Spinout Company Fourier LLC to Revolutionize Thermal Management

After pioneering thermoforming technical ceramic matrix composites (CMC’s) last year, MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb and mechanical engineering alum Jason Hoffman-Bice, PhD’22, have created a spinout company called Fourier LLC to commercialize their groundbreaking innovation in thermal management.

Fourier’s Breakthrough Thermal Management Technology: Thermoformable Ceramic Matrix Composites

In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of the electronics industry, the demand for cutting-edge thermal management solutions has reached unprecedented levels. As electronic devices continue to shrink in size while delivering higher performance, the need to effectively dissipate heat and ensure optimal reliability has become a critical challenge. Although existing thermal management solutions partially address these demands, they often fall short in terms of cost-effectiveness, size limitations, manufacturing methods, and material compatibility.

Last year, a groundbreaking innovation in thermal management, known as thermoforming technical ceramic matrix composites (CMC’s), emerged from the Directed Assembly of Particles and Suspensions (DAPS) Laboratory at Northeastern University. The research was completed by Jason Hoffman-Bice, a PhD graduate, under the guidance of Professor Randall Erb and was funded and supported by Raytheon, an RTX business. Their materials and manufacturing technology are capable of creating large deformations in fully sintered ceramic pre-formed sheets, that can be applied to an array of potential applications ranging from high powered printed circuit boards to RF devices and medical devices.

Recognizing the massive potential of the technology, Hoffman-Bice and Professor Erb have spun out a company called Fourier LLC. Working with Northeastern’s Center for Research Innovation (CRI) they recently executed an exclusive license agreement, enabling them to move forward in their efforts to commercialize the technology.

A pivotal catalyst in Fourier’s early success was their participation in the CRI’s Ignite program, a pre-incubator initiative designed to empower aspiring entrepreneurs. Fourier’s acceptance into the program played a crucial role in their rapid business development. Through Ignite, Fourier gained access to a comprehensive suite of resources and support services. Notably, the Entrepreneur in Residence program provided invaluable guidance and mentorship, while the marketing and branding program elevated Fourier’s visual identity.

Fourier was also an awardee of the CRI’s Spark Fund, a program designed to provide financial and strategic support to promising startups. Working closely with Fourier under the Spark Fund, Echo St. Germain, a Northeastern graduate and R&D engineer, has been instrumental in propelling the technology forward, resulting in significant development milestones.

Bolstered by the strong support of Northeastern University, Raytheon, and a passionate team of entrepreneurs and technical experts, Fourier is poised to reshape the thermal management landscape, ensuring a cooler, more reliable future for electronic devices worldwide.

Source: Center for Research Innovation

Related Departments:Mechanical & Industrial Engineering