February 24, 2021

Our PhD student's inventions received a special award

In the 11th edition of the Student-Inventor competition, Ms Edyta Demby-Siwek, the President of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland, granted a special award to the inventions of our doctoral student Michał Wróbel, MSc who is a co-creator of solutions concerning the methods of production of ecological asphalts and mineral-asphalt mixtures. The other authors of the inventions are the scientists from the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture: Dr. Eng. Agnieszka Woszuk, Prof. Wojciech Franus, Dr. Szymon Malinowski and Dr. Lidia Bandura.

139 solutions from 23 universities from all over Poland were submitted for this year's edition. Students and doctoral students from Lublin University of Technology sent 17 applications, taking the second place in terms of creating new ideas.

- The aim of the technology of road surfaces is to ensure their durability, safety and user comfort. The use of the chosen technology should also be economically justified and ecological. All these requirements are met by the mineral-asphalt mixtures produced at reduced temperatures thanks to the addition of zeolites as well as the use of biopolymers and recycled material - says Prof. Wojciech Franus, the head of the Department of Geotechnical Engineering at Lublin University of Technology.

The essence of the process of producing mineral-asphalt mixtures is that in the production process, zeolite-foamed asphalt is added to the mineral mixture, which allows for lowering the production temperature, or biopolymer-modified asphalt as a substitute for commercial asphalts.

- Such method of production of mineral-asphalt mixtures has a positive effect on the reduction of harmful substances and the exploitation of non-renewable deposits. It also reduces fuel consumption, improves the working conditions of people working as asphalt laborers and enables the recycling of degraded asphalt surfaces - emphasizes Michał Wróbel, MSc.

Two inventions (out of the six presented in the competition) have already been licensed to road industry companies that plan to implement them in their practice.

The "Student-Inventor" competition is addressed to students, doctoral students and graduates who, during their studies, became the authors or co-authors of an invention, a utility model or an industrial design protected with an exclusive right or submitted for protection at the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland or the relevant industrial property office abroad.

So far, in the eleven editions of the competition, 1,074 solutions have been submitted by 2,307 co-authors (students, university employees, entrepreneurs).