Ken Marcus: Inventor Spotlight

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Clemson University chemistry professor, Dr. R. Kenneth Marcus, has made a substantial impact on the scientific community with his innovative research. Having served as a faculty member at Clemson for over 30 years, Marcus has received several patents and awards for his work in the development and application of new plasma techniques for the atomic spectroscopic analysis of diverse materials.


Marcus began his career as an inventor during his time as a graduate student at the University of Virginia, where he received his first patent for a novel excitation and ionization source for the elemental analysis of solid materials. In 1986, he graduated with a patent and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry. In addition to his individual accomplishments as an inventor, Marcus takes great pride in molding the next generation of researchers. At Clemson, he works extensively with a research group made up of several Clemson University Ph.D. students. The group’s research is rooted in analytical chemistry but has two unique fields of study. Marcus’s group has developed the Liquid Sampling – Atmospheric Pressure Glow Discharge (LS-APGD), a novel atmospheric pressure glow discharge source that is being used as a spectrochemical means for optical emission and mass spectrometric analysis. The second research focus centers on a protein separation method that uses capillary-channeled polymer (C-CP) fibers as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).


A long-time contributor to science and the futures of his many students, Ken Marcus is valued not only as a Clemson faculty member, but also as an inventor. Currently, Marcus serves on the editorial boards for three international journals and has received several notable honors including the 2001 S.C. Governor’s Award for Excellence in Science Research, and is a Fellow in multiple societies including the Royal Society of Chemistry (London), and most recently, the National Academy of Inventors. 


Learn more about Ken Marcus here.

Featured Inventor: Dr. John DesJardins

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John DesJardins

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering
Director of Bioengineering Abroad Programs

Dr. John Desjardins is the founder of the Clemson University Retrieval of Explants Program and Registry in Orthopaedics (CU-REPRO), which is a regional repository that collects and studies explanted total joint devices. He also serves as the Director of the Laboratory of Orthopaedic Design and Engineering at Clemson University, and the Frank H. Stelling and C. Dayton Riddle Orthopaedic Education and Research Laboratory at CUBEInC. His research interests include total joint replacements, orthopaedic biomechanics, and biomaterials – about which he has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed conference or journal publications.

Dr. Desjardins also founded Clemson’s undergraduate bioengineering study abroad programs, and directs/assists with international programs in Spain, Singapore, and Tanzania. He currently leads or is a co-PI on many multi-disciplinary research teams for projects funded through NASA, DoT, NSF, the Gates Foundation, biomedical industry and other regional non-profit foundations. As an assistant professor in Bioengineering, he is the director of the senior capstone design courses, where he mentors 15+ small teams annually to develop innovative biomedical devices in partnership with local industry or clinical partners. Click here to see a list of Dr. Desjardins’s publications.