"The Role of Nanotechnology and Bio-Instrumentation in New Firm Formation"
Brian Cunningham is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been a faculty member since 2004. His group focuses on the development of nanophotonic surfaces, plastic-based nanofabrication methods, and novel instrumentation approaches for biodetection with applications in pharmaceutical screening, life science research, environmental monitoring, disease diagnostics, and point-of-care patient testing. At Illinois, Prof. Cunningham serves as the Director of the Bioengineering Graduate Program and Director of the NSF Center for Agricultural, Biomedical, and Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology (CABPN). Prof. Cunningham was the founder and the Chief Technical Officer of SRU Biosystems (Woburn, MA), a life science tools company that provides high sensitivity plastic-based optical biosensors, instrumentation, and software to the pharmaceutical, academic research, genomics, and proteomics communities. Prof. Cunningham was recognized with the IEEE Sensors Council 2010 Technical Achievement Award for the invention, development, and commercialization of biosensors utilizing photonic crystals. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the AIMBE.
Prior to founding SRU Biosystems in June, 2000, Dr. Cunningham was the Manager of Biomedical Technology at Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, MA), where he directed R&D projects aimed at utilizing defense-related technical capabilities for medical applications. In addition, Dr. Cunningham served as Group Leader for MEMS Sensors at Draper Laboratory, where he directed a group performing applied research on microfabricated inertial sensors, acoustic sensors, optical switches, microfluidics, tissue engineering, and biosensors. Concurrently, he was an Associate Director of the Center for Innovative Minimally Invasive Therapy (CIMIT), a Boston-area medical technology consortium, where he led the Advanced Technology Team on Microsensors. Before working at Draper Laboratory, Dr. Cunningham spent 5 years at the Raytheon Electronic Systems Division developing advanced infrared imaging array technology for defense and commercial applications. Dr. Cunningham earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois. His thesis research was in the field of optoelectronics and compound semiconductor material science, where he contributed to the development of crystal growth techniques that are now widely used for manufacturing solid state lasers, and high frequency amplifiers for wireless communication.
Lectures in Engineering Entreprenership is a class that meets each Tuesday from 5-6:15 with guest lecturers from the industry sharing concepts of entrepreneurship. This is open to the public and free to attend.