Innovation & impact

Market impact

The UW was named the number 1 most innovative public university in the U.S. by Reuters in 2018.

ME is a leading department at the UW for innovation, commercialization and industry collaboration.

lightening bolt  412
new patents filed
(23% of all COE patents)

group of people  31
instances of technology licensed by external companies
(22 unique companies)

network globe  14%
of all startups at the UW
(based on 86 startups/spinouts created in the last 5 years by UW technology according to CoMotion’s website. ME has 12 through CoMotion)

lightbulb  27
CoMotion Innovation Fund awards

Growing impact

Between 2012 and 2016, the number of patents filed by ME grew by 60 percent, while the number of patents filed by the College of Engineering overall stayed the same.

grown in patents files from 18 to 29 percent
Percent of patents in the College of Engineering filed by ME

Student contribution

ME students are highly involved in the activities provided by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, which include competitions in health and environmental innovation and courses that lead to minors and certificates in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship competitions

star 47 students have taken part in the Environmental Innovation Challenge, 11 on winning teams.

star 18 students have taken part in the Health Innovation Challenge, 10 on winning teams.

Notable student entrepreneurs

star Moghadam Babak, Ph.D. '14, pursued the Buerk Center's Entrepreneurship Certificate and co-founded the startup Phoresa, which won the 2015 Business Plan Competition grand prize.

star Ryan Ahearn, BSME '17, pursued the Foster School's Entrepreneurship Minor (managed by the Buerk Center) and co-founded JikoPower, which won the 2016 Business Plan Competition grand prize.

ME startups

Dozens of companies have formed as a result of ME research. ME ranks 3rd in all of the UW in terms of the number of faculty or student startups (after ECE and BioE). Below are a selection of recent startups that have emerged from the department.


graphAlchemai provides advanced data analytics for supply chain risk management.

Contact: Steve Brunton, ME Assistant Professor

LightSpeed Microscopy Inc.

microscopeLightSpeed Microscopy is developing 3-D microscopy technology to enable nondestructive slide-free pathology of clinical specimens for better disease treatment.

Contact: Jonathan Liu, ME Associate Professor

Olis Robotics

cogOlis Robotics (formerly known as BluHaptics) is a software company pioneering new technology for better control of augmented robotics.

Contact: Andy Stewart, ME Assistant Professor


flameJikoPower builds generators that convert heat into electricity for disaster preparedness, camping and low-resource communities.

Contact: Ryan Ahearn, BSME ’17

Marine Construction Technologies

fishMarine Construction Technologies has developed technology to reduce noise from pile driving and protect wildlife while improving the efficiency of marine construction projects.

Contact: Per Reinhall, ME Professor and Chair


anchorMarineSitu makes marine environmental monitoring instruments accessible to turbine developers and other renewable marine energy companies.

Contact: James Joslin, ME PhD ’15, UW Applied Physics Lab mechanical engineer

Micro Phone Lens

mobile phoneMicro Phone Lens turns cell phones and tablets into microscopes, make microscopy accessible and affordable.

Contact: Thomas Larson, BSME ’13


stethoscopePhoresa is developing an innovative test for infectious diseases to help doctors better diagnose and treat patients in a single visit.

Contact: Jonathan Posner, ME Professor


first aid kitSonoMotion is harnessing the power of ultrasound technology to develop non-invasive solutions for kidney stone disease.

Contact: Michael Bailey, ME Associate Professor

Stasys Medical Corporation

syringeStasys Medical Corporation is commercializing a device to quickly assess platelet dysfunction in trauma patients, helping emergency physicians save lives.

Contact: Nathan Sniadecki, ME Associate Professor and Associate Chair


heart pulseVerAvanti is developing a laser-based medical camera to help cardiologists better diagnose and treat individuals who are at risk for stroke and/or heart attacks.

Contact: Eric Seibel, ME Research Professor


football helmetVICIS has developed a helmet designed to mitigate impact forces in NFL, college and youth football.

Contact: Per Reinhall, ME Professor and Chair


beakerVisiongate is a clinical stage pharmaceutical and diagnostics company developing products for the early detection and treatment of lung cancer and lung dysplasia.

Contact: Eric Seibel, ME Research Professor

Data courtesy of UW CoMotion and Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.