NUtech Ventures 2021 Emerging Innovator of the Year: Eric Markvicka
The Emerging Innovator of the Year award went to Eric Markvicka, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering. The award recognizes an individual, often a junior faculty member, for recent innovation contributions.
Marckvicka’s research focuses on the intersection of computer and material science, to transform how materials interact with the human body and the external environment. His systems have applications for wearable biosensors, soft robotics and multifunctional materials.
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[00:00:06.192]- My name's Eric Markvicka,
[00:00:07.090]I'm an assistant professor in the
[00:00:08.090]Department of Mechanical
& Materials Engineering,
[00:00:10.261]and I direct the Smart Materials
and Robotics Laboratory.
[00:00:13.390]My work focuses on creating new types of
[00:00:15.470]soft multifunctional materials
[00:00:17.392]to increase their functional properties
[00:00:19.880]including electrical, thermal,
and mechanical response.
[00:00:23.140]These materials have
applications in soft robotics
[00:00:25.300]and also wearable electronics.
[00:00:27.120]Some of the major
breakthroughs that we've had,
[00:00:29.370]and some of the materials we're working on
[00:00:31.100]is looking at introducing new types
[00:00:33.360]of liquid metal structures
within rubber composites.
[00:00:37.120]With this, we've been able
to re-engineer these droplets
[00:00:40.110]by creating different types of mixtures
[00:00:42.563]that are lightweight, but
highly thermally conductive.
[00:00:45.830]These combinations of unique properties
[00:00:48.740]are increasingly important
[00:00:50.290]for large area weight
[00:00:53.443]They are worn on the body for
on-body thermal management
[00:00:56.560]or aerospace thermal
management type applications.
[00:00:59.590]With collaborators from Virginia Tech,
[00:01:01.500]we've been able to develop
new manufacturing processing,
[00:01:05.040]using 3D printing to be
able to control the shape
[00:01:09.230]and also orientation of
these liquid phase fillers
[00:01:11.960]within elastomer composites
throughout a manufactured part.
[00:01:16.520]This allows us to then actively control
[00:01:19.920]the thermal conductivity
[00:01:23.410]and also the mechanical
response of these materials.
[00:01:26.860]Nutech has been a great partner
[00:01:28.260]throughout all of our
[00:01:31.070]that we've had out of the lab.
[00:01:32.960]They have helped us with
surveying other patents out there
[00:01:37.090]and doing literature searches,
[00:01:38.710]and really understanding
how our technology
[00:01:40.860]fits within the current patent landscape.
[00:01:44.850]I'd like to give a huge
shout out and thanks
[00:01:46.730]to all the students that
contributed to these projects
[00:01:49.390]and all of our collaborators
from UNL, UNO, UMC,
[00:01:53.331]Texas A&M and also Virginia Tech
[00:01:56.370]that helped contribute
to these disclosures.
[00:01:58.820]I'd like to give a large
thanks to Nutech Ventures
[00:02:01.700]for their help in producing
these patent disclosures.
[00:02:05.360]A large shout out to Zane
[00:02:07.200]who handled a lot of
disclosures from our lab.
[00:02:09.850]And I'd like to also thank
Nutech Venture for this award.
[00:02:13.910]Through some of our work,
[00:02:14.830]we envision a future
where we're able to wear
[00:02:17.380]wearable electronics that can
be placed anywhere on our body
[00:02:20.220]that are soft and conformable,
in some sense, invisible
[00:02:23.700]that are able to track
our physiological signals,
[00:02:27.880]our health, and also
activity with high fidelity.
[00:02:31.950]Bill Gates, 60 years ago approximately,
[00:02:33.922]hypothesized that robots would
be in everyone's home today.
[00:02:38.270]But that's not the case.
[00:02:39.560]In some sense, it is through
robotic vacuums and such,
[00:02:42.730]but it's not the vision he once provided.
[00:02:45.810]And so we're looking at
re-engineering these materials
[00:02:48.370]to allow them to intimately
and safely interact
[00:02:51.230]in the world around us
[00:02:52.400]and the humans that live within it.
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