Wayne State Licenses Advanced Materials Technology to Startup


tDetroit Materials Inc. — a startup founded by Pedro Guillen in his role as entrepreneur-in-residence for the Detroit Technology Exchange — has received the license to a Wayne State University-patented portfolio of high-strength, low-alloy steels and cast irons for application in the defense, off-highway, tooling, and automotive industries.

tThe portfolio was created by a team of researchers led by Susil Putatunda, a professor of chemical engineering at WSU, who sought to create advanced materials with high-yield strength, fracture toughness, and ductility.

t“I am excited about the launch of Detroit Materials and the many opportunities that this new company will have to advance industries utilizing high strength steel,” says Hilary Ratner, vice president for research at Wayne State University.

tAlthough there have been great advancements in the development of high-strength steel, there continues to be a need for structural components that are lighter and stronger, and have improved energy efficiencies, particularly in the automotive industry, Ratner says

tFunding from the New Economy Initiative’s Technology Development Incubator Program led to the license agreement and the creation of Detroit Materials, which has also received financial and administrative support from the Detroit Innovate venture fund.

t“We have begun to reap the benefits of the changes that we’ve put in place in technology commercialization over the last several years, and the translation of Dr. Putatunda’s research into the marketplace is just one example of the great things happening at Wayne State University,” Ratner says.

tM. Roy Wilson, who was named president of Wayne State last summer, says one of his goals is to increase the potential for commercial applications from R&D activities across the university’s network of campuses.