To stay competitive in the global high-tech arena, U.S. industry, universities, and government must collaborate synergistically. The National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Centers (ERCs), now in their third generation, demonstrate pioneering cross-sector research that advances biotechnology/healthcare, information technology, and energy/sustainable infrastructure. ERC projects keep American industry at the vanguard of innovation to generate new jobs while exposing the next generation of engineers to a dynamic, commercially-oriented environment. This briefing will showcase graduated and current ERCs’ lessons learned and ongoing accomplishments.
Anthony Boccanfuso, Ph.D. was selected in 2007 to serve as the inaugural Executive Director for the University Industry Demonstration Partnership. Before taking on his current position, Dr. Boccanfuso was Director for Research and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina and currently retains the position of Senior Director for Strategic Alliances within the College of Engineering and Computing there. Dr. Boccanfuso has had a distinguished career in the research management and science policy arenas and has held a variety of positions at the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as several universities. He currently serves on several boards including the MedStar Health Research Institute, the Ohio University Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research and the Hydrogen Education Foundation for which he is the current chair. Tony earned his B.S. in Political Science and Chemistry from Furman University and holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of South Carolina.
Lynn Preston is the Deputy Director of the Division of Engineering Education and Centers of the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Leader of the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program, a major NSF program established in 1984. Ms. Preston was a member of the team that initiated this program and has led it since the late 1980s. In 2005, Ms. Preston restructured this successful program to make an even larger impact on innovation, supporting new third-generation (Gen-3) ERCs charged with additional goals for pursuing translational research partnerships with small firms and education programs that stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation. Ms. Preston joined the NSF staff in 1972 as a member of the Research Applied to National Needs Program. She has received numerous awards for her leadership in interdisciplinary research and the ERC Program including the President of the United States’s Meritorious Executive Service Award in 2000 and the National Society of Professional Engineers as the NSF Federal Engineer of the Year in 2003. In 2009 the Gen-3 ERC team received the NSF Director’s Award for Collaborative Integration. Ms. Preston’s B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder focused in biology, chemistry, and economics.
James “Oz” Osborn is Executive Director and a co-founder of the Quality of Life Technology Center, a collaboration of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh funded by the National Science Foundation as one of its Engineering Research Centers since 2006. He is also the Coordinator of University Life Science Initiatives for CMU. From 2001 to 2006 Mr. Osborn was Executive Director of the CMU’s Medical Robotics Technology Center, as well as MERITS of Pittsburgh, a program to stimulate collaborations between clinical and technological researchers. Previously, he founded a regional economic development group, the Pittsburgh Robotics Initiative. From 1985 through 1999, he held research and management positions in CMU’s Robotics Institute and led several multi-million dollar robotics R&D projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and industry, including the first robot to explore an active volcano and robots for investigation of the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island nuclear accidents. Mr. Osborn has served as a board member of several professional society robotics divisions and chaired two technical conferences. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Civil and Biomedical Engineering, both from CMU.
Fernando Muzzio, Ph.D. is a Professor II of Chemical Engineering at Rutgers University. He is the director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center on Structured Organic Particulate Systems. The Center, which has an annual budget exceeding $10 million, focuses on pharmaceutical product and process design, with special emphasis on continuous manufacturing, particle engineering, and personalized medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and 35 companies are currently members of the center. Dr. Muzzio’s research interests comprise powder mixing, mixing and flow of liquids and suspensions, and the development of continuous systems for pharmaceutical solid dose manufacturing. He is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles, book chapters and patents. Also a frequent advisor and lecturer at FDA events, in 2010 Dr. Muzzio was appointed a voting member of the FDA committee on Pharmaceutical Sciences and clinical pharmacology. Professor Muzzio was also the director of the recently completed National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research training program (IGERT) in Nanopharmaceutical Engineering. He has consulted more than 100 companies, including most of the large pharmaceutical companies, as well as those in chemical, petroleum, polymers, food, consumer products, catalysts, manufacturing equipment, software, and construction materials sectors.
Rao Tummala, Ph.D. is a Distinguished and Endowed Chair Professor, and Founding Director of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology, pioneering Moore’s Law for System Integration. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he was an IBM Fellow, pioneering the first plasma display and multichip electronics for mainframes and servers. He received his B.S. from the Indian Institute of Science, and Ph.D. from University of Illinois, garnering Distinguished Alumni Awards from both and also Georgia Tech. In addition, Dr. Tummala has received many industry, academic, and professional society awards from organizations including: Industry Week, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Microelectronics And Packaging Society (IMPAS), ASM-International, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. In 2011, he received the Technovisionary Award from the Indian Semiconductor Association and IEEE Field Award for contributions in electronics systems integration, and cross-disciplinary education. Dr. Tummala has published about 500 technical papers, holds 74 patents and inventions, and authored many modern text/book firsts: Microelectronics Packaging Handbook; undergraduate Fundamentals of Microsystems Packaging; and one introducing System-On-Package technology. He is an IEEE Fellow, member of the National Academy of Engineering, and past Presidents of both IEEE-Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society and IMAPS.