The University of Arizona

UA Innovation Day to Celebrate Tech Development

By Jessa B. Turner, Office of University Research Parks | February 21, 2012

The March 6 event will feature sessions, awards, a luncheon, a special video and a showcase.

Innovation Day at the UA will be held March 6 in the Student Union Memorial Center.
Innovation Day at the UA will be held March 6 in the Student Union Memorial Center.

The University of Arizona will host its ninth-annual Innovation Day at the UA on March 6. The event will celebrate the UA's success in technology development and innovation by highlighting the research achievements of students and faculty and staff members.

Innovation Day will open with "UA at the Leading Edge," a session that will showcase the cutting-edge research of leading UA faculty members. The session will take place in the Kiva Room at the Student Union Memorial Center from 9:30-11:30 a.m. It will be chaired by Len Jessup, dean of the Eller College of Management.

This year's Leading Edge researchers have demonstrated excellence in the areas of technology and innovation.

  • Eric A. Betterton focuses on atmospheric and environmental chemistry exploring an atmospheric model to forecast wind-blown dust from natural and man-made sources. This research supports the development of dust forecasting technology for health and traffic advisories.
  • Leslie Gunatilaka explores novel compounds synthesized by exotic plants from the arid zones of Asia, South America and the Sonoran desert and evaluates these compounds for medicinal value.
  • Larry Head specializes in systems and industrial engineering. His research on priority-based traffic signals is working to save the lives of fire and rescue first responders.
  • Sharon Megdal concentrates on state and regional water resources management and policy. Her work on environmental water needs, aquifer recharge and assessment, and planning to meet future water needs of growing, semi-arid regions contributes to improved development and understanding of state water management strategies.
  • James T. Schwiegerling is developing a design for an accommodating intraocular lens, which behaves just like the flexible human lens in the eye, which can be used as a replacement in cataract surgery.

The celebration of UA innovation will continue with the Technology Innovation Awards Luncheon, which honors an outstanding faculty member and student for their achievements in translating original ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace. 

A special video titled, "Thinking the Impossible," will premier during the luncheon and will highlight how the UA has been a global leader in scientific and technological innovation for more than 100 years.

Following the luncheon, the Innovation Showcase will provide an opportunity for participants to interact with UA departments, start-up companies from the Arizona Center for Innovation, as well as get an early glimpse at the business plans of students from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.

All activities are open to the public. The event fee is $30; a discount for UA faculty and staff members and students is available. The registration deadline is Feb. 24.
Innovation Day is organized by the Office of University Research Parks and the Arizona Center for Innovation in partnership with the UA's senior vice president for research, UA External Relations, Office of Technology Transfer, and the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. 

Innovation Day's title sponsor is Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Other sponsors include Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Tech Council, BizTucson, Hecker and Muehlebach, PLLC., Strategy 1 and Tucson Electric Power.

Innovation Day is an official Arizona Centennial Event as well as a signature event of the Arizona SciTech Festival.  


Jessa B. Turner

Office of University Research Parks