April 5, 2011

BATON ROUGE—Enervana Technologies L.L.C., a technology-based start-up company, built on a decade of research at the LSU College of Engineering’s Mechanical Engineering  Department (ME), and a tenant of the business incubator at LSU’s Louisiana Business & Technology Center (LBTC), has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award in the amount of $499,380. This award is for the development and commercialization of metal-based microchannel heat exchanger systems.

Enervana is currently developing a high-efficiency, low-footprint, and cost-effective heat exchanger system for cooling of next-generation micro-electronic and power-electronic modules.  This product has the potential to revolutionize the heat exchanger market for electronic devices.  It is a self-contained, recirculating liquid based cooling system to mitigate the heat signatures of microchips and processors. Inexpensive and effective liquid-based cooling systems are of intense current interest because, at present, a major limiting factor in processor speed is overheating of the chips. Enervana envisions a day when every home computer could contain an Enervana cooling system.

“The Phase II grant offers Enervana an opportunity to further develop the technology invented at LSU ME to the point of being commercialization ready,” said Dick Juneau, business manager, CFO of Enervana and ME alumnus. “We look to be able to offer, through the SBIR Phase II project, an example of how fundamental research, technological innovation, and focused development can bring positive economic impact and how LSU can serve as an engine for economic development in the state.”

Since its inception in 2008, Enervana has strived to become a market leader, both nationally and internationally, for metal-based microscale devices and systems through cutting-edge technology and sound business practices. The company is based on the commercialization of Intellectual Property created in the research group of Professor Wen Jin Meng in LSU ME. The company’s vice president, Dr. Glenn B. Sinclair, is also a professor of LSU ME; and its principal engineer, Dr. Fanghua Mei, is an LSU ME alumnus.

“This award fits purposely with strategy four of our strategic plan, in that the College will partner with outside entities to be more entrepreneurial and supply opportunities for faculty and students to start new companies,” said Rick Koubek, dean, LSU College of Engineering. “I applaud Dr. Meng and Enervana for their award and innovation. Our strategic initiative to encourage collaboration is strengthened by the College’s relationship with LBTC.

Dr. Thomas Klei, vice chancellor, Research and Economic Development said “Enervana is an example of the positive impact our research faculty can have on the economy of Baton Rouge and the State.  The active role of the Louisiana Business & Technology Center in this project further demonstrates that LSU is serious about accelerating the commercialization of faculty research. We are excited about the development of our intellectual property and looking forward to seeing more successes in the future.”

According to LBTC Executive Director Charles D’Agostino, the LBTC provided Enervana a $2,500 Phase Zero Award to write its proposal to the NSF. The company, he says, will use the NSF funding to develop a compact, metal-based, recirculating liquid cooling system for electronic devices. These metal-based heat exchangers have potential advantages over Si-based devices in terms of thermal performance and mechanical robustness.

LSU’s College of Engineering, through its five-year strategic plan, works to be an example of how higher education can partner with industry to promote economic growth and create a better environment for the future. For more information about the College of Engineering, visit www.eng.lsu.edu or call 225-578-5731.

The Louisiana Business & Technology Center endeavors to enhance economic development in Louisiana through the support of existing small businesses and the development of new businesses.  Established in 1988, the LBTC’s highly successful business incubator program has been honored as the National Business Incubator Association’s Incubator of the Year in 2005. For more information, visit www.bus.lsu.edu/lbtc or call 225-578-7555.


 Article by Mimi  Lavalle , LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu

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