College of Engineering News Room

Three USF Engineering Faculty Members Recognized with Excellence in Innovation Awards

Of the five USF faculty members awarded with the university's latest Excellence in Innovation Awards, three are College of Engineering faculty members. The award recognizes faculty for being some of USF's top innovators by taking their inventions to market through new startups, commercializing new technology, publishing their work in notable research journals and securing competitive grants to fund their research projects.

Nominations for the award are reviewed by the USF chapter of the National Academy of Inventors, and this year's awards focus on achievements in innovation from January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Awardees will be recognized at a luncheon January 27 at Discovery Hall in USF Research Park, and this year's College of Engineering faculty presented with the Excellence in Innovation Award are:

(Descriptions taken from University Communications and Marketing award announcement)

Professor Daniel Yeh
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Daniel Yeh

Dr. Yeh is being recognized for his ongoing achievements in developing the NEWgenerator technology – which converts human waste to clean water, energy and nutrients that can be used in sustainable food production. Tested in both India and South Africa and showcased at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing, China, the NEWgenerator has received nearly $2 million in funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the project has produced a series of new patents during the nomination period. The technology, which has received worldwide news coverage including a segment on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, has been licensed to a commercial partner in India for production in that country and is the subject of other licensing negotiations worldwide.

Distinguished University Professor Dmitry Goldgof
Department of Computer Science and Engineering 

Dmitry Goldgof

Dr. Goldgof’s was nominated in recognition of his prolific record as an inventor, which included four patents issued during the 18-months in the award period, three patent applications and two technologies licensed for further research and development. Dr. Goldgof is internationally known in the field of computer science and engineering as it applies to biomedical image analysis and its applications in improving the diagnoses of cancer, brain disorders and other medical conditions. In addition to his inventions, Dr. Goldgof was lauded for advancing his projects through successful winning federal grants and continuing to excel in basic research in his field, with 14 articles and dozens of conference papers accepted and published in leading journals during the nomination period.

Professor Venkat R. Bhethanabotla
Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering

Venkat Bhethanabotla

Dr. Bhethanabotla is recognized for his achievements in inventing, patenting and licensing biological and chemical sensor systems for use in a number of fields from health care to computing devices.  His research efforts recently resulted in two new patents, seven patent applications and three option-to-license agreements with three separate companies. Dr. Bhenthanabotla is the founder and co-founder of several startup companies that have been awarded additional financial support through both USF and federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation. One of those companies, Path Optical Systems, was a finalist last year for the Cade Museum Prize – one of Florida’s top recognitions for new innovations – for its small and affordable fiber optics techonology that transport information at the speed of light.