SJC Professor Wins Patent of the Year

February 25, 2015

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – February 25, 2015 – St. Joseph’s College (SJC) is pleased to announce that Ronald Pirich, Ph.D., professor of physics on SJC’s Long Island Campus, recently won Patent of the Year in the category of Energy and the Environment for the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame (LITHF).

Dr. Pirich’s patent, co-authored by John Weir, Don DiMarzio, Dennis Leyble and Steve Chu, “Self-Decontaminating Inorganic Coatings Containing Semiconducting Metal Oxide Nanoparticles,” found that there are UV-resistant inorganic coatings which exhibit photochemical activity that destroy toxic biological and chemical agents. Their findings may be used to improve spacecrafts, aircrafts, ships, military vehicles, high value equipment and buildings such as subway stations, hospitals, railroad stations and stadiums.

“I am very honored to have been selected as winner of Patent of the Year,” said Dr. Pirich. “I would like to congratulate the other winners and thank all of my colleagues in the aerospace industry who have contributed to advancing energy and environmental technologies.”

The objective of the LITHF is to recognize, honor and preserve the contributions, accomplishments and dedication of historical figures or current leaders in science or technology who have had, or are having, an impact on Long Island.

Dr. Pirich has been a professor at SJC since 2013. He is the holder of nine patents, an International Society for Photonics and Optics (SPIE) Fellow, member of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition Program and the author of more than 200 technical papers and presentations. He also continues to serve as co-chair of the SPIE Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments.

Dr. Pirich lives in Islip with his wife, Donna. The couple has two sons, Christopher and Michael.

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St. Joseph’s College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 35 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.