Dr. Jones-Meehan Receives Technology Transfer Award


10/17/2002 - 49-02r
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Dr. Joanne Jones-Meehan, a microbiologist at the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Chemistry Division, received a 2002 Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. She was recognized for her role in transferring a foul-release, silicone coating system developed at NRL. The award recognizes employees for outstanding work that has led to the successful transfer of technology developed at a federal laboratory. The results of the technology transfers may be commercial products or services or other utilization of the technology for the public benefit. Dr. Jones-Meehan received her award at a ceremony held during the annual meeting of the FLC in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The NRL-developed foul-release coating system reduces the problem of biofouling (i.e., undesired growth of barnacles, mussels, tube worms, etc.) without the use of toxic metals and/or biocides by providing a surface to which organisms find it difficult to adhere. The coating meets the pressing need for an environmentally safe method for controlling biofouling to replace current methods that use metals and other chemicals that are toxic to aquatic life and are potentially harmful to the workers who use them, explains Dr. Jones-Meehan.

This important NRL technology was transferred for commercialization to Smart Surfaces LLC, a start-up company located in Annapolis, MD. The company was founded in 2000 expressly for the purpose of commercializing the NRL duplex coating system. Smart Surfaces has entered into a partially exclusive license agreement with NRL and plans to provide, apply and maintain biofouling coatings on commercial, private, and Government-owned ships and in power plant cooling water intake systems. Although the technology was invented and patented by an NRL employee, the late Dr. James Griffith, during his career in the Chemistry Division, it was through the efforts of Dr. Jones-Meehan that the coatings were successfully transferred to Smart Surfaces. She led a team representing academia, industry, and government that was brought together to demonstrate and validate the NRL coatings on ship hulls and at power plants. Such validation was critical to making the technology commercially attractive. As a part of the technology transfer process, Dr. Jones-Meehan worked closely with Smart Surfaces to facilitate the transfer of the necessary expertise in application and maintenance of the coatings.

Dr. Jones-Meehan earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees at Illinois State University. She received her PhD. in Microbiology from Iowa State University and did a Post Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan in molecular biology. She was a research microbiologist in the Biotechnology Laboratory at the NSWCDD/White Oak, MD, from 1988 to 1996 and joined NRL in 1996.

Dr. Jones-Meehan's previous awards include: Washington Academy of Sciences Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biological Sciences, 1992; co-recipient of the NRL Alan Berman Research Publication Award in the Oceanography Research Division, 1992, 1999 and 2002; and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer with NSWCCD for Shipboard Application of Titanium Piping Systems, 1999.

Dr. Jones-Meehan has authored 86 abstracts, 28 peer-reviewed publications and 10 book chapters related to microbiology (pathogenic, applied and environmental), molecular biology and biocorrosion. She is a member of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE).



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