University Relations and Communications

Toenjes, Butler and Sullivan inducted into National Academy of Inventors

September 24, 2014

 

Contacts:

University Relations, 657-2269  

Carmen Price, University Relations, 657-2243

 

Join us in congratulating three MSU Billings inventors

 

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Kurt Toenjes, David Butler and Andrew Sullivan were among 80 researchers from within the Montana State University family of campuses and affiliated companies, whose discoveries have earned patents, at MSU’s first-ever Celebration of Invention held on Sept. 11.

 

Dr. Kurt Toenjes (left) and Dr. David Butler (right) pose with biology student Elizabeth Mullins

Toenjes, associate professor of biological and physical sciences, and Butler, professor of molecular biology and genetics, share MSUB’s first patent for the scientific discovery of new methods in treating fungal infections and controlling yeast growth. The patent was issued Nov. 2, 2010 and remains the university’s sole patent.

 

Toenjes also shares a patent from 2006 for the discovery of small molecules that reduce fungal growth during his postdoctoral work at the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College in Burlington, Vt.

 

Sullivan, a process plant technology instructor and program coordinator at City College, is a 2008 patent holder for his creation of a wood-fired pottery kiln and an automated method of feeding solid fuel into the kiln.

 

Andrew Sullivan, left, poses with City College students at the recent Phillips 66 Meet in the ParkSullivan is also a co-inventor of two patents for work done during his decade-long career at ExxonMobil. The first patent, dated Nov. 28, 2000, is an invention relating to a process for recovering the transition metal component of catalysts used in the hydroconversion of heavy materials containing hydrocarbons.  The second invention, patented in 2002, is a method to monitor and analyze the performance of a hydrocarbon processing unit.

 

The National Academy of Inventors was established to honor academic invention; recognize and encourage inventors; enhance the visibility of university technology and innovation; encourage the disclosure of intellectual property; educate and mentor innovative students; and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. MSU inventors named on issued patents and Plant Variety Protection Certificates were honored at the ceremony. For more information about the academy, visit http://www.academyofinventors.org/.

 

 

FIRST PHOTO: Dr. Kurt Toenjes (left) and Dr. David Butler (right) pose with biology student Elizabeth Mullins after receiving news that Mullins had been nominated in February for a Goldwater Scholarship. Mullins was named in March MSUB’s first Goldwater Scholar. 

 

SECOND PHOTO: Andrew Sullivan, left, poses with City College students at the recent Phillips 66 Meet in the Park, where process plant technology students showcased research.