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Pitt Engineering Faculty Startup Receives First Place in WVU Transtech Conference

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 18, 2020) — CorePower Magnetics, represented by Chief Technology Officer Paul Ohodnicki, also associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh, received the top prize at West Virginia University’s Transtech Energy Business Development Program Conference. CorePower Magnetics company leadership also includes Michael Anness, Chief Executive Officer, and Michael McHenry, Chief Scientist and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ohodnicki pitched the start-up company at the Virtual TransTech 2020 Conference, held on Nov. 5, 2020. The first place award includes $10,000 in funding, which will go toward establishing the company’s first manufacturing line and expenses associated with customer discovery.

“Our company’s main mission is to build power-dense, efficient magnetic components for a range of applications, from powering the grid to powering electronics for hybrid electric vehicles and aircrafts,” said Ohodnicki, who also has an appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This Transtech funding will be used as critical resources that will help us to build our first manufacturing facility and pursue customer discovery. The objective is to enable production of custom pilot products and to establish a customer base for future growth.”

CorePower Magnetics develops and manufactures high performance magnetic cores and leverages them in optimally designed inductors, transformers, and motors. Using advanced manufacturing processes and novel materials that were developed through prior and on-going research at Carnegie Mellon University, the resulting technology can be up to ten times lighter, five times smaller by volume, and can demonstrate up to a 50 percent reduction in losses. It can also eliminate the need for rare earth metals, a limiting factor in other established technologies for electric motor applications.

CorePower Magnetics is partnering with Ohodnicki’s lab at Pitt and McHenry’s lab at CMU on projects further developing this technology to demonstrate new high frequency magnetic materials and component technologies for advanced applications of interest to both the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.

Ohodnicki first became involved with this work when he was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University in the laboratory of Prof. Michael McHenry.  Since that time, his collaborative research with McHenry has resulted in a portfolio of 22 patents and patent applications, a new class of metal amorphous nanocrystalline iron cobalt and iron nickel alloys, and a new in-line process that ensures high magnetic core performance. These inventions have now been licensed by CorePower Magnetics from Carnegie Mellon University.

“The next step in the company’s trajectory will help create manufacturing jobs in the region, and spark excitement about the potential of these new materials and advanced manufacturing processes,” said Ohodnicki. “Ultimately, it puts us one step closer to establishing new manufacturing capabilities in the region as a foundation for building more sustainable and efficient technologies that will benefit society for decades to come.”

Author: Maggie Pavlick

Contact: Maggie Pavlick