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Anti counterfeiting product wins Entrepreneur's Award

Dr Matthew Murray from the University of Leeds has won the RAEng ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs' Award, which looks to identify, encourage and reward engineers working with electrotechnology in UK universities. Through the RAEng's Enterprise Hub, Dr Murray will receive training to help him develop the skills needed to run a successful business and a mentor from the Academy's Fellowship to provide additional support and advice. He will receive a £10,000 prize and £30,000 to invest in the continued development of his innovation.

Dr Murray, pictured, has developed a patented technology that allows anti-counterfeit plasmas to be implanted into glass. The approach, called Ultrafast Laser Plasma Implantation (ULPI) and incorporated into a product called Alpin, allows any glass surface to be implanted with a plasma generated by a femtosecond laser. This introduces visible or light activated colouring. ULPI can also create a pattern, such as a barcode or branding, on a surface.

Arnoud Jullens, head of Enterprise at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: "Dr Murray's plasma technology will help to add another layer of protection against counterfeit products worldwide; an issue of growing importance, particularly in developing countries. The support offered by the Enterprise Hub's network of business leaders will help him to find the right partners and customers to take his product to the global market."

Runners up for the Award include George Frodsham, whose blood filtration system can 'sieve' the blood of malaria sufferers and reduce a patient's parasite burden; Dr Peiman Hosseini, who has developed nanodisplay technology for use in wearables; and Bethan Wolfenden and Phillip Boeing, who have developed a personal molecular biology laboratory system. Each will be awarded £2000 cash prizes and become Enterprise Hub members.

Dr Hosseini has created the first reported nanodisplay that uses optical and electronic property modulation in phase change materials. This new class of ultra thin, ultra high resolution displays, said to have nanosecond access speeds and no power consumption in static mode, will be targeted at emerging near eye applications such as Google Glass. Prototypes are under development, with a working device expected within the next 12 months.

Graham Pitcher

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