TEES technology wins R&D 100 award

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, August 20, 2002 — R&D (Research and Development) Magazine has given one of its prestigious R&D 100 awards to the creators of the NXVCT Optical Voltage and Current Sensor, technology that stemmed in part from innovations at the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) conceived by Dr. James N. Blake.

Blake, formerly of the TEES Electrical Engineering Division, developed a fiber optic current-measuring sensor for electric power lines, which could become the industry standard. Blake now oversees research and development for the Phoenix research facility of NxtPhase, which licensed the technology from The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS).

“This outstanding recognition of the technical and commercial value of TEES’ research also validates the technology transfer process embodied in the Technology Licensing Office (TLO),” said Terry Young, executive director of the TLO and assistant vice chancellor for technology transfer for TAMUS. “This is exciting news.”

The TLO helps move TAMUS inventions from the laboratory to commercial application.

The licensing agreement between TEES and NxtPhase was one of the largest in TEES history and enabled the Canadian firm to raise more than $6.1 million in investment financing to commercialize electric power sensor products.

The NXVCT’s key customer benefit is its ability to measure current and voltage with higher accuracy over a greater dynamic range in a single column. Because it is based on fiber optics, it is also smaller, lighter, safer and more environmentally friendly than traditional oil-filled equipment.

Now in its 40th year, the R&D 100 awards program honors significant commercial promise in products, materials or processes developed by the international research and development community. Past winners include such breakthrough products as the halogen lamp, antilock brakes and the liquid crystal display.

As the state’s engineering research agency, the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) is engineering a brighter future for Texans. TEES is a member of The Texas A&M University System.

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