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2017 Innovator Awards go to faculty, undergrad and doctoral student

2017 Innovator Awards go to faculty, undergrad and doctoral student

October 04
23:52 2017

UNT’s Department of Research and Innovation announced three winners for the annual 2017 Innovator Award in August. The winners included faculty member Narendra Dahotre, graduate student Roberto Aguilar Ayala and undergraduate student Ryan Girardot.

This is the second year UNT has participated in recognizing members of the university. The recognition is awarded for finding creative innovations, which can help the economic or technological issues in today’s society. The award also offers incentives which include cash rewards and scholarships.

UNT President Neal Smatresk encouraged the innovator award in a press release from the university.

“Our university is working to expand its multi-disciplinary research and offer faculty and students opportunities for them to bring innovation to light,” Smatresk stated in the release.

Dahotre is an interim associate vice president for research and innovation, as well as a university distinguished research professor of engineering. His innovation of laser technology called “Laser-Assisted Machining of Hard Tissues and Bone” would allow surgeons to use the laser to abate bones instead of orthopedic surgery tools.

The use of laser instead of “carpentry” tools — as Dahotre describes them — will reduce complications after surgery, be less painful for the patient and speed up the recovery time.

“Laser is a very modern tool, which can help do this and help to build upon that understanding,” Dahotre said. “That has led me to various applications.”

Dahotre has been working with laser material interaction for the last 30 years. His laser research and development took 10 years.

Girardot is a marketing senior, as well as the CEO and co-founder of Player’s Revolution Sports. His app EPLAY allows basketball players of all leagues, ages and skill level to record their performance statistically.

At 13 years old, Girardot ran an adult basketball league in his driveway in Forney, Texas. After high school, he decided to convert his passion for basketball into a sports business, which immediately found success from the beginning. The EPLAY app gained more than 1,500 users in Dallas and Fort Worth in the first two weeks of its launch in app stores.

Girardot won the innovator award for a feature on the app called the E-Score, which allows each player to build a digital profile of their basketball performance.

”The big idea is to digitize the sports lives of every basketball player and records those stats,” Girardot said. “E-Score’s skill-assessing algorithm then takes those stats and weighs them against other players in the system and competitively cross-matches you.”

The third winner of the 2017 innovator award is Aguilar Ayalaa, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry and biochemistry. According to the Office of Research and Innovation, Aguilar Ayala is innovating how UNT graduate students approach their academic studies and how their research can be used in the industry through technology transfer. His creative innovative research approach allows for commercial engineering to create a viable product for clinical, research and forensic practitioners.

Aguilar Ayala was unavailable for comment.

“Our faculty discoveries help move science and society forward and allow the university to play an even more significant role in economic development for our region and state,” Smatresk stated in the release.

Featured Image: (Left to right) Narendra Dahotre, Roberto Aguilar Ayala and Ryan Girardo are the winners of the 2017 UNT Innovator Award. This is the second year the Office of Research and Innovation has recognized faculty and students for finding creative solutions to today’s most pressing issues. Courtesy

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