hen it comes to the window market, Sean Depner,
Ph.D., '07, is ahead of the curve. His company,
Dimien, based out of Buffalo, has been working for
three years on developing retrofitable "smart windows."
"They'll have the ability to reject solar heat at high tempera-
tures," Depner explained. "In low temperatures, they will let
solar heat in."
The windows would be energy and cost efficient.
"We've kind of been marketing ourselves as a way to save en-
ergy and therefore energy expenses," Depner said of Dimien.
"You can save money on heating, cooling and lighting costs, and
can reduce some carbon footprint -- regardless of where people
stand on climate change, everybody likes to save money."
Depner has jumped many hurdles since branching out on his
own with Dimien -- some of which he didn't see coming.
"One of the biggest obstacles we kind of didn't expect to
be as big was hiring. There's plenty of talent, but finding
the right fit is tough," he said. "It took longer and a lot
more time from us than we thought."
Depner started Dimien after completing his graduate de-
gree at the University at Buffalo, where he was working
with the same material he is now. The goal of Dimien is to
take the technology out of the lab and commercialize it.
Working on the window technology in the lab, Depner and
his team realized there was a possibility that it could help people
save energy and money. The group then participated in the NSF
I-CORP program and wrote proposals for government funding to
help start the business. As a result, Dimien was awarded grants
from several organizations, among them Western New York In-
cubator Network (WIN), the New York State Energy Research and
Development Authority, and the National Science Foundation
Small Business Innovation Research programs.
The chemistry major came to Bonaventure in 2003, attracted
to the school because of its great financial aid, location and class
Meet SEAN DEPNER, PH.D., '07
Vice President for Research and Development
and member of Dimien, a specialty chemical
manufacturer of ceramics and inorganics that are
used as additives in laminates, inks, coatings,
plastics, and other ceramics
"I don't know if I would have done as well in a class
with thousands of people," he said.
His social life helped him develop a foundation in
business, he explained.
"A lot of my friends were in the business school," he
said. "I think that made it more approachable to start a
Sean Depner, Ph.D.
1576 Sweet Home Road
Amherst, NY 14228
By Diana McElfresh, '18