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LETU Awarded Patent for Microwave Weld Joint Device


LeTourneau University has been issued U.S. Patent 9,374,853 for a closed-loop microwave joining device.

Two engineering professors, Dr. Yoni Adonyi and Dr. Seung Kim, along with two LETU engineering alumni, Allen Worcester and Ithamar Glumac, are co-inventors of the patent. All four names appear on the patent, which marks the first U.S. patent awarded to fulltime LETU faculty working with fulltime students since the inception of the university by its founder, R.G. LeTourneau, in 1946. LeTourneau held numerous patents.

The new patent is based on an actual industrial need to join thermoelectric ceramics to copper substrate without cracking and intermetallic formation. The project outgrew its initial sponsor, Marlow Industries of Dallas, Texas, and reached four different stages of design.

Potential uses for the device are where critical joints between advanced metals, ceramics and composites cannot be made any other way in the electronics, defense and aerospace industries. While the vast majority of microwave joining applications focus on polymers, or plastics, this invention tackles the other two major material types, advanced manufacturing of metals and ceramics.

"This U.S. Patent recognition validates our successful transition to a new mode of engineering design in most projects," said Dr. Ron Delap, dean of the College of Engineering, Business, and Technology.

LETU engineering professor and materials joining engineering department chair Dr. Yoni Adonyi, said the patent is the result of about five years of research.

"Breaking away from typical past trial-and-error approaches, computer-based numerical simulations using COMSOL were extensively used to design and prove the system," Adonyi said. "Our materials joining engineering students are always encouraged to innovate."

In keeping with LETU's hands-on innovation tradition, several previous prototypes had been improved by other senior and graduate students before the current prototype was completed.
LeTourneau University is the premier polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community.

LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in Dallas and Houston. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.

Categories: Engineering