Darla Xavier ENG’06, PhD’09

Spring 2014

Inventor Darla Xavier, ENG’06, PhD’09, breaks into a smile upon admitting that she never paid much attention in business classes. “I was daydreaming about schematics when I should have been paying attention to the rules of general accounting,” the Penn Engineering alum says with a laugh.

But a penchant for daydreams seems to have worked out well for Xavier, as these days she holds a number of technology patents. In fact, following brief stints at HP and as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense, she’s managed to make a pretty good living through licensing her technologies to other companies.

But now Xavier wants in on the action.

“I eventually realized that my ideas have been creating a lot of value for these companies,” she explains. “Now I want to build something for myself.”

Xavier’s latest inventions – related to a new technology called crossmorphic sensors – may allow her to do just that. Small but powerful, this patent pending analytic device can self-configure to scan a wide array of organic compounds and instantly transmit the data for collection. She says her ultimate goal is to start a crossmorphic revolution, and notes that she’s looking to recruit Wharton MBAs to help her cause.

“Obviously I love Penn, and I recognize the incredible value of a Wharton MBA. And combining that Wharton business acumen with my crossmorphic-sensor technology can only lead to great things,” Xavier concludes. “Sure, we might not start a revolution – but I’d settle for starting a business.”

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