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ECE Seminar Series - Innovation, Inventions and Intellectual Property: An Overview of Technology Transfer at Illinois Tech

Event Date 

September 8, 2017 - 11:00am to 12:00pm


SH 118 (Siegel Hall)
3301 South Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60616


The Electrical and Computer Engineering department will be hosting a seminar featuring Ms. Catherine E. Vorwald, MS, MBA, Associate Vice Provost of Technology Development at Illinois Institute of Technology. The topic of the seminar will be Innovation, Inventions and Intellectual Property: An Overview of Technology Transfer at Illinois Tech.


This seminar will cover key steps to take an innovation to a patent. This presentation is relevant to any students, staff and faculty from any department at Illinois Tech that might have transformational ideas, research groups working on industry-relevant ideas and solutions. In this presentation, we will discuss Illinois Tech’s policies in the area of intellectual property (IP) and patent disclosures. Specific points to be discussed:

  • The Bayh Dole Act of 1980 and associated University responsibilities

  • Disclosure of inventions: Why and when is it needed?

  • Inventorship vs authorship: What is the difference?

  • How do inventions become intellectual property (IP)? Who can be included as an inventor?

  • Important considerations for preservation of IP rights

  • Who owns IP developed at Illinois Tech?

  • Role of the tech transfer office @ Illinois Tech

  • Royalty sharing policy @ Illinois Tech

  • Q&A

Speaker’s Biography

Ms. Catherine Vorwald currently serves as an Associate Vice Provost of Technology Development that includes responsibilities for tech transfer, corporate relations and the tech park and formerly Associate Vice President and Executive Director of the University Technology Park at IIT and Rental Properties at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She served previously at the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida as Executive Director of Technology Transfer and Business Development with the mandate to grow the intellectual property portfolio and execute complicated sponsored research agreements. She was the founder and President of Silicon Valley Science + Technology, LLC, a private real estate investment and development company, organized to provide real estate solutions for the specialized needs of emerging and established companies within the science and technology-based innovation economy. Ms. Vorwald spent almost 6 years as Director of Business Development working on marketing and leasing initiatives for science and technology-related development projects for Wexford Science & Technology; LLC a real estate developer of university research parks. Her specialty is working with and leasing to emerging science-based companies.

Ms. Vorwald has marketing and business development experience at companies ranging from Fortune 200 to startup, has academic research experience at the NIH and the University of California, San Francisco; and has intellectual property technology transfer experience at both Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities. She is formerly a board member of the Emerging Technology Center of Baltimore business incubator and formerly a board member of the Economic Development Corporation of South Florida. She founded the Licensing Executives Society Maryland Local Chapter and is also a former board member of The Licensing Executives Society (LES) USA-Canada, Inc., and the LES Foundation. Ms. Vorwald holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from The Johns Hopkins University as well as a Master of Science Degree and a Bachelor Degree in Biological Sciences from Georgetown University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, respectively.

Note: This seminar is open to everyone at Illinois Tech. For more information regarding this seminar, please contact Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy in ECE, IIT. Phone: 7-7232, Email: