Workshop Host

John D. Simon, Ph.D.
President, Lehigh University

Lehigh University President John D. SimonJohn D. Simon ’19P, Lehigh’s 14th president, is an internationally renowned chemist and highly respected leader in higher education. During his time at Lehigh, President Simon has worked to raise the university’s national profile, enhance experiential learning opportunities for students, strengthen and grow its research infrastructure, expand its global programs, and build on its long, proud legacy of success in teaching, research, and service.

President Simon came to Lehigh from the University of Virginia where he served as executive vice president and provost. In that role, he was responsible for the academic administration of each of the university’s 11 colleges, as well as its library system, art museums, public service activities, and foreign study programs. Simon previously served as vice-provost for academic affairs at Duke University from 2005 to 2011. During his time at Duke, he guided the university’s strategic planning process and drove initiatives aimed at connecting the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Simon received his B.A. from Williams College in 1979 and his Ph.D. from the department of chemistry at Harvard University in 1983. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, Simon joined the department of chemistry and biochemistry at UCSD in 1985 and then moved to Duke University as the George B. Geller Professor in 1998.

Confirmed Series Speakers

Additional speakers are being confirmed. Please check back regularly for updates.

Hamid R. Azimi, Ph.D.
Vice President, Technology Development
Director, Substrate Packaging Technology Development

Hamid Azimi, Ph.D.Hamid Azimi, an Intel VP in Technology Development group, is responsible for advanced substrate packaging for all Intel logic products across Intel’s substrate suppliers’ factories, as well as the company’s two internal substrate R&D factories. These R&D factories are the birthplace of panel level die embedding technology and play a crucial role for enabling EMIB, the key technology to Intel’s data-centric business and heterogenous and chiplets packaging. His team works with equipment, material, chemical and substrate suppliers to develop Si-fab backend-like technologies for panel level advanced packaging, and transfer technologies to Intel supplier factories to meet the demand of future Intel products. A recognized expert in the substrate packaging industry, and a recipient of Lehigh University Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr Azimi holds more than a dozen patents related to advanced substrate packaging materials, design. He has published several papers and given keynote talks at international conferences. Dr. Azimi is currently an honorary board member at International Semiconductor Executive Summit. He received his bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

Keith Blanks, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist
Booz Allen Hamilton

Dr. Keith BlanksKeith Blanks is a chief scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton with more than 20 years of experience applying laser and optical technology in the aerospace industries. He holds a B.S. degree in engineering physics, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Lehigh University where he was a General Motors Scholar and an ALCOA Fellow. Dr. Blanks leads a team of technical experts focused on technology maturation and rapid prototyping of an ultra-wide band, multispectral optical communications system. Prior to joining Booz Allen, he was a principal scientist for The Aerospace Corporation providing technical leadership to the Research Development and Acquisition Task Force at OSD/AT&L, the Space Security and Defense Program supporting U.S. Space Force, NASA’s Space Asset Protection Program, as well as the principal investigator for Active Multi-Dimensional Imaging and Sensing (AMDIS) by ultra-wide band laser illumination. Dr. Blanks has been awarded 6 U.S. Patents, authored more than 20 technical reports and journal articles, and has 30 invited technical and STEM presentations at technical conferences and universities. He is a resident of Colorado along with his wife, their two daughters, and their five grandchildren. In his free time, Keith enjoys traveling, collecting antiques, and wetting a line (fishing).

Gary S. Calabrese, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President
Director, Corning Global Research

Gary Calabrese, PhDGary Calabrese joined Corning in 2008 and is senior vice president and head of Global Research. Previously he worked at Polaroid, Allied-Signal, and Rohm and Haas where he headed their corporate research laboratory and later became vice president and chief technology officer. Dr. Calabrese holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from Lehigh University and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from MIT. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Chemical Society. Calabrese has served on many advisory boards including the Council for Chemical Research, Chemical & Engineering News, the Cornell University Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the Lehigh University Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the American Chemical Society. He currently is a member of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Chemical Engineering at M.I.T. He has over 60 patents and technical publications.

F. Fleming Crim, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer
National Science Foundation

Fleming CrimDr. F. Fleming Crim was appointed chief operating officer (COO) for the National Science Foundation on July 1, 2018. Crim has a distinguished record of accomplishments in research and education. He spent 40 years in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is now the John E. Willard and Hilldale Professor Emeritus. From 2013 to 2017, Crim served as NSF’s assistant director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. He has lectured around the world and published more than 150 papers. His original scientific work and teaching have earned many awards. These include the Plyler Prize of the American Physical Society, the Langmuir Award of the American Chemical Society, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (London). He received his bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University and his doctorate from Cornell University. Crim is a fellow of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Catherine T. “Katie” Hunt, Ph.D.
Retired R&D Director, Innovation Sourcing and Sustainable Technologies, Rohm and Haas/Dow Chemical
Past President, American Chemical Society

Catherine T. "Katie" Hunt, Ph.D., photo by Peter Cutts PhotographyCatherine T. “Katie” Hunt was the Brenton S. Halsey Distinguished Visiting Professor in Engineering at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Dr. Hunt was drawn out of retirement by the opportunity to teach ENGR 4880, lessons learned during her nearly 30-year career in industry. As the R&D Director of Innovation Sourcing & Sustainable Technologies at Dow, she championed multimillion-dollar technology partnerships across academia, industry, national labs, and government agencies. Dr. Hunt is a past president of the American Chemical Society (ACS), an ACS and AAAS Fellow, and current chair of the NSF MPS AC (Math and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee).

Marie Johansson, Ph.D.
Director of Product Sustainability
Colgate-Palmolive Company

Marie Johansson, Ph.D.Marie Johansson is the Director of Product Sustainability for Colgate-Palmolive Company, a consumer products company based in New York City. She is responsible for the leadership of Colgate’s global product sustainability program. In addition, she leads the stewardship committee on ingredients selection in addition to external programs with retailers and other stakeholders. She is also a key leader for the Colgate-Palmolive consumer transparency program. She serves on many Trade Association committees, such as Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), American Cleaning Institute, (ACI), Cosmetic Europe (CE) and the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE). Marie has also served on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Science. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Lehigh University and a M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from Lund University, Sweden. She is also the author of six patents.

Nimmi Kannankutty, D. Sc.
Senior Advisor
Office of the Director
National Science Foundation

Nimmi Kannankutty, Ph.D.Nimmi Kannankutty is Senior Advisor to the Director of the National Science Foundation, where she serves as a liaison to the National Science Board and supports policy functions within the Office of the Director. Dr. Kannankutty is currently on a temporary assignment to this role from her position as the Deputy Division Director (DDD) in the Division of Graduate Education (DGE). DGE’s mission is to provide funding to support graduate students and the development of novel, innovative programs to prepare tomorrow’s leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. As the deputy, she provided oversight to over $400 million in annual funding in support of this mission. As a senior executive at NSF, she has provided programmatic, policy and strategic leadership in multiple NSF organizations. Prior to her current position, Dr. Kannankutty held leadership and research positions in the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), a federal statistical agency within NSF. She is a national expert on STEM education and the high-skilled workforce in the U.S. Her publications cover science and engineering education, demographic profiles of scientists and engineers, research and development trends, and methodological research on these topics. Dr. Kannankutty trained as a civil engineer at the University of Minnesota. She then went on to earn a master’s in Technology and Human Affairs and a doctorate in Engineering and Policy from Washington University in St. Louis.

Julia Kent, Ph.D.
Vice President, Best Practices and Strategic Initiatives
Council of Graduate Schools

Julia Kentis, Ph.D.Julia Kent is Vice President, Best Practices and Strategic Initiatives at the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), an organization of nearly 500 universities that grant master’s and doctoral degrees. Since 2008, she has led programs on a broad range of topics in graduate education, including PhD career pathways; diversity and inclusion; graduate admissions processes; international collaborations; research ethics and integrity; and the preparation of future faculty. Dr. Kent serves as co-Principal Investigator for a multi-phase project supported by NSF and the Mellon Foundation, Understanding PhD Career Pathways for Program Improvement (NSF #1661272), which has brought together a coalition of 70 universities working to collect and analyze data on PhD careers and to use resulting information to improve graduate student experiences and outcomes. She also serves as co-Principal Investigator for a new initiative supported by the Alfred P. Sloan and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations, Supporting Graduate Student Mental Health and Wellbeing, which seeks to create an evidence-base to inform future policy and action in this area. She holds a PhD in English from Johns Hopkins University.

Briana Konnick, Ph.D.
Graduate Career Consortium

Brianna Konnick, Ph.D.Briana Konnick, PhD, currently serves as President of the Graduate Career Consortium (GCC), a nonprofit organization providing an international voice for graduate-level career and professional development leaders. She is also the Associate Director of Graduate Career Development at the University of Chicago, responsible for supporting the career and professional development of over 2000 PhD students and postdocs across all STEM programs. Briana was previously a Program Coordinator at The Scripps Research Institute, providing career support to biomedical scientists. She received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, her PhD in the biological sciences from The Scripps Research Institute, and conducted a short postdoctoral appointment there.

David H. Ledbetter, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer

David Ledbetter, Ph.D.David H. Ledbetter is executive vice president and chief scientific officer at Geisinger. He came to Geisinger from Atlanta’s Emory University School of Medicine, where he was the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and director of the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Human Genetics. Dr. Ledbetter previously held academic and leadership positions at the University of Chicago, the National Center for Human Genome Research (now NHGRI) at NIH and Baylor College of Medicine. He is a graduate of Tulane University and earned his doctorate at the University of Texas-Austin. After his early discovery of the genetic cause of Prader-Willi syndrome and Miller-Dieker syndrome, Dr. Ledbetter has focused his research efforts on discovering the underlying etiology of childhood developmental disabilities such as autism. He has been a participant and leader in the Human Genome Project since its inception in 1990 with a focus on the translation of new genomics technologies into clinically useful genetic tests for early diagnosis, intervention and prevention of disease. His current research interest includes leveraging the massive amount of genomics data generated during routine patient care for knowledge generation and integration of this information into electronic health records in a clinically useful manner.

Ravi Mahajan
Intel Fellow, Assembly and Packaging Technology Pathfinding

Ravi MahajanRavi Mahajan is an Intel Fellow responsible for Assembly and Packaging Technology Pathfinding for future silicon nodes. Ravi also represents Intel in interactions with academia. He has led Pathfinding efforts to define Package Architectures, Technologies and Assembly Processes for multiple Intel silicon nodes including 90nm, 65nm, 45nm, 32nm, 22nm and 7nm silicon. Ravi joined Intel in 1992 after earning his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University. He holds the original patents for silicon bridges that became the foundation for Intel’s EMIB technology. His early insights have led to high-performance, cost-effective cooling solutions for high-end microprocessors and the proliferation of photo-mechanics techniques for thermo-mechanical stress model validation. His contributions during his Intel career have earned him numerous industry honors, including the SRC’s 2015 Mahboob Khan Outstanding Industry Liaison Award, the 2016 THERMI Award from SEMITHERM, the 2016 Allan Kraus Thermal Management Medal & the 2018 InterPACK Achievement award from ASME, the 2019 “Outstanding Service and Leadership to the IEEE” Awards from IEEE Phoenix Section & Region 6 and most recently the 2020 Richard Chu ITherm Award and the 2020 ASME EPPD Excellence in Mechanics Award. He is one of the founding editors for the Intel Assembly and Test Technology Journal (IATTJ) and currently VP of Publications & Managing Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions of the CPMT. He has long been associated with ASME’s InterPACK conference and was Conference Co-Chair of the 2017 Conference. Ravi is a Fellow of two leading societies, ASME and IEEE.

Brennon Marcano
Chief Executive Officer, The National GEM Consortium

Brennon Marcano, CEO The GEM ConsortiumBrennon Marcano is the Chief Executive Officer of The National GEM Consortium. He has over 20 years of experience in the private and nonprofit sectors. His leadership experience spans multiple industries, primarily financial services, technology, and media and entertainment. Prior to joining GEM, he was the Executive Director of the Council of Urban Professionals, (CUP) a non-profit whose vision is to seek parity at the highest levels of business and civic engagement. Brennon sits on the City University of New York’s, School of Professional Studies Foundation Board. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Brennon holds a Master’s degree in Technology Management from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Journalism from Baruch College.

Rahul Manepalli
Intel Fellow, Technology Development
Director, Substrate TD Module Engineering

Rahul ManepalliRahul Manepalli co-leads the substrate TD module engineering organization in ATTD and is responsible for pathfinding and development of next generation process technologies for Intel’s package substrates. He started as a Materials TD Engineer in 2000 and was instrumental in the development of many novel assembly materials for Intel’s logic, memory and communication platforms. Over the last decade, he has led the development of several industry first process platforms that have enabled advanced package substrates and disaggregated die packaging technologies including EMIB. Rahul is the author of over 75 patent publications, several of which are key to Intel’s embedded die packaging technologies such as BBUL, EMIB, and ODI. Rahul has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Osmania University in India.

Dawn Mason, Ph.D.
Global External Innovation Manager
Eastman Chemical Company

Dawn Mason, Ph.D.Dawn Mason is the Global External Innovation Manager at Eastman Chemical Company in Raleigh, N.C. where she is influencing front end innovation by identifying and leveraging external resources to accelerate internal growth initiatives. Since her arrival at Eastman in 2003, Dr. Mason has been a contributor across a broad spectrum of areas that range from bench chemist to enhancing workforce capabilities. Dr. Mason earned her B.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Throughout her career, she has used her combination of scientific expertise and people skills to drive a safety culture which has resulted in zero injuries to direct reports without sacrificing business results. Away from work, Dr. Mason is raising a young man with her husband, enjoys playing outside, and cooking.

Bethany McCormick
Director of Strategic Workforce Development for the Engineering Directorate
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Bethany (Beth) McCormick is currently the director of strategic workforce development for the Engineering Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Since joining LLNL in 2006, she has become known as a leader in STEM education and career development throughout the Bay Area and the country. McCormick has helped women, veterans, and under-served populations enter STEM careers requiring associates to advanced degrees. Her Vets2Tech program was recognized at the White House by Michelle Obama, at the US News STEM Conference, and won the 2017 Education Innovation Award given by the East Bay Economic Development Association. More recently, the Department of Energy’s Secretary Rick Perry identified this program as the best practice in the country for supporting veterans to attain careers in STEM. She sits on several advisory boards focused on STEM education: board member of UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering; diversity chair at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and executive board member of the Las Positas College Foundation. McCormick has recently been appointed to the National Security Enterprise educational partnership consortium focused on developing long-term workforce strategies and university partnerships serving the county’s growing national security needs. McCormick attended Michigan State University where she received a B.S. in chemical engineering.

Dan Meyers
Talent Acquisition Partner
Siemens US

Dan MeyersAs a Talent Acquisition Partner at Siemens US, Dan Meyers leads recruiting for Siemens Technology, a group that aims to transform society by developing innovative technology to positively impact people’s lives, shaping a better future for everyone.  His primary focus revolves around developing Talent Acquisition strategies to connect the brightest minds in technology to career possibilities at Siemens.

Dan graduated from Temple University with honors in 2016 with his B.B.A in Human Resources.  He joined Siemens right after graduating and has spent his career immersed in the world of Talent Acquisition. When in office he works out of Princeton, New Jersey but calls Philadelphia, Pennsylvania home.

Ron Paulsen, Ph.D.
Principal Program Manager
Microsoft Healthcare

Ron PaulsenRon Paulsen is a Principal Program Manager within Microsoft Healthcare. He obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Iowa and went on to receive his MS and PhD, also in EE, from Lehigh University. Paulsen is a veteran of industry, having worked for both small start-ups and large multinational companies throughout his career. In addition to his deep expertise in engineering and technological disciplines, Paulsen draws on his extensive professional and leadership experience to enable organizations by building effective cross-functional teams that are driven to accomplish large business goals. To this end, his recently held positions include President of R2P Solutions, a consulting company, Vice President of Engineering at Impinj, a manufacturer of RFID devices and software, and VP of Engineering at SNUPI Technologies, an early stage start-up that developed smart home sensing and moisture detection technology. In his current position at Microsoft, Paulsen works with a diverse team of researchers, computer scientists and engineers developing wearable devices for monitoring and improving cardiovascular health.

Arturo Pizano, Ph.D.
Manager, University Relations
Siemens Corporation, Corporate Research and Technology

Arturo Pizano, Ph.D.Arturo Pizano is Manager, University Relations for Siemens Corporation, Corporate Research and Technology. In this capacity he is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with US universities of strategic importance to Siemens’s R&D organization across the globe. Prior to his current position, Arturo was a part of the internal audit organization of Siemens as a member of the Operational Audit team. Arturo joined Siemens Corporate Research in 1993 as a Member of the Technical Staff in the Imaging and Visualization Department. He became Program Manager in Multimedia Communications and Collaboration and later Head of the Multimedia and Video Technology Department. Prior to joining Siemens he worked as a Staff Scientist in the Software Research Center of Ricoh Corporation in Santa Clara, California. Arturo holds a B.Sc. in Actuarial Science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California Los Angeles.

Alton (Al) D. Romig, Jr., Ph.D.
Executive Officer
National Academy of Engineering

Alton RomigAlton D. Romig, Jr. is the executive officer of the National Academy of Engineering. Under Congressional charter, the Academy provides advice to the federal government, when requested, on matters of engineering and technology. As executive officer, Dr. Romig is the chief operating officer responsible for the program, financial, and membership operations of the Academy, reporting to the NAE president.

He was previously vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Advanced Development Programs, better known as the Skunk Works®. He spent the majority of his career at Sandia National Laboratories, then operated by the Lockheed Martin Corporation, having joined Sandia as a member of the technical staff in 1979. Dr. Romig moved through a succession of R&D management positions leading to his appointment as executive vice president in 2005. He served as deputy laboratories director and chief operating officer until 2010, when he transferred to the Skunk Works.

Dr. Romig serves or has served on a number of Advisory Committees including those at Univ of Washington, MIT, Ohio State, Purdue, Georgia Tech, the Colorado School of Mines and Sandia National Laboratories. He is also visiting Associate of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Cal Tech. Dr. Romig is a member of the Board of Directors of Football Research, Inc., a non-profit entity created and supported by the National Football League to review engineering technology to improve the safety of the sport. From 2003 to 2008, he served on the Board of AWE, Aldermaston, UK and chaired the Program committee.

Dr. Romig is a Fellow TMS, IEEE, AIAA and AAAS. He is also a Fellow and Honorary Member of ASM International. Dr. Romig was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003 and the Council of Foreign Relations in 2008. He was awarded the ASM Silver Medal for Materials Research in 1988. Dr. Romig graduated from Lehigh University in 1975 with a BS in Materials Science and Engineering. He received his MS and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Lehigh University in 1977 and 1979, respectively.

Peter Rosenbaum
Executive Director
University Alliance Ruhr

Peter RosenbaumPeter Rosenbaum is the Executive Director the New York office of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr), a consortium of TU Dortmund University, Ruhr University Bochum and the University of Duisburg-Essen. With 120,000 students, 1,300 professors, and cutting-edge research facilities, UA Ruhr represents one of the largest and most innovative academic hubs in Germany. Rosenbaum has been leading the New York office since 2014 and has supported and facilitated academic collaborations between the three Ruhr Universities and a steadily growing network of partners in the United States and Canada. Prior to joining UA Ruhr, he was the Educational Liaison at the Goethe-Institut New York where he developed outreach and marketing strategies for positioning German programs in the US. Before that, he worked as Lecturer for German Studies at Trinity College (CT).

Gerhard Schembecker, Ph.D.
Professor for Plant and Process Design at the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering
TU Dortmund University

Gerhard SchembeckerGerhard Schembecker was appointed Professor for Plant and Process Design at the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering at TU Dortmund University in 2005. Before starting an academic career he co-founded the consultancy firm Process Design Center (PDC) with offices in Europe and the USA. For about ten years as President and CEO he was involved in more than hundred design projects for the chemical industry worldwide. His current research focuses on the design of (bio)chemical processes with special interest in downstream processes like crystallization and centrifugal partition chromatography and on module-based plant design. Dr. Schembecker received several process innovation awards, has published about 160 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and is named as inventor on various patents. Recently he co-founded the start-up companies inosim consulting and b.value AG, the latter investing in start-ups in the field of industrial biotechnology. Dr. Schembecker holds various positions in advisory boards. Among others, he is member of the Scientific Board of DDIC (Drug Delivery Innovation Center), a consortium performing pre-competitive research and development on pharmaceutical technologies. He is President and CEO of UA Ruhr Inc. in New York City, the liaison office of the three German Ruhr area based universities Duisburg-Essen, Bochum and Dortmund. In September 2020 he was elected Vice President Finance of TU Dortmund University.

Layne Scherer
Study Director for the Board on Higher Education and Workforce
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Layne SchererLayne Scherer is a Study Director for the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She has worked on the following projects: Graduate STEM Education for the 21stCentury; Policies, Preservice Education, Professional Development, and the Workplace for the Teacher Education Workforce; Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education; and Mental Health, Substance Use, and Wellbeing in Higher Education. Prior to joining the National Academies, Scherer was a science assistant at the National Science Foundation with the office of the Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources and served as an executive secretary under the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on STEM Education. Scherer earned her master’s of public policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where she also earned her B.A. with concentrations in English literature and the history of art.

Christian Schröder, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research, Development, and Transfer
Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences

Christian SchroederChristian Schröder was appointed Professor for Mathematics and Computer Science at the Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (BUAS) in 2003. Prior to joining the BUAS, he had a postdoctoral appointment at the Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University. Furthermore, he worked in medical imaging at Philips Research and in the area of model-based systems engineering at Telelogic, a former Swedish software company, which now belongs to IBM. At the BUAS, Dr. Schröder performs research projects in the field of computational materials science and engineering. He is co-founder of the Mieletec laboratory, a long-term joint research collaboration of BUAS with the company Miele. Since 2013, he is Director of the Bielefeld Institute of Applied Materials Research and Vice President for Research, Development, Transfer. Dr. Schröder holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Osnabrück in Germany.

James Seaba, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Technology Development at the Gas Technology Institute

James Seaba, Ph.D.James Seaba is the Senior Director of Technology Development at the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), filling the technology funnel for GTI. Prior to joining GTI, Dr. Seaba led a research group at ConocoPhillips, founded the Honda Research Institute for Energy, and started his career as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–Columbia in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. He has over 30 publications and 21 patents in a large variety of energy systems. Consistently recognized for creative problem solving, leading successful cross-functional teams, and establishing/executing value-added technology development programs. He has successfully commercialized technology from idea to practice.

Jill Seebergh, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Fellow
Chemical Technologies
Boeing Research & Technology

Jill SeeberghJill Seebergh is a Boeing Senior Technical Fellow with expertise in Coating Materials and Processes, including adhesion and interface science, multifunctional coatings, and colloidal science. In her current role with Boeing Research & Technology, she provides leadership to develop and implement chemical technologies that improve aircraft performance, manufacturing, and health and safety. Current areas of interest include chromium-free coatings and surface treatments, anti-microbial coatings for aircraft cabins, and treatments that reduce build-up of ice and bugs on exterior surfaces. She guides the development and execution of Boeing’s Technology Strategy for Materials and Manufacturing, and she provides leadership for Boeing’s Technical Fellowship program. Seebergh received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University (Bethlehem PA) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington (Seattle WA), where she was recognized with the 2018 Chemical Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Coatings Technology and Research and represents Boeing on the Advisory Board of the International Networking Forum on Aircraft and Aerospace Coatings.

Katja Simons, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Campus OWL

Katja Simons, Ph.D.Katja Simons is the Executive Director of the New York liaison office of Campus OWL, a network of five higher education institutions in Eastern Westphalia (Germany) — Bielefeld University, Paderborn University, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and Detmold University of Music. In this role she promotes study and research opportunities and supports collaborations with North American partners. The Campus OWL New York office serves as a hub to connect students, researchers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to enable cooperation and knowledge exchange. Previously, Dr. Simons was Executive Director at the German University Alliance and Program Director of the GAIN Network at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in New York as well as Summit Manager for Generation Study Abroad at the Institute of International Education (IIE). She studied sociology, political science, and history at the University of Freiburg and Freie Universität Berlin, and received her doctorate at the Ruhr-University Bochum in 2002.

Luciana Xavier
Assistant Director for Workforce Development
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Luciana XavierLuciana Xavier recently joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as the Assistant Director for Workforce Development in the Engineering Directorate. Prior to joining LLNL Luciana served as the Director for Corporate & Government Partnerships at UC San Diego where she worked with faculty and external collaborators to bring together technical expertise across academia, industry, and government to conduct cutting edge research in emerging fields to move forward a wide range of technical missions. Prior to this Luciana held positions in Refugee Resettlement, Liverpool Football Club, and the World Bank. Luciana was awarded her Bachelors degree from the University of Central Florida in History and was also active in undergraduate research in TPA techniques and their applications in optics at CREOL. She subsequently completed her MA in Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool with a focus on Civil Warfare in Northern Ireland.