Plenary Talks

Date & Time: Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 10:10 AM – 12:00 PM


Commercializing NASA Patented Inventions



Did you know NASA has invented over a 1000 technologies with potential uses in a wide array of commercial applications? And NASA will invent - on average - about 200 more each year? These inventions represent commercial technology breakthroughs that can be developed into a whole host of potentially disruptive products. Development that can be done – and has been done – by academia*, industry and public-private partnerships to deliver new products to market in a broad range of commercial applications. Applications ranging from aeronautics to health-medicine-biotech, commercial space, environmental, information technology, manufacturing, energy, robotics, and more. These technology advancements are novel and unique within these commercial areas, and thus, all are patented or patent-pending. That means NASA can grant you exclusive rights to commercialize its patented technologies giving you one of the strongest competitive positions in the marketplace (royalties and fees associated with exclusive rights are negotiable). NASA is required by law to make its patented inventions available to the U.S. public through NASA's Technology Transfer Program. Why? To aid the U.S. in its effort to technologically innovate, disrupt markets, gain competitive advantage and create business revenue. Many companies, entrepreneurs, and university faculty/students* have already done so…

Hundreds of new products and services created from NASA patented inventions have been developed and launched in the global marketplace since NASA was founded. NASA refers to these as NASA Spinoffs and they have collectively generated billions in revenue for U.S. companies and entrepreneurs over the last decade. You can learn more about the Spinoffs already created by the U.S. public by visiting: More importantly, visit for brief descriptions of the patented inventions available now and their commercial uses.

* NASA innovations are developed for its mission to explore space. NASA inventions that are commercial advancements typically require further development and testing for those applications. Thus, many universities obtain rights (typically with no cost) to develop these breakthroughs for industry or public sector partners, or to validate the technologies for industry investment in commercialization.



G. Michael LesterG. Michael Lester is the Technology Transfer Partnership Manager for the NASA Kennedy Space Center Technology Transfer Office. In this capacity, he promotes U.S. private sector commercialization of NASA's patented inventions to aid in creating wealth, employment, and competitive advantage. Michael began his career as an engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force. Early in his career, he transferred to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to work within the military space programs. He held progressively higher leadership positions during his tenure both as an officer and as a DoD civilian employee. During this time, he developed broad expertise in space-related program and project management, as well as launch base strategy and business development. Mid-career, Michael left government service for the private sector acting as a consultant to the DoD and NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Michael was then offered an opportunity to re-enter public service as a manager for NASA, where he held several leadership positions at the Kennedy Space Center focused on strategic planning for NASA space programs. In 2012, Michael accepted his current position within the NASA Technology Transfer Program. As such, he is committed to ensuring U.S. business takes full advantage of the many NASA inventions for space that are also breakthroughs in commercial applications.


Beyond the Charging Pad: Exploring Large Area, 3-Dimensional Wireless Charging



Wireless power offers the promise of seamlessly charging our electronic devices as easily as data is transmitted through the air. However, existing solutions are limited to near contact distances or low delivered power levels and thus, do not provide the geometric freedom and ease of use the term "wireless" suggests. This talk presents an overview of several near-field wireless power transfer systems that explore ways to break the 2D charging pad model to create full 3-Dimensional charging solutions that can safely deliver large amounts of power over significant distances. Examples include early work on the use of magnetically coupled resonance to achieve near constant efficiency as a function of distance and orientation and its application in consumer electronics and medical implants. Work on the use of resonant cavity modes to control magnetic field distribution, in order to provide uniform wireless charging in large chambers. As well as more recent research that introduced Quasi-Static Cavity Resonance (QSCR) as a means of enabling large purpose-built structures to generate near-field standing waves that safely deliver kilowatts of power to mobile receivers contained nearly anywhere within. Experimental demonstrations show that our 256 square foot, QSCR enabled room offers a unique charging experience where user's devices can be powered simply by entering the room. This talk will also include perspectives and lessons learned from a decade's worth of experience conducting research on wireless power and related topics in industry labs.



Alanson SampleAlanson Sample joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan in September of 2018 as an Associate Professor. His research interests lie broadly in the areas of Ubiquitous Computing, Cyber-Physical Systems, and wireless technology. He has spent the majority of his career working in academic minded industry research labs. Most recently he was the Executive Lab Director of Disney Research in Los Angeles where he led researchers in creating new guest experiences through innovations in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, and Human-Computer Interaction. Prior to Disney, he was a Research Scientist at Intel Labs in Hillsboro working on energy harvesting for wearable and Internet of Things applications. He also held a postdoctoral research position in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. There, he worked with medical doctors from the Yale School of Medicine to develop wirelessly powered and fully implantable heart pumps. Alanson received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2011 from the University of Washington. Throughout his graduate studies, he worked full-time at Intel Research Seattle on projects related to wireless power delivery, energy harvesting, RFID, as well as ubiquitous sensing and computing.