Professor Florin Udrea has been announced a winner of the Vice-Chancellor's Impact Awards for his team's Department spin-out company Cambridge CMOS Sensors.
Indoor and outdoor air quality has an immense impact on our health. Being able to monitor the quality of air and act on the presence of toxic gasses or gasses that could pose risks to our well-being has become extremely important.Professor Florin Udrea
The announcement was made at a prize ceremony held at the Old Schools recently for projects that have made significant contributions to society.
Sensors that sniff the air can warn us of pollution in city streets, offices and homes. Breathe on these sensors and they can check our health. But they are normally big, heavy and drain batteries quickly, which is why Florin Udrea, Professor of Semiconductor Engineering, and his team set out to create environmental micro-sensors that are ultra-efficient and small enough for smartphones, watches and air purifiers in smart homes. Cambridge CMOS Sensors, their spin-off from the Department of Engineering, was acquired by ams AG in 2016, which is now shipping products.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Awards were established to recognise and reward those whose research has led to excellent impact beyond academia, whether on the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life. Each winner received a prize of £1,000 and a trophy, with the overall winner receiving £2,000.
Professor Udrea said: "Indoor and outdoor air quality has an immense impact on our health. Being able to monitor the quality of air and act on the presence of toxic gasses or gasses that could pose risks to our well-being has become extremely important. I'm pleased to receive this Vice-Chancellor's Impact Award. It is recognition of our research and our entrepreneurial activities, culminating with the spin-off of Cambridge CMOS Sensors in 2008 and its trade exit to ams AG (Europe) in 2016."
Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said: “This award scheme, now in its third year, received nearly 100 nominations from all areas of research within the University, which were of an extremely high calibre across the board.
“Impact is at the heart of the University’s mission. Engaging the public is crucial to helping our University deliver on its mission, and to be a good citizen in our city and community. Institutions such as ours have a vital role to play in restoring trust and faith in expertise and ways of knowing.”