UA research earns NorTech innovation honors


NorTech honorees Drs. Avraam Isayev and Miko Cakmak.

A one-of-a-kind rubber recycling technology, ultrasonic rubber devulcanization, and accompanying extruder to conduct the process, was selected as the NorTech Innovation Awards advanced materials category winner. The innovations are the brainchild of creator Dr. Avraam Isayev, UA distinguished professor of polymer engineering. Concurrently, a novel process and resulting product technology that enables flexible, stretchable, transparent and conductive polymer films, developed by Dr. Miko Cakmak, UA Harold A. Morton Chair and distinguished professor of polymer engineering, was named a NorTech Innovation Award finalist.

Isayev’s innovative technology enables devulcanization, or breaking, of the sulfur crosslink bonds in the rubber compound, allowing scrap rubber to be reprocessed and reused. Isayev’s breakthrough development is expected to revolutionize the rubber recycling industry.

Cakmak’s innovative process and product technology make way for the creation of lightweight, flexible, durable and portable electronic devices. Cakmak collaborated on his research efforts on liquid crystal technology for flexible displays with Dr. John West, vice president for research and dean of graduate studies at Kent State University.

NorTech is a regional nonprofit technology-based economic development organization serving Northeast Ohio. Each year, NorTech recognizes breakthrough innovations that have or demonstrate potential to have a dramatic impact on an industry or market segment. The 2011 NorTech Innovation Awards, presented Feb. 25 in Cleveland by NorTech and Crain's Cleveland Business, honored the success and achievements of nine innovative companies, entrepreneurs, universities and nonprofit organizations in Northeast Ohio's growing technology community.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or

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Crain's Cleveland Business