Wayne State University Licenses Technology to New Start-Up, Detroit Materials, Inc.

Released: 2-Jun-2014 11:10 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Wayne State University Division of Research
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Newswise — DETROIT—The Office of the Vice President for Research at Wayne State University announced today the finalization of a license agreement with a new start-up company, Detroit Materials, Inc., for a Wayne State University patented portfolio of high-strength low-alloy steels and cast irons for demanding applications in the defense, off-highway, tooling and automotive industries.

Although there have been great advancements in the development of high-strength steel, there continues to be a need in various industries for structural components that are lighter and stronger, and have improved energy efficiencies, reduced emissions and pollution, increased safety and decreased production costs, particularly in the automotive industry.

A team of researchers led by Susil Putatunda, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering in Wayne State University’s College of Engineering, have been working to create advanced materials with high-yield strength, fracture toughness and ductility. Their efforts have led to the development of a portfolio of bainitic steels and austempered ductile irons exhibiting an excellent combination of mechanical currently only available in the form of highly alloyed and costly exotic steels.

Putatunda’s research was initially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (award number 0854962), and more recently received funding from the New Economy Initiative’s (NEI) Technology Development Incubator Program aimed at accelerating feasibility studies necessary for licensing, industry partnerships and start-up opportunities. The NEI funding opened the door to a license agreement, and the birth of Detroit Materials, Inc.

The company was founded by Pedro Guillen in his role as entrepreneur-in-residence for the Detroit Technology Exchange, with direct financial and administrative support from Detroit Innovate, a new venture fund based in southeast Michigan.

Guillen, Chief Executive Officer of Detroit Materials, specializes in corporate innovation strategy and new technology commercialization. He has over 15 years of product development and innovation experience in automotive, defense, off-highway and clean energy markets. He has led engineering teams developing proof of concept technologies and demonstrator vehicles for the Department of Defense, as well as founded two successful start-ups.

“I am excited about the launch of Detroit Materials and the many opportunities that this new company will have to advance industries utilizing high strength steel,” said Hilary Ratner, Ph.D., vice president for research at Wayne State University. “We have begun to reap the benefits of the changes that we’ve put in place in technology commercialization over the last several years, and the translation of Dr. Putatunda’s research into the marketplace is just one example of the great things happening at Wayne State University.”

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About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.

About Detroit Materials, Inc.
Detroit Materials, Inc. (DM) is an Advanced Materials Firm focused on the commercialization of ultra-high performance materials. DM has a patented portfolio of high-strength low-alloy structural steels and cast irons for demanding applications in the defense, off-highway, tooling, and automotive industries. Detroit Materials provides custom material grades to meet customer applications while offering full technical advice and support to ensure that all parts requiring resistance to abrasion, impact, corrosion or high yield strength are suitable for your application.

For more information about Detroit Materials, contact Pedro Guillen, at pjg@detroitmaterials.com or call at (248) 924-5436.


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