Inventions and Patents Put FSU on the Map

Fayetteville State University (FSU) has a national reputation for its teacher education programs. If three FSU professors have their way, the university soon will be known also for its inventions and patents.

Drs. Daryush Ila, Shirley Chao, and Carla Padilla have devised three inventions that will have an impact on technology, health and industry worldwide.

Ila, associate vice chancellor for research and technology transfer, has developed a way to channel body heat and turn it into power. The process starts with a thin piece of plastic film that amplifies thermoelectricty. "Whatever is your heating device, just a small amount of it, you cover it with this thermoelectric and you produce more electricity than you need," he said.

Ila has two patents on the product, which modifies quantum dots - or Nano crystals - into a new material that produces the power. The device he's developing would fit on the back of a cellphone, allowing users to charge their devices while holding them.

Ila and others at FSU are working in a prototyping lab on the next steps, hoping to bring the product to market within the next 10 months.

"Hopefully by summer we can open up and everybody comes in," Ila said. "We can make prototypes of devices for people to come in and buy."

A team of young entrepreneurs from FSU developed a business plan for the thermoelectric device and captured first place in the annual Opportunity Funding Corporation's Venture Challenge in Atlanta, Ga.

Watch the interview with WRAL News.