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Who's hiring in PGH? Three Rivers Rowing Association, Kopp Glass and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

Three Rivers Rowing Association (TRRA), one of the largest community boathouses in the country, is seeking a full-time executive director. The candidate will help develop and deliver safe, sustainable programs and events that teach and promote the benefits of rowing and paddling in Pittsburgh. Deadline for applications is April 24.

Neighborhood Allies and LISC are seeking a program manager for lending and financial services

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures is looking for a part-time graphic designer and marketing assistant. Requires an undergraduate degree and three to six years of graphic design and customer service experience.

Kopp Glass, a worldwide leader in molded, blown, precision, and filter glass for technical, industrial, and commercial applications, has multiple open positions, including a materials engineer, a new product engineer, and a marketing assistant.

The Center for Energy at the University of Pittsburgh is hiring a manager of business development and outreach.

Paid Internships

kWantera, a GE-backed intelligent energy startup, is looking for a graphic and web design intern.

The Grant Street Group, a leading developer, host, and administer of customized software applications, needs a summer IT services intern to assist with their relocation.

Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

Who's hiring in PGH? RE2, Maker Theater and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

RE2, a Lawrenceville-based robotics outfit and Carnegie Mellon University spin-off, recently received funding from the U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) office and the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) to develop technology that would assist combat medics in the field. Called LIFELINE, the system would allow them to quickly maneuver, treat, and evacuate wounded soldiers in dangerous situations.

In the past, RE2 has researched and developed robotic technologies for the U.S. military, the Allegheny County bomb squad, and for people with disabilities. LIFELINE is the first project created specifically for front-line medical personnel. RE2 President and CEO Jorgen Pedersen says that, unlike the currently used body armor, the project could offer combat medics a much-needed hand.

RE2 now has openings for a senior electrical engineer and a product/project manager.

Identified Tech, a Pittsburgh-based startup that uses drones to help energy and construction sites operate safely and efficiently, is hiring a front-end developer and a lead software engineer.

The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is hiring a full-time IT associate to provide administrative, technical, and project-related support.

The Sewickley-based nonprofit Sweetwater Center for the Arts is hiring a full-time marketing and development coordinator.

The nationwide employee-owned firm SWCA Environmental Consultants is hiring a cultural resources project manager for their Pittsburgh offices. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in archeology, anthropology or a related field.

The Maker Theater, a small 99-seat black box venue located in the East End, is looking for a part-time house manager to oversee the space during show nights and matinees.

The Andy Warhol Museum is hiring an associate registrar to assist with incoming exhibitions and loans. Requires a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in art history or a related field.

Paid Internships:

The marketing analytics company Rhiza has an open design internship and a market research internship. Both positions are open to undergraduate and graduate students.

The online language learning platform Duolingo has an available product designer internship.

Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

Who's hiring in PGH? ShowClix, Bethlehem Haven and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Hill District is seeking a full-time librarian. Requires a Master of Library Science or Master of Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited school. Previous experience working with youth is preferred. Interested candidates should apply online by March 29.

Bethlehem Haven, a nonprofit organization that provides services to homeless communities in Pittsburgh, is hiring a manager of annual giving. Requires a minimum of five years of development and special event experience.

The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB), a nonprofit focused on connecting job seekers with employers, is hiring a youth program manager to coordinate an effective youth workforce development system.

The CMUSoftware Engineering Institute has numerous positions at its Emerging Technology Center, including openings for software developers and a cyber intelligence analyst.

The national aerospace and defense company L-3 Communications is looking for a senior mechanical engineer (ID 068107) and a senior mechanical engineer contractor (ID 057459) at its Pittsburgh offices.

The Pittsburgh-based online ticketing service ShowClix has multiple open positions. The company also has available internships in software engineering and marketing. 

Golden Triangle Bike Rental, a family-owned and -operated business in Downtown Pittsburgh, has numerous full-time and part-time positions available for the upcoming summer season, including some for tour guides and bicycle mechanics. Please send resume to britt@bikepittsburgh.com.

Paid Internships

Baby gear company 4moms is looking for a full-time brand engagement intern to join the marketing team.

The consulting engineering firm McCormick Taylor is seeking a graphic design intern at its Pittsburgh offices.
 

Who's hiring in PGH? Millvale Public Library, STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

The Millvale Community Library needs a full-time sustainability coordinator to oversee the community-wide food, water, and energy-related sustainability goals of the Millvale Ecodistrict plan. Application deadline is March 30.

The Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group (PTAG), an organization committed to creating, enhancing, and preserving trail experiences in Southwestern Pennsylvania, is hiring a part-time executive director to oversee all aspects of general operations and management. Please send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to jobs@ptagtrails.org. Application deadline is March 31.

Carnegie Mellon University is hiring an associate director for the academic research center, STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. The qualified candidate will manage, implement and direct a diverse range of arts administration activities, including fundraising, public relations, event planning and facilities management. Requires a bachelor's degree and five years of office experience.

DVSport Software, a Pittsburgh-based sports software company specializing in digital video acquisition, analysis, and play-back software, needs a full-time information technology specialist and network administrator

The Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections has an opening for an offender management system specialist. Requires an associate degree in computer science, information technology, accounting or business, or equivalent experience. 

Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute, a leading provider of professional services and technology designed for the human services and nonprofit sector, is hiring a video production assistant. Requirements include a bachelor's degree in TV or film production, communications or a related field.

Giant Eagle is hiring a full-time candy specialist to help grow the company's candy and gift basket business. Responsibilities include developing candy recipes and production guidelines for existing and new and innovative candy offerings. Requires a degree in pastry arts.

Paid Internships

The Pittsburgh distillery Wigle Whiskey needs a summer community engagement and events coordinator intern to work at the facility's new Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden. Candidate will perform various duties, including giving tours, maintenance, and coordinating special events. A summer production assistant internship is also available.

The Citizen Science Lab, a hands-on life sciences laboratory, is looking for a summer social media intern.

Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

CMU and IBM partner to create smarter buildings

Carnegie Mellon University hopes to save money and become more efficient with an innovative new approach to managing resources. CMU recently announced a partnership with IBM to improve campus-wide energy use. The project, called the Smarter Buildings Initiative, will use IBM-supported cloud technology to collect and monitor data from CMU systems, including those that control water, electricity, and heating and cooling.

The move will pioneer the new IBM Building Management Center, and make CMU the first higher education institution to utilize a cloud-based analytics system for reducing energy and facility operating costs. Once fully implemented, the process would save the school approximately 10 percent, or $2 million, a year on utilities.

"Our initial estimates of the potential benefits of the smarter buildings process were based on published research studies and actual data generated by IBM’s use of the technology in their own real estate operations," says Associate Vice President for CMU’s Facilities Management Services Donald Coffelt. "We determined the 10 percent figure from that baseline data, experiences by other IBM partners and some CMU specific elements like utility costs, energy use and building size."

The Smarter Buildings Initiative will begin with a pilot program in nine of CMU’s largest and most prominent buildings, including the Jared L. Cohon University Center, Hunt Library, Newell-Simon Hall, Doherty Hall, the Purnell Center for the Arts, the Gates Center for Computer Science, and the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies. The initial application will focus on HVAC systems, and will later cover lighting, water, and other utilities. The project is scheduled to reach all of CMU's 36 buildings within the next three years.

As Coffelt explains, the Smarter Buildings Initiative helps to further CMU’s role as a founding partner in the Oakland expansion of the Green Building Alliance’s Pittsburgh 2030 District, which challenge partner organizations to achieve 50 percent reductions in energy use, water consumption and transportation-related emissions by the year 2030. He adds that it also demonstrates the university's ongoing focus on becoming more energy efficient.

"Energy costs and energy consumption have been trending down at CMU for several years," says Coffelt. "In fact, CMU’s energy costs and consumption for 2014 are actually lower on a per square foot basis than they were in 2008."

PItt researchers set their sights on curing corneal blindness with stem cells

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have developed a potential treatment for corneal blindness with stem cells.

A team lead by Dr. Fatima Syed-Picard of Pitt’s Department of Ophthalmology successfully transformed dental pulp stem cells obtained from wisdom teeth into corneal stromal cells, called keratocytes. The findings, which were published online in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, indicate that corneal transplant tissue could potentially be created from a patient’s own cells.

“Dental pulp has been shown to have a population of adult stem cells that can become a number of different cell types,” says Syed-Picard. “The dental pulp and the cornea have the same developmental origins. This is why we thought that stem cells from the dental pulp might be able to become corneal cells.”

As Syed-Picard explains, the cells were obtained from human third molars -- commonly referred to as wisdom teeth -- provided by the Pitt School of Dental Medicine. After removing the pulp tissue, the team then isolated the stem cells and cultured them in a solution that coaxed them into becoming keratocytes. The engineered keratocytes were then injected into the corneas of healthy mice, where they integrated without signs of rejection.

The study is one of many looking into how dental pulp stem cells could become instrumental in future regenerative therapies. In this case, the ability to engineer keratocytes could mean more access to treatment for corneal blindness, which affects millions of people worldwide. Currently, donor corneal tissues are used to treat corneal blindness, and while the method has a high success rate, many countries suffer from a shortage of the resource.

“One benefit of trying to use dental pulp stem cells is that, potentially, these cells could be collected from the patients themselves,” says Syed-Picard. “There would be no need for donor tissue.”

The next round of experiments will assess whether the technique can correct corneal scarring in an animal model. But, as Syed-Picard points out, more work will need to take place before any testing on humans can proceed.

“Our research is still in the early stages, and it will be years before the use of dental pulp stem cells for corneal restoration can be tested in humans,” says Syed-Picard. “Additional studies need be done in mice and also in larger animals to prove efficacy and safety."

Who's hiring in PGH? First Insight, Mosser Casting and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

First Insight -- whose clients include such big-name brands as Abercrombie & Fitch and The Limited -- enables companies to determine customer demand faster and more easily by collecting data through online consumer engagement and using it to choose, price and correctly market the best new products. As opposed to in-store testing, which can usually take weeks or months to gather data, First Insight's approach only takes one to three days, and costs much less to perform. It also provides more accurate data that can help companies boost profits: In 2013, Vera Bradley credited First Insight for an overall four percent sales increase, which was due to using predictive analytics in developing a market strategy for the brand's line of baby accessories.

First Insight now has multiple open positions in the Pittsburgh area, including a development manager and an insight coordinator.  

The Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA), a nonprofit organization committed to reducing traffic and air pollution in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, is hiring a program administrator. Qualifications include a four-year degree and three years of professional work experience. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references to oaklandtmajobs@gmail.com by March 20.

The Department of History of Art and Architecture (HAA) at University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh (CMP) are seeking a four-year lecturer in Curatorial Studies. The candidate will work both as a scholar-teacher in HAA’s art history department and as a curator with the cross-disciplinary collections of the Carnegie Museums. Please send application materials to Molly Sabol at mks89@pitt.edu by April 10.

Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, an architecture and urban design firm located in the Strip District, is hiring a full-time intern architect. Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in architecture and one to four years of professional experience.

The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) needs a design director to support the school’s branding efforts. Requires a bachelor’s degree in commercial art or design and eight to ten years of experience.

The Phipps Conservatory has new full-time and part-time employment opportunities, including a human resources administrator and event assistants.

The East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM) has openings for two full-time case managers to provide comprehensive intensive case management services and coordination for residents of Hamilton Larimer and East Liberty Gardens (HL-ELG), also referred to as the Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI). Please send cover letter, resume, application, and compensation requirements to HR Director, 6140 Station St., Pittsburgh, PA 15206, or email them to KellyJ@eecm.org.

Mosser Casting, a Lawrenceville-based regional talent agency, has immediate openings for part-time and full-time casting assistants. Access to a car and laptop required. Video camera, video editing, and Photoshop experience a plus. Please send resumes to mossercasting.jobs@gmail.com.

PerkinElmer, a global corporation focused on improving the health and safety of people and the environment, is hiring a software engineer at its Pittsburgh offices.

Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

Pittsburgh art advocates to lead panel at SXSWedu

The annual SXSWedu Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, works to foster innovation in learning by hosting a diverse community of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds in education. On March 9, local art professionals and educators, including Felice Cleveland, director of education at the Mattress Factory, will attend SXSWedu to participate in a panel discussion that covers the benefits of project-based learning (PBL) in schools.

Cleveland will join representatives from other Pittsburgh institutions, including Heather McElwee of the Pittsburgh Glass Center, Tresa Varner of The Andy Warhol Museum, and Avonworth High School Principal Kenneth Lockette, to explain how the Pittsburgh Galleries Project operates as a model for PBL. Titled Using Art to Transform Physical Spaces and Minds, the panel will share the successes and challenges of the project with the broader education community.

“We hope to inspire some of our fellow educators to think about this project and replicate it in their own way,” says Cleveland.

Started in the fall of 2013, the Pittsburgh Galleries Project combined the efforts of Avonworth High School and several Pittsburgh art institutions to encourage students to take part in creative extracurricular projects outside of the classroom. Groups of students visit places such as the Mattress Factory, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, the Warhol, and the Toonseum, where, as Cleveland explains, they receive behind-the-scenes insights into curating, installing, making artwork, and creative careers. The students then use inspiration from their experiences to collaborate on an installation that will go on display at their school.

As Cleveland explains, the program has made an impact on students to find creative solutions to real-world problems. This year, the group will use what they learned to address issues with the school’s Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) policy, mainly the lack of available charging stations. The students are working to build a London-style telephone booth that, upon completion, will serve as a charging station located in the school’s common area.

The panel will also address how to transform schools into more creative spaces and introduce students to the variety of careers in the art world. Says Cleveland, “We want to share the work that we do with the education community around the country; we also hope to be inspired by what others are doing and bring that back to Pittsburgh.”

For more details on the Using Art to Transform Physical Spaces and Minds panel, please visit the SXSWedu website.

Pitt launches new crowdfunding platform to support university projects

The Internet offers numerous ways to raise money for a project. But now students and faculty at the University of Pittsburgh can forego the Kickstarters and Indiegogos of the world with a new crowdfunding platform devoted to their specific needs.

The school recently launched EngagePitt, a website where student organization leaders or faculty members can create fundraising campaigns for community outreach and research projects. Managed by Pitt’s Office of Institutional Advancement, the site allows users to reach out to donors in the Pitt community, as well as family, friends, and colleagues.

As Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement Albert J. Novak Jr. explains, EngagePitt offers multiple advantages compared to other crowdfunding sites, where users could potentially pay large fees and risk losing funds when a campaign fails to reach the goal amount.

"Unlike other sites that charge user fees ranging from 4.5 percent to 10 percent, there will be no user fees incurred by faculty and student groups using Pitt’s EngagePitt platform," says Novak. "Further, all gifts recorded during a project’s campaign will be applied toward the stated need, whether or not the final goal is met." In addition, the Office of Institutional Advancement also provides training and guidance to all campaign groups.

EngagePitt tested the crowdfunding waters last December with a few approved pilot campaigns. Among them were projects for ThinkSepsis and Pitt’s Society of Women Engineers, both of which focus on advancing innovation on campus and beyond. ThinkSepsis will use its funds to equip six ambulances in the Pittsburgh area with new, state-of-the-art alert systems, while the Society of Women Engineers will apply the $2,351 they raised to improve their annual outreach events.

A number of ongoing EngagePitt campaigns are now accepting contributions. Students and faculty interested in launching a campaign should visit the site's application page.

Who's hiring in PGH? WPXI, Carlow University and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

WPXI-TV is seeking a motion graphic designer and graphic artist for their Marketing Department’s Creative Studio team. Responsibilities include conceptualizing, designing, animating and executing visual effect graphics. 

The station group that includes WESA and WYEP is hiring a director of development to manage annual individual giving and alternative revenue streams such as vehicle donations and corporate matches. Requirements include a Bachelor's or Master's degree and six years of relevant development and fundraising experience.

Automated Health Systems, Inc (AHS), a national health services management company headquartered in Pittsburgh, is hiring multiple positions, including a technical recruiter and IT coordinator.

Carlow University is looking for a full-time software applications support analyst and a full-time IR data analyst.

Highmark is hiring a senior decision support analyst (Job number 74340) to assist in the development of projects and data analysis. Candidates must have three years of experience in research, data analytics or statistical analysis.

Paid Internships

Giant Eagle has numerous paid internships available in the Pittsburgh area.

The civil engineering and architectural design firm Larson Design Group needs a summer site intern at their Cranberry Township offices. College juniors and seniors are welcome to apply.

Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

To receive Pop City weekly, click here.

Former Steeler partners with Pitt to launch new sports medicine company

When it comes to dealing with injuries, elite athletes have access to the best in rehabilitation technology. Now with the help of a retired football great, the University of Pittsburgh hopes to make the same grade of treatment available to the public.

Former Pittsburgh Steeler and businessman Charlie Batch, along with his three partners, joined with the University of Pittsburgh and its Innovation Institute to launch a wellness, fitness, human-performance, and rehabilitation-focused company. The Pittsburgh-based startup, called Impellia, will develop and commercialize technologies from Pitt and around the country.

To Evan Facher, director of enterprise development for the Innovation Institute, Batch's influence will help their commitment to improving public health and furthering the city's image as a hub for emerging technology and science.

"Because of the profile that he has and the good work that he's done, he can open a lot of doors for the company and the university as well," says Facher.

As part of the new relationship, Batch and the rest of the Impellia team -- which includes tech-savvy business professionals Richard Walker, Dave Morin, and Ed Kim -- completed option agreements for three distinct Pitt innovations. Physical therapists can help improve their patients' physical rehabilitation with the joint-function monitoring tool, interACTION. For knee injuries, there's PIVOT, a program that can quantitatively assess the pivot shift test, a clinical exam for diagnosing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. And the Versatile and Integrated System for Telerehabilitation (VISYTER) software platform provides a secure, integrated system that allows doctors to make diagnoses remotely with high-quality videoconferencing, access to electronic health records, and other tools.

"If you put all these things together, you have a company that can really do some novel rehabilitation and sports medicine," says Facher.

The inventions were edged toward commercialization by Pitt faculty members and the Innovation Institute, which is dedicated to promoting and fostering innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. But as Facher explains, the process still requires an outsider like Impellia to come in and market the technology. To that end, he believes that Batch and his team bring a level of expertise that will help transform Pitt research into real innovations for years to come.

"In the past, they've taken university technologies and been successful at developing them," says Facher. "So it's a team that we believe in and would like to continue to do more with and build off of."

Who's hiring in PGH? Astrobotic, Qeexo and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you fulfilling career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

Astrobotic, a space logistics company specializing in affordable commercial space robotics technology, is hiring multiple positions, including a director of marketing and communications, a senior software engineer, and an avionics engineer.

Astrobotic recently accepted a third Milestone Prize from the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The $1 million victory, in addition to two previous wins, brings the secured prize money total to $1.75 million.

“These three Milestones are big for us,” says Astrobotic CEO John Thornton. “It’s acknowledgement of a lot of tough work.”

Based in the Strip District, Astrobotic formed in 2008 shortly after the XPRIZE competition was announced. Since then, the company has competed with five other teams by showing off various components of their commercial robotic lunar rover.

The recent achievement brings Astrobotic closer to its goal of sending a robotic rover to the moon in 2016.

Community-based organization Larimer Consensus Group is seeking a neighborhood improvement specialist. Requirements include a valid driver’s license, access to a vehicle, and the ability to work occasional evenings and weekends. Please send current resume and up to three professional references to the Larimer Consensus Group Hiring Committee at mmaeda@kingsleyassociation.org.

PennFuture, a statewide public interest membership organization, is hiring a full-time director of outreach. The qualified candidate will manage PennFuture's issue campaigns, organize coalition efforts, and maintain relationships with policymakers, members of the organization, and the public. PennFuture is also looking for a donor relations intern.

Qeexo, a company that specializes in touchscreen technology, is hiring multiple positions, including a project manager and a software engineer, for its Pittsburgh office.

Mobile commerce platform Branding Brand is hiring for multiple positions, including a communications and events coordinator, a project manager, and a software engineer/web developer.

Dick's Sporting Goods is hiring an assistant graphics designer to work on the development of packaging, collateral and product branding. Requires a B.A. in graphic design and four years of design experience.

Pittsburgh Bike Share, a nonprofit citywide bike sharing system, needs a director of operations and a director of marketing and community relations.  

Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

To receive Pop City weekly, click here.
 

Local industry leaders needed for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards

EY, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, has officially requested nominations from western Pennsylvania and West Virginia for the 29th annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. The program seeks the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and celebrates their ability to strengthen or transform successful enterprises.

"The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement," says Kim Gillespie, who, along with Darrel Smalley, serves as co-director of the western Pennsylvania and West Virginia awards program.

Award winners are selected in a number of industry categories, including Distribution and Manufacturing, Energy, Family Business, Financial Services, Construction, Retail and Consumer Products, Services, and Technology, by a panel of independent regional judges. Contestants are evaluated on areas such as entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to overcome obstacles, financial performance and growth, innovation and new approaches, company culture, leadership, and impact in the community.

The winners will be announced at a black-tie gala on June 19, 2015, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. They will then go on to compete at the national EY Entrepreneur Of the Year awards taking place in Palm Springs, Calif., this coming November.

In 2014, more than 25 western Pennsylvania and West Virginia leaders were selected as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award finalists. Past local award winners include Rob Daley and Henry Thorne of the baby product company 4moms and Laura Shapira Karet of the grocery store chain Giant Eagle.

"We are inspired every year by the countless entrepreneurs in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia who are driving growth, creating jobs and making a positive impact on our communities," says Gillespie.

The deadline to apply for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards is March 6, 2015. Entrepreneurs may nominate themselves or be nominated by peers or other business leaders.  

Astrobotic and CMU work toward moon landing with Google Lunar XPRIZE

A trip to the moon isn’t cheap, but thanks to some generous prize money, one local company is another step closer to getting there.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Astrobotic, a space logistics company specializing in affordable commercial space robotics technology, recently accepted a third Milestone Prize from the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The $1 million victory, in addition to two previous wins, brings the secured prize money total to $1.75 million. It also makes Astrobotic and CMU the first team to win all three Milestone prizes.

“These three Milestones are big for us,” says Astrobotic CEO John Thornton. “It’s acknowledgement of a lot of tough work.”

Based in the Strip District, Astrobotic formed in 2008 shortly after the XPRIZE competition was announced. Since then, the company has competed with five other teams by showing off various components of their commercial robotic lunar rover. The third Milestone Prize came after they demonstrated their visually guided lunar landing system, which underwent numerous tests last year at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The system -- which Thornton refers to as an “astronaut in a box” -- uses imaging software to ensure safer, more precise touchdowns and dramatically reduce the risk of crashes.

Astrobotic also received recognition for the lander’s “green” propulsion system. As Thornton explains, their propellant poses far fewer risks than the traditionally used hydrazine propellant, a quality that allows for more on-the-ground testing.

“If [hydrazine propellant] is spilled into the air, it could kill you on a parts per million level,” says Thornton. “Whereas the propellant that we use is still toxic, but much less so, which makes it easier to test terrestrially.”

The recent achievement brings Astrobotic and CMU closer to their goal of sending a robotic rover to the moon in 2016. The team will also go on to compete for the $20 million grand XPRIZE, as well as bonus prizes.

If they win, Thornton hopes to reinvest the money in Astrobotic’s commercial operation, a sort of “FedEx or UPS to the moon” that delivers lunar payloads for companies, governments, universities, nonprofits and individuals. While the funds would add to millions in NASA grants and contracts that the company has already received, it still compensates for a portion of the amount required to create and run the service.

“The prize money is fairly small compared to the cost to get there, so it’s not a money-making proposition,” says Thornton. “The goal is to build the business, so if we were to win the prize, we would put that right back into the company to support the commercial operation of the business."

Pitt ensures healthier organ transplants with new preservation system

A successful organ transplant requires a delicate balance of time and preservation. But as UPMC transplant surgeon Dr. Paulo Fontes points out, 21 percent of donor livers are rendered unusable due to oxygen deprivation during storage and damage sustained during transport.

“The current utilization of livers in our country is much lower than expected, and we still face a significant mortality on the waiting list due to our inability to properly serve our patients with organs being effectively preserved,” says Fontes.

Fontes is the senior investigator on a series of animal studies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where researchers are setting out to prove the effectiveness of a new machine-perfusion (MP) organ preservation system. The system was developed by optimizing an existing MP device with a chilled, oxygen-rich fluid. The liver is immersed in the fluid, which further oxygenates the tissue by being pumped through the organ via tubes inserted into the large blood vessels.

Tests conducted on pigs suggest that the MP system can keep donor livers in better condition than current methods. The research team transplanted six pigs with livers that had been kept for nine hours -- roughly the average time between recovering the organ and transplantation -- in the MP system, and another six pigs with organs that were treated with conventional cold static preservation (CSP). Overall, 100 percent of the pigs who received MP livers survived, compared to 33 percent with the CSP-treated organs. Researchers also noticed that the MP pigs recovered more quickly from surgery, and looked healthier than their CSP counterparts.

“Cold preservation is the current standard of care for clinical transplantation, but unfortunately has no impact in avoiding or minimizing the irreversible decay of organ quality inflicted over time when tissues are kept under hypothermic and anoxic conditions,” says Fontes. “Recovery time for livers submitted to CSP appears to be longer than the ones preserved with machine perfusion due to the significant impact of the injuries induced by CSP.”

The findings, which were published online in the American Journal of Transplantation, suggest that the MP system could potentially increase the number of healthy donor livers and save more lives. Data from the studies has been shared with federal regulators in hopes of launching a clinical trial with transplant patients at UPMC later this year.
466 Oakland Articles | Page: | Show All
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