Sponsoring the Electro-Thermal Bioinstrumentation LaboratoryThe
Electro-Thermal Bioinstrumentation Laboratory, which is directed by Prof. Jonathan Valvano, relies
heavily on sponsorship from industry. Industry is key in identifying critical
design problems in reducing development cycles, improving product quality, and
lowering cost. Through this exposure, students can strengthen and find practical
applications for their research. Industry benefits by having access to students
who are intimately familiar with the problems they are trying to solve and the
technologies they are using to do it. Areas of expertise developed within the
Electro-Thermal Bioinstrumentation Laboratory include
- Embedded Systems with mixed analog and digital circuits
- Low-power and
miniature circuit design including PCB fabrication
- Development and
integration of real-time operating systems into embedded systems
- Low noise data acquisition with real-time digital signal processing
- Cosimulation of software, digital signals, analog circuits, and
- FEM simulation of electric and thermal fields
Expertise in the the following applications:
- Medical instrumentation including IRB studies
- Consumer devices, and
- Autonomous robots
Two levels of industrial sponsorship are common:
- Unrestricted gift
- Contract research
Unrestricted GiftFor an "unrestricted gift," The University waives
overhead charges so that the entire contribution goes to supporting the faculty
member's research. Thus, none of it would pay for administrative expenses,
building maintenance, or utility costs. Checks are made out to "The University
of Texas". Accompanying the check should be a cover letter that reads:
- [Company Name] is pleased to give an unrestricted gift of $xx,xxx to
support the research of Prof. Jonathan W. Valvano in the Department of Electrical
and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in Austin,
Texas. There is no restriction on the use of these funds.
The cost of supporting a student for 9 months is $30,000 on a
no-strings-attached gift. This cost includes salary, tuition and fees, and
associated research costs (travel, equipment, publication, and so forth). A detailed
breakdown of these costs is available. Gift funding may be tax deductible.
Contracted ResearchFor a contract, the terms of a contract must comply
with guidelines of The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas
System, and The State of Texas. This compliance can take up several months to
negotiate, and it is possible that the two sides never reach terms. The cost for
contract research (including overhead) for two half-time graduate research
assistants plus one month of faculty salary and fringe benefits, plus university
overhead, is roughly $110,000 per year. When contracted research is funded at a
rate of $100,000 or more per year, the funding company automatically receives
from The University the right to a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to any
technology developed with the funding. A detailed breakdown of these costs is available. Contracted research funding is not
BenefitsSponsorship entails the following specific benefits (note that
non-sponsors also get access to publications and most software, although they
may not be aware of the access as early as sponsors):
- Regular updates on the progress of projects
- Regular updates on publications from the group.
- Access to all software with the freedom to use, distribute, and modify, as
long as The University of Texas receives credit for the development and The
University of Texas is not held liable for defects in software.
- Informal support for the software. While we cannot commit to provide
support for everyone, we make every effort to respond quickly to problems that
sponsors may have with our software.
- Personal interaction. We will allocate more time to tell you in person
what we are doing and to listen to your suggestions about the directions in
which we should be going. In fact, we rely on this sort of guidance from our
sponsors to make sure our work remains relevant to industrial applications.
This guidance can have a strong effect on the direction that the students'
research will take.
- Short-term visitors to the campus are welcomed (stays from 1 day to 2
weeks can be arranged).
ContactThe primary contact for sponsorship issues is:
Prof. Jonathan W. Valvano, Dept. of ECE
1 University Station C0803
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712 USA
Voice: (512) 471-5141
Fax: (512) 471-5532
Office: ENS627, Lab 619
Last updated 1/21/2012. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.