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Indian behind Wright Varsity R&D hub

By George Joseph
November 29, 2006 19:12 IST
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The Wright State University College of Engineering and Computer Science recently unveiled its new Krishan and Vicky Joshi Research Centre, at an event attended by Ohio Governor Bob Taft, WSU president Kim Goldenberg.

Krishan K Joshi was one of the early immigrants who came to the United States in 1958. Like many immigrants who came over then, he did well in America, finally becoming founder and chairman of UES, Inc, a high-technology research and development company headquartered in Dayton.

His wife, Vicky, made the lead gift for research centre.  The centre is home to 'daytaOhio', part of Ohio's third frontier initiative to create jobs by expanding the state's high-tech research capabilities.

The opening of the $10 million Joshi research centre was followed by a workshop, "From research to reality,' which brought together top researchers and business, industry, and military leaders to foster the development and commercialisation of new technologies.

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Joshi and the university officials declined to reveal the actual amount of Joshi's contribution. "It was a substantial amount," a university spokesperson said.

"I believe in the importance of education and research. I helped substantially to set up three schools in my village in Punjab. I am also working to set up a college there," Joshi said.

"The nexus of a new frontier in innovation, the Joshi Research Centre will become the focal point for statewide research in advanced data management," Goldenberg said.

"This world-class centre will put Ohio at the forefront of advanced data management and analysis, and allow us to take the lead in a field that touches every aspect of our lives, from manufacturing and supply chain management to medicine, military and defense applications."

The Joshi Centre has top-flight labs, hotel space for visiting scholars and businesses, as well as offices and research space for the college's new LexisNexis eminent scholar and his team of researchers.

"The Joshi centre is more than just a research centre," said Bor Z Jang, dean of the WSU College of Engineering and Computer Science.

"The centre will bring together world-class researchers with entrepreneurs to commercialise new technologies. One spin-off company from the college is already set to be housed in the centre, the first of many such opportunities the Joshi Centre will make possible.'

The glass and steel structure has 50,000 square feet of high-tech, flexible lab and meeting space, high-speed cabling with Internet 2 capability, and space for new centres of excellence in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, furthering partnerships with the industry.

The centre's experimental classrooms will beta test new classroom technologies, allowing the college to train engineers and computer scientists with the innovation and entrepreneurial skills needed to grow the state's economy.

The centerpiece of the facility is the Appenzeller Visualization Laboratory, which will break new ground with its cutting-edge visualisation and presentation technology. This 3-D environment is expected to be one of the most advanced in the nation.

Powered by Barco, a world leader in display and visualisation solutions, the laboratory features a fully immersive 3-D environment allowing researchers to visualise and manipulate their research, from the microscopic functions of proteins to new designs for aircraft controls.

Featuring both 2-D and 3-D projection equipment, the lab will be fully interactive with the other research labs in the building, across the region and around the world.

"As the home of 'daytaOhio', the Joshi Centre brings together the market-driven demand of leading technology companies with the innovation of Ohio's top universities and the resources of non-profit and government organisations to harness and accelerate technology commercialisation, economic development, and create jobs in the Dayton region and throughout Ohio,' said Paul Cashen, president of 'daytaOhio'.

'daytaOhio', formerly the Wright Centre of Innovation in Data Management and Analysis, was created in 2003 by the state of Ohio. Wright is the lead institution in the $43 million project funded by $11 million from the state of Ohio with a $32 million match from industry and government.

Joshi, 70, graduated in mathematics from the Punjab University in 1957.  He came to the US the following year and graduated from Ohio State University in Aeronautical engineering in 1961.

Joshi worked as a research engineer at Technology, Inc., and subsequently with Systems Research Laboratories.  He received his PhD in mechanical engineering in 1975.

He has been an entrepreneur responsible for commercialising technology and spinning-off several companies in computer hardware and software. He was CEO and chairman of Paravant Inc, a communications, computers, and digital signal processing equipment company, which grew to a $65 million behemoth that he sold in 2002.

Other UES spin-offs include UES Software, Inc., a developer of a casting and metal forming simulation software for process design, and KI Shell, which developed workflow process management software.

His interests and experience involves power generation, advance coatings and surface modifications, material process simulations and high temperature alloys.

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George Joseph