Board of Directors

Nezih Yaramanoglu, Ph.D.

Director Cross-Portfolio Technologies and Innovation

Siemens Industry Software Inc.

Dr. Nezih Yaramanoglu is the Director Cross-Portfolio Technologies and Innovation at Siemens Industry Software Inc. Nezih’s focus is Industry Processes and their influences on IT-Solution Architectures.

Nezih has 36 years of experience in IT Solution research and development for production processes. Prior to his current position he was responsible for providing development support in initiating and leading strategic Digital Manufacturing projects. Resulting from these activities he became a co-founder of the e-Factory organization of UGS in 2001. Nezih was the leader of the dCADE PBU of UGS Products organization, which was merged to Unigraphics Solutions GmbH in 1999. Before the merger he was the President & CEO of dCADE GmbH, which he co-founded in 1991. During his career path Nezih has initiated and lead various international research projects with consortia consisting of members from European automotive, shipbuilding and aerospace industries. Nezih’s academic background is Mechanical Engineering with a PhD in Production Engineering from Technical University of Berlin, Germany, where he also received his master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Barbara Boyan, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Engineering

Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Barbara Boyan is Professor and the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Chair in Biomedical Engineering and Dean, School of Engineering at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  In addition, she is professor emerita in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where she held the Price Gilbert, Jr. Chair in Tissue Engineering.  She is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and in the American Institute of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE) and in 2012 she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and was inducted into the Fellows of the World Congress of Biomaterials.

Dr. Boyan is recipient of numerous awards, including the Honorary Lifetime Member Award from the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Distinguished Scientist Biomineralization Award and the American Academy of Periodontology R. Earl Robinson Periodontal Regeneration Award (1997, 1999, and 2001), as well as the Women’s Leadership Forum Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society (2012) and the Sigma Xi Sustained Research Award (2012).  She was appointed to the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Academy of Sciences and chaired their Roundtable on Biomedical Engineering Materials and Applications (2008 to 2011).  In 1993, she co-founded OsteoBiologics, Inc. (San Antonio, TX), which was acquired by Smith & Nephew in 2007.  OBI’s first generation of products is now approved for use clinically both in the US and Europe.  Dr. Boyan is also founder of Biomedical Development Corporation in San Antonio, as well as Orthonics, Inc. (Atlanta) and SpherIngenics, Inc. (Richmond).  The author of more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and book chapters, Dr. Boyan holds 15 U.S. patents.

Bill Donohue

President & Executive Director

Bill Donohue is the President and Executive Director of GENEDGE. He leads a regionally deployed network of Regional Growth Managers and Practice Managers committed to accelerating growth in technology and industrial clusters and businesses, thereby growing Virginia’s GDP while helping to retain and create quality jobs. His organizational leadership drives and supports GENEDGE’s mission to be Virginia’s best public resource to help manufacturing and industry innovate, compete, and grow.

Bill’s industrial career began in the engineered materials business unit at GE Plastics and Silicones where he managed a global investment and technology program resulting in annual revenues of $2.5 Billion. Just prior to joining GENEDGE, he successfully completed the general management level strategic start up, expansion and turnaround assignments for Fortune 500 companies primarily in the sealants, packaging, pressure sensitive adhesive, and electronic films businesses.

He is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Rochester with later completion of the GE Management Development Program. In addition, he is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and a member of various professional organizations both regionally and nationally.

Outside of GENEDGE, Bill cherishes time at home with his wife Pamela and their much loved golden doodle dogs – including visits from their adult children and grandchildren. When rare time allows, he might be found: golfing, gardening, collecting art, and cheering for Virginia Tech football.

Dawit Haile, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Engineering and Technology Interim Dean, College of Natural and Health Sciences

Virginia State University

Dr. Dawit Haile is a professor of Computer Science and Mathematics and currently serving as a Dean for the College of Engineering and Technology and Interim Dean for the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Virginia State University. He has more than 27 years of industry and academic experience including previous appointments at Xavier University and Southern Illinois University. As chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Virginia State University, he led the development of undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science and help to establish the department’s research capabilities in the areas of machine learning, data mining and cyber security. He received a VSU Bank of America Outstanding Faculty award in 2007 in recognition to his excellent contributions in the areas of teaching, research and service. His research and teaching interests includes combinatorics, graph theory, networks, and data mining. He has published journal/conference research articles, book chapters and has chaired a number of conferences. He has received more than $18M in state and federal grant awards.

Reappointed by the Governor of Virginia, Dr. Haile serves a third term as a member of the Commonwealth’s Manufacturing Development Commission. The commission assess manufacturing needs and formulate legislative and regulatory remedies to ensure the future of the manufacturing sector in Virginia. Dr. Haile has been a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, American Mathematical Society, Mathematical Association of America (MAA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He had served as a member of a Committee of the MAA on Minority Participation in Mathematics. He serves on an advisory board for the Commonwealth Data Internship Program. He also serve on the Board of the Southeastern Universities Research Association Coastal and Environmental Research Committee.

Dr. Haile earned a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Southern Illinois University, a master’s degree in Computer Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a master’s degree in Mathematics from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He currently resides in Chester, Virginia with his wife and two children.

Benjamin Houck

Special Assistant to the VP of Finance and CFO

Gary Pickrell, Ph.D.

Professor in Materials Science and Engineering; Associate Director of the Center for Photonics Technology in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech

Gary Pickrell is a Professor in Materials Science and Engineering; Associate Director of the Center for Photonics Technology in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech; Rolls Royce Commonwealth Director and Technical Advisory Board voting member to CCAM.  He has been honored as a Fellow of SPIE, Senior member of IEEE, Faculty Fellow, Outstanding Assistant Professor, and with an R&D 100 award.  He has over 250 publications, including 20 books, 5 special Journal issues, and 20 patents issued.  He has chaired ~ 35 international conferences on sensors and advanced materials, served on the organizing committee for ~ 50 conferences and has been the PI on ~ $10 million in funded research and a PI or co-PI on $20 million while at Virginia Tech. Previous to academia, he held various industrial positions such as process engineer, R&D Scientist, Technical Director, and member of the Board of Directors for various organizations.  He has served on many technical advisory boards and review panels for both industry and government including NSF, DOE and twice on a Triennial Review Team of the Naval Research Lab facilities, personnel and research projects.

Robert F. Proctor

Chief, Materials Engineering – Defence

Rolls-Royce Corporation

Rob Proctor is the Defence Chief of Materials at Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indianapolis, IN.  Rob is responsible for developing the strategy to deliver world class materials and manufacturing technology for manufacture and repair of aerospace gas turbines.  Rob has held various management and technical specialist roles during his 18 years at Rolls-Royce.  He has contributed to manufacturing and repair technology development including the application of additive manufacturing, novel joining process development, and special processes engineering support for operations, while earning an M.S. in Technology from Purdue University. Prior to coming to Rolls-Royce, he graduated with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida and subsequently worked for Emerson Electric and Howmet.

Eric Weisel, Ph.D.

Executive Director VMASC & Associate Vice President

Old Dominion University

Executive Director of VMASC/Associate Vice President for Applied Research, received a B.S. in Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy, an M.S. in Operations Research from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization Engineering from Old Dominion University. Previously, he served as the Director of Applied Research for the University’s Office of Research. He also served as Chief Scientist for Training and Simulation Solutions at General Dynamics and as the Founder and CEO for WernerAnderson, Inc., a technology research start-up firm.

Jennifer L. West, Ph.D.

Dean of Engineering and Applied Science

University of Virginia

Jennifer West joined UVA as Dean of Engineering and Applied Science in July 2021.  Prior to this, she had been on the faculty at Duke since 2012, after having been the department chair and Cameron Professor of Bioengineering Rice University.  Professor West was one of the founding members of Rice’s Department of Bioengineering, building it to a top ten program over the prior sixteen years.  Dr. West became the Associate Dean for Doctoral Education in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke in 2014.  In 2019, the Duke Graduate School honored her with the Dean’s Graduate Mentoring Award.

Professor West’s research focuses on the development of novel biofunctional materials.  Part of her program has developed nanoparticle-based approaches to biophotonics therapeutics and diagnostics.  An example of this work is the application of near-infrared absorbing nanoparticles for photothermal tumor ablation.  In animal studies, this therapeutic strategy has demonstrated very high efficacy with minimal side effects or damage to surrounding normal tissues.  Professor West founded Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc. to commercialize the nanoparticle-assisted photothermal ablation technology, now called AuroLase.  Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc., located in Houston, TX, is the recipient of a NIST ATP Award and a grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.  Professor West is a director of the company.  The company has built manufacturing facilities, and AuroLase cancer therapy is now in human clinical trials.

Professor West has received numerous accolades for her work.  In 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Inventors.  In 2016, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  In 2015, she received the Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award.  In 2014, she was recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Highly Cited Researcher, the top 1% in the field of materials science.  In 2010 she was named Texas Inventor of the Year and also Admiral of the Texas Navy (highest honor the governor of Texas can bestow on a civilian).  In 2008, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas honored her with the O’Donnell Prize in Engineering as the top engineer in the state.  In 2006, she was named one of 20 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors, recognizing integration of world class research and teaching.  She has been listed by MIT Technology Review as one of the 100 most innovative young scientists and engineers worldwide.  Other recognitions include the Christopher Columbus Foundation Frank Annunzio Award for scientific innovation, Nanotechnology Now’s Best Discovery of 2003, Small Times Magazine’s Researchers of the Year in 2004, and the Society for Biomaterials Outstanding Young Investigator Award.

Professor West has authored more than 200 research articles.  She also holds 18 patents that have been licensed to eight different companies.  She has lectured at numerous institutions, including Harvard, Harvard Medical School, MIT, FDA, and NCI.  She was an invited speaker at the 2006 Nobel Symposium and invited back in 2014 for the 50th Anniversary Nobel Symposium.

Professor West has served as a member of the CSR Council and the Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences study section at NIH, and has served on numerous other review boards for NIH and NSF.  She has also been a member of the Defense Sciences Study Group, a member of the NRC panel on management of university intellectual property, and a member of the AAMC panel on research.  She has served as Chair of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and treasurer for the Biomedical Engineering Society.  Her laboratory has received funding from NIH, NSF, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and DOD.

David Young

Deputy Director

NASA Langley Research Center

Mr. David Young is the Deputy Director at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. Langley, founded in 1917, is the nation’s first civilian aeronautical research facility and NASA’s first field center. Langley is where NASA researches solutions to challenges ranging from global climate change and access to space, to air travel, and future aviation vehicles. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director, Mr. Young served as the Director of the Langley Science Directorate. In this capacity, he was responsible for a research portfolio that includes satellite and aircraft-based missions designed to improve our knowledge of changes in the Earth’s atmosphere and how those changes affect public health, air quality, our economy, and national security. The Langley science portfolio also includes major contributions to the development and implementation of technologies that enable planetary science, particularly in the areas of the entry, descent, and landing of planetary missions.

Since joining NASA in 1996, Mr. Young has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in a variety of roles. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in October 2012 as Deputy Director for Programs in Langley’s Engineering Directorate, where he was responsible for providing systems engineering and discipline engineering capability for implementing complex missions in support of NASA’s Science, Exploration, Aeronautics, and Space Technology missions. Prior to that, Mr. Young served in a progression of management and technical leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Langley. In 2006, he was detailed to NASA Headquarters as part of the Agency’s Leadership Development Program as a Program Executive in the Applied Sciences Program. In 2007, he served a detail as the Senior Program Advisor for Polar Orbiting Satellites for the Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services of NOAA. Mr. Young’s leadership expertise was recognized in 2011 when he received the prestigious NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and in 2018 when he received the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award.

Mr. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University. His research career has been focused on the generation of reliable long-term records of our planet that are used to benefit the public through informed policy decisions. He is the author or co-author of over 55 peer-reviewed science publications, and he received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2001 for his pioneering work in Earth Science.

When not at work, Mr. Young enjoys spending time with his wife, two adult sons, and two grandchildren. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, he remains perennially optimistic about Philadelphia sports teams.

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