example.com
Sources: Alok Chaturvedi, (765) 494-9048, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Hornett, (765) 494-8645, email@example.com
Jay Akridge, (765) 494-9095, firstname.lastname@example.org
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; email@example.com
Note to Journalists: The media are invited to attend the lecture by Alok Chaturvedi (Ah-lok' Cha-ter-veh'-dee), which will take place at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in Stewart Center, Room 218. To reserve a seat, contact Marydell Forbes, Purdue News Service, at (765) 496-7704, firstname.lastname@example.org. To reserve a seat at the Inventor's Recognition Dinner, contact Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, email@example.com. Video footage of SEAS research for homeland security also is available by contacting Forbes.
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