- Number 305 |
- February 15, 2010
Postdoc fellow aims to create marketable products based on own research
Bart Raeymaekers, the Lab’s first
Entrepreneurial Postdoctoral Fellow,
researches ultrasonic sensor technology
with an eye toward energy and
Photo by LeRoy N. Sanchez
Often there’s a gap between research conducted at DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and what is needed to turn that research into useful technology. Bart Raeymaekers’ job is to fill that gap, according to Dipen Sinha, Acoustics and Sensors team leader and Raeymaekers’ supervisor.
As Los Alamos' first Entrepreneurial Postdoctoral Fellow, Raeymaekers is on a two-year appointment that integrates postdoctoral research with commercialization endeavors. The LANL Technology Transfer-designed program aims to respond to a trend among students in graduate programs in science to look beyond the conventional career tracks for science doctorates.
“As EP Fellow, Bart can show us that there is a pathway to turning good research into either a product or useful technology that can benefit society,” said Sinha. “He has already identified a couple of projects that can lead to some very interesting biomedical diagnostic instruments, although those projects are meant for completely different applications.”
Raeymaekers, who holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California at San Diego and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came to the United States in 2004 on a fellowship from the Belgian American Educational Foundation. While in business school, he acquired operational experience at a Web 2.0 start-up dealing with online video search and cofounded a start-up that provided quantitative trade-optimization services to institutional investors.
“The combination of a PhD in engineering and an MBA provides me with the educational background to do innovative research, as well as commercialize technology,” Raeymaekers said. “In addition, it allows me to look at a business idea from both a technical and a commercial angle.”
On the job since October, Raeymaekers has come up with new ideas that combine what he’s learned at the Lab with his previous thesis research. “One idea, if it pans out, can have a significant impact on magnetic recording technology,” Sinha said.
A former semiprofessional cyclist with 13 peer-reviewed journal papers to his name, Raeymaekers hopes that his research at Los Alamos results in innovations that eventually reach commercialization and generate a revenue stream. “I also want to learn about licensing and intellectual property strategy,” he said. “My goal is to do a start-up company, hopefully with technology that is a result of the research I performed.”— Mig Owens
Submitted by DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory