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‘Elite of the elite’ receive awards for numerous patents and inventions

Posted May 31, 2011
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By NAWCAD Public Affairs

Pax River chemists Geoff Eldridge and Thomas Jalinsk created a low-cost way to detect biodiesel in fuel, which will help the Navy reduce costly engine overhauls.

Eldridge and Jalinsk are two of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) scientists and engineers who received 107 awards in recognition of their inventions at a ceremony May 17.

Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, NAWCAD commander, praised all the inventors for their work.

“You are the elite of the elite,” he said. “It’s phenomenal, what is represented in this room.”

When inventions are made by Navy scientists and engineers the government files for patents to protect the technology and establish ownership. Those patents pay dividends for the inventor and the Navy. Eldridge and Jalinsk’s invention will pay dividends for the Navy in the form of cost savings.

The invention works like a slightly more complicated pool-test kit, Eldridge said.

“The user receives chemicals in packets and hand warmers. Following the directions, they mix the chemicals with the fuel and heat using the hand warmer,” he said. “A ‘developer’ is added and if biodiesel is present the fuel will turn purple in color. The chemicals required are very inexpensive, so we can produce dozens of test kits for less than the cost of one biodiesel detecting instrument.”

This is important to ship operators because fatty-acid methyl ester biodiesel can defeat the separators used to strip water from fuel, and it increases the probability of microbial growth issues aboard ships. Commercial users may wish to avoid biodiesel because of its solvent properties, which can lead to fuel filter clogs and potential engine overhauls.

In Mahr’s blog of May 18, he wrote that NAWCAD holds 57 active patents and has 137 more pending at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“Over the last decade, royalties on licenses using these patents brought in over $1.5 million to the command,” he said. Of that amount, $689,000 was paid to the individual inventors.

One award was for a composition and process for removing and preventing mold, mildew and fungal growth. Another was for a mechanism that enables rapid release and access to contents stored at inconveniently located garment or storage receptacles.

NAWCAD Vice Commander Capt. David Gleisner said the patents promote technology and are a source of revenue for the Navy and the inventor. The patents also ensure the Navy retains ownership of technology with military applications and does not have to pay an outside vendor for technology developed by the government.

Gleiser said NAWAD has six new record and disclosure of inventions in review with the Warfare Center Invention Evaluation Board, 15 signed patent license agreements with outside vendors and two new patent license agreements in negotiations.

“The contributions made by our inventors are quite significant,” Gleisner said. Each inventor receives $200 after filing a patent application and then additional awards of $500 for a sole inventor and $250 for multiple inventors. If the patent application or patent is licensed, inventors receive $2,000 each calendar year and split 20 percent of the royalties thereafter each year. The remaining money is distributed to the activity or lab where the invention was developed or used to further NAWWCAD’s research of technology transfer program. The maximum an inventor can receive per year is $150,000.

Those receiving awards for pending patents in addition to Eldridge and Jalinsk were Alan Laux, Alexis Cenko, Allen Landers, Angela Sample, Bill Nickerson, Bryan Vandrovec, Carla W. Mattingly, Craig Matzdorf, Craig Price, Curt Foianini, Dan Alberts, Daniel Allford, David G. Jones, David J. Kayser, David Pedersen, Donald Mielcarek, Donald Statter, Donato Russo, Douglas Mousseau, El Sayed Arafat, Francesco “Frank” A. Narducci, Jon P. Davis, Edward Lipnickas, Edwin Sieveka, Eric Hallberg, Gary Bradley, Gary R. Humphrey, George A. Gmytrasiewicz, Glenn Paskoff, Gregory K. Askew, Ingi Ford, Jackie B. Pratt. James C. Withers, Jason Smith, Jonathan Kaufman, Joseph Wolfe, Kevin Smith, Leon Rhodes, Linda J. Mullen, Mark E. Silbert, Mark Long, Mark Phippen, Mark W. Beranek, Matthew Stepura, Melvyn L. Berg, Michael Clarke, Michael J. Hackert, Michelle B. Warren, Nathan Mielcarek, Neal Prescott, Pavlo Molchanov, Raouf Loutfy, Ravikant Barot, Richard Billmers, Robert E. Taylor, Robert Jacob, Robert Riser, Rodney Pursell, Roger Storm, Ronald Abler, Ronald Buratti, Shu-Chiang Lei, Stan Zanis, Stephen M. Coleman, Thomas D. Hesbach, Thomas E. Anderson, Todd Anderson, Tom Butler, Vincent M. Contarino, Walter P. Gatewood, Jr., William “Bill” Reason, and William H. Godiksen.

Award recipients who already received patents were El Sayed Arafat, David Gauntt, Craig Matzdorf, Paul Roser, Stephen M. Spadafora, James Whitfield, Vincent M.Contarino, Pavlo Molchanov, Mark W. Beranek, Michael J. Hackert, Judy Butler-Kowalik, Kenneth Clark, David Gauntt, Craig Matzdor, Bill Nickerson, Curt Foianini, Glenn Paskoff, Edwin Sieveka, Craig Matzdorf, James Whitfield, Ravikant Barot, Stephen M. Coleman, Jonathan Kaufman, Allen Landers, Mark Long, Robert Riser, Matthew Stepura and Mark W. Beranek.