Get to know New York State’s emerging tech game-changers.
Assistant Vice President and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Columbia Technology Ventures
Associate Vice President of Workforce Development, Mohawk Valley Community College
Chief Technology Officer, REMADE Institute
Workforce Development Specialist, ToolingU-SME
Chief Technology Officer, RAPID Manufacturing Institute
Director of Sales, Sunnking, Inc.
Education and Workforce Development Lead, DoD Manufacturing Technology Program Office
Chief Membership Officer (CMO), Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) and BioFabUSA
Terence J. Clas
Business Development, Photonics, Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation
Director, AMPrint Center, Rochester Institute of Technology
COO, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM)
Manufacturing USA Specialist , Empire State Development – NYSTAR
Director, Manufacturing Technologies Program, Department of Defense
Clean Energy Program Director, Southern Tier Clean Energy Incubator
Executive Director, Clean Energy Business Incubator Program (CEBIP)
Assistant Professor, SUNY Upstate Medical University
DoD Program Manager, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM)
Co-founder and CEO, Allied Microbiota
Client Workforce Solutions, ManpowerGroup North America
Cyber Security Coordinator, Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM)
President & CEO, Launch NY
CEO, American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics
Founder and CEO, ComplyUp
CSO and Cofounder, ZetaGen Therapeutics
Technology Manager, U.S. Department of Energy
Defense Diversification Specialist, Empire State Development NYSTAR
Professor, University of Rochester
Director of Strategic Programs, NextFlex
Head of Upskilling and Business Development, Temboo
Program Manager for Technology to Market, NYSERDA
Executive Director of Tech Commercialization, NextCorps
Senior Research Scientist, NYS Center for Automation Technologies and Systems
Business Development-Additive Manufacturing, NYSTAR
President and Chief Science Officer, Allied Microbiota
Director, Syracuse Industrial Assessment Center
Lead Scientist, GE Global Research; Advisor, invii.ai
Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Additive Product Breakout Leader, GE Global Research
Co-founder, Director and CEO, FesariusTherapeutics
Government Program Manager, AIM Photonics Institute
Co-founder and CTO, Veluxsys
Program Manager for the Centers of Excellence, NYSTAR
Sr. Director, Marketing, Novomer
Mechanical Engineer, GE Global Research
Director, Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation
Jim Aloise - Assistant Vice President and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Columbia Technology Ventures and Executive Director, PowerBridgeNY, a Cleantech Proof of Concept Center
Jim has more than 15 years of both industrial and academic experience in the areas of Entrepreneurship Training and Support, Technology Commercialization, and Patent Licensing across many technologies. He currently heads a group that includes programs that support 7 accelerators in Cleantech, Life Sciences, Media, CyberSecurity, and Blockchain as well as programs that match mentors and venture-backable CEOS with startups in Cleantech and Life Sciences. He also oversees Columbia’s activities in Patent Pools.
Before joining Columbia more than 10 years ago, Jim worked at GE in their Patent, Technology, and Trademark Licensing Group. He has a BS in Optics from the University of Rochester, an MS in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University, and an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.
Franca Armstrong - Associate Vice President of Workforce Development and Dean of Rome Campus, Mohawk Valley Community College
Franca sets the priorities and objectives and short and long term strategic planning for MVCC’s branch campus in Rome, NY and the non-credit Workforce Development activities of the College. She has been with MVCC for 16 years in various roles. Her immediate past role was Executive Director of Community and Workforce Development at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Center for Corporate and Community Education Department.
Franca holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from SUNY Albany, a Bachelor Degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Utica College and an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from MVCC.
Magdi Azer - Chief Technology Officer, REMADE institute
Dr. Magdi Azer is the Chief Technology Officer of the REMADE Institute, where he oversees inter-node and institute-wide collaboration in the development of new technologies.
Joining the REMADE Institute with 20 years of experience in technical and business management, Dr. Azer spent much of his career forging innovation and collaboration at General Electric. As a program and business development manager, he worked to coordinate diverse teams of experts in manufacturing, software, and product development in building new pathways for technical collaboration and commercialization.
Denise Ball - Workforce Development Specialist, ToolingU-SME
As a Workforce Development Specialist, Denise has served as a practitioner of best-in-class learning and development techniques for the manufacturing industry for over 25 years. For the past 6 years, she has guided the implementation of workforce education and skills training into corporations across the globe to help develop their workforce with success, as well as facilitated workshops on best practices and various webinars.
Jim Bielenberg - Chief Technology Officer, RAPID Manufacturing Institute
Jim Bielenberg, PhD, is the Chief Technology Officer of the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute. He has spent the last 15 years working in various areas of new technology development, including 12 years working at ExxonMobil.
He is a co-inventor on over a dozen technology patents across chemicals technology, refining technology, coal gasification, and biofuels processing. He received his BS from the Univ. of Nebraska and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in chemical engineering. He is a member of AIChE.
Phil Bowe - Director of Sales, Sunnking, Inc.
Phil Bove is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Sunnking, an R2/RIOS certified electronics recycling company that provides businesses end-to-end IT asset disposition (ITAD) solutions. His background in sales and finance laid the foundation for him to join the Sunnking team. Since, he has played an integral role in the advancement of the ITAD segment by developing asset removal, data destruction, and remarketing or environmentally-friendly disposal services.
Phil continues to foster new partnerships around the United States by educating stakeholders about the recovery value of ITAD services to maximize ROI, ultimately eliciting greater economic and environmental sustainability goals.
Gray Chynoweth - Chief Membership Officer (CMO), Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) and BioFabUSA
Gray Chynoweth is an executive, board member and investor. Gray is currently working as Chief Membership Officer (CMO) at the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) and BioFabUSA. As CMO, Gray drives organizational growth and the development of the broader tissue manufacturing and Biofabrication ecosystem.
In addition to his work at ARMI | BioFabUSA, Gray serves as Co-Manager at 10x Venture Partners, General Partner at Mill Works Fund and a founding board member of Primary Bank. Prior to his current rolls, Gray helped Dyn (acquired by Oracle) scale from less than 20 to more than 450 employees, raise more than $50,000,000 in venture capital funding, grow revenue 30x and establish global operations, with offices in the US, the UK and Australia.
Gray has a JD from Duke University School of Law, an MA in Public Policy from Duke University and a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated magna cum laude.
Terence J. Clas - Business Develepment, Photonics, Empire State Development's Division of Science Technology and Innovation
Terence J. Clas is one of the Manufacturing USA Institute’s, business development executive in New York State. This function is administered by Empire State Development’s, Division of Science, Technology & Innovation. His concentration is on the AIM Photonics Institute, located in Rochester, NY.
Terry’s responsibilities are to engage industry, government and academic institutions to discuss the technical resources, funding mechanisms, workforce development, and collaboration opportunities available through AIM Photonics.
Denis Cormier - Director, AMPrint Center, Rochester Institute of Technology
Professor Cormier is the Earl W. Brinkman Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is also director of the Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center. His teaching and research interests focus on additive manufacturing, 3D printing, and printed electronics for the synthesis of novel materials and geometric structures.
Professor Cormier received his B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Michael Britt-Crane - Education and Workforce Development Lead, DoD Manufacturing Technology Program Office
As the Education and Workforce Development Lead for the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program Office, Michael works with the Education and Workforce Development staff members across the Manufacturing USA institutes to support the development of programs that impact manufacturing workers and students in areas of advanced manufacturing technologies.
Before joining the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program Office, Michael was a mechanical engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD) near Washington DC where he designed models, instrumentation, and hardware for model scale experiments and helped develop SeaGlide® along other educational outreach activities for middle and high school students. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia and has a technical background in mechatronics, advanced manufacturing, STEAM education, and workforce and R&D program development/leadership.
Jay Douglass - COO, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM)
Jay is Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM). Founded at Carnegie Mellon University in January 2017 and now operating as an independent non-profit, ARM won an $80 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to become the leading catalyst of robotics innovation to accelerate growth in US-based manufacturing.
ARM operates as part of the Manufacturing USA network, and is supported by an additional $150 million in commitments from 170 members and partners in industry, academia, technology, government and economic development groups. By creating a collaborative ecosystem of like-minded organizations, ARM is speeding the movement of industrial robots into commercial use, while preparing a labor force to operate and manage these technologies.
Jerome Feldman - CEO, alpha-En
Mr. Feldman is currently Chairman of the Board of the alpha-En Corporation. He is also Chairman of the New England Colleges Fund and a Trustee of Northern Westchester Hospital Foundation.
Mr. Feldman founded National Patent Development Corporation (NPD), which was devoted to searching out new inventions and assisting major corporations in licensing their technologies. Among the technologies Mr. Feldman helped introduce were: soft contact lenses (1971 with Bausch & Lomb); surgical staples (via U.S. Surgical, which was sold to Tyco for $3 billion in 1998); and high silica glass to store nuclear waste (via Duratek, which was later sold to the Carlyle Group). Mr. Feldman has taken eleven companies public, and holds a JD from New York University.
Michael Fornasiero - Manufacturing USA Specialist, Empire State Development – NYSTAR
Michael Fornasiero is the Manufacturing USA Specialist at Empire State Development – NYSTAR, in his role he works as a liaison and manufacturing technology specialist across small and mid-sized manufacturers in New York State, NY’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Fuzehub, and the network of Manufacturing USA advanced manufacturing research institutes.
Prior to joining Empire State Development he was a Program Manager at UI LABS and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) and was a mechanical engineer for GE Global Research in the Manufacturing Process Lab.
Chunlei Guo - Founder, AlchLight; Professor in The Institute of Optics at University of Rochester
Chunlei Guo is the founder of AlchLight, a high-tech company that specializes laser and material technologies. He is also a Professor in The Institute of Optics at University of Rochester. He heads the High-Intensity Femtosecond Laser Lab at Rochester and also directs a newly established multi-nation international joint laboratory in Photonics that is housed in a 30,000-sq-ft state of the art facility.
His research at Rochester led to the discoveries of a range of highly functionalized materials through laser processing, including the black and colored metals and superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic surfaces. These technologies have a broad range of applications and have been featured extensively by the media, including 4 New York Times articles. He is an Fellow for American Physical Society and Optical Society of America. He has chaired many scientific conferences and currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for one of the most widely used handbooks in lasers and optics, CRC Handbook of Laser Technology and Applications (2nd Edition).
Tracy Frost - Director, Manufacturing Technologies Program, Department of Defense
Tracy Frost is the Director of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Manufacturing Technologies (ManTech) Program which includes leading the Department of Defense's Manufacturing USA Institutes.
Prior to leading the OSD ManTech Program, Ms. Frost spent seven years managing small business programs for the Office of Naval Research's SBIR Program and DoD Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) where she implemented innovative initiatives to assist the small business community transition viable technologies to the military and commercial marketplace.
Alex Hagen - Clean Energy Program Director, Southern Tier Clean Energy Incubator
Alex joins Southern Tier Clean Energy Incubator with extensive management and start-up experience. He has worked with energy companies over the past 9 years and also has managed teams in manufacturing, operations, finance, and accounting. Currently the CFO at ShrubBucket.com, Alex brings real-world experience when meeting with the clean energy companies at SCI and makes member companies, success his passion
David Hamilton - Executive Director, Clean Energy Business Incubator Program (CEBIP)
Mr. Hamilton is the Executive Director for the Clean Energy Business Incubator Program (CEBIP) and Director of Operations for the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC), a NYS Center of Excellence, both located at Stony Brook University. His education includes a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clarkson University and a MBA in Marketing from Hofstra University. He brings a focus in clean energy technologies with experience in business development, commercialization of engineering technologies, marketing and sales, as well as an ability to communicate well with early stage entrepreneurs in the clean energy arena.
Mr. Hamilton started his professional career with the Long Island Lighting Company managing independent power producers. From there, he has been involved in the design, development and implementation of Sirius Satellite Radio's terrestrial transmitters, developing sales and marketing plans for aerospace and IT companies, managing the sales and operation of hydrogen fuel cells for Plug Power, and most recently developing the commercial sales and marketing for EmPower Solar, a leading Long Island turnkey solar provider.
Samuel Herberg - Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University
Samuel Herberg is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. The interdisciplinary research in Dr. Herberg’s laboratory is centered around understanding cellular aspects of tissue formation and homeostasis in health and disease, with focus on the ocular and musculoskeletal systems.
Dr. Herberg received his B.S. in Biotechnology Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany, and his Ph.D. in Cellular Biology from Augusta University. He trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
Greg Hudas - DoD Program Manager, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing, Department of Defense
Dr. Greg Hudas is currently the DoD Program Manager for Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Innovation Institute (Manufacturing USA Network). He also serves as a senior Research Scientist for U.S. Army RDECOM-TARDEC’s Ground Vehicle Robotics Group. He provides technical expertise and strategic support to Army Senior Leadership, and DoD Senior Leadership for Autonomy and Robotics Technologies.
He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is responsible for the research, development, and implementation of new UGV navigation, path planning, and control methodologies. Specifically, he conducts research in Trust Based Theory for Control and Estimation.
Frana James - Co-founder and CEO, Allied Microbiota
Allied Microbiota was found to bring low-cost sustainable solutions to treat these recalcitrant pollutants using environmentally friendly microbial solutions. Founded in 2017 by Dr. Ray Sambrotto and Frana James from Columbia University, Allied Microbiota has developed methods of bioremediation using naturally isolated bacterial cultures and their enzymes for remediation of soil, sediments and groundwater using techniques like composting, and flow through reactors.
Todd Khozein - Partner, SecondMuse
For the last twenty years Todd Khozein has been involved in the study and application of systems theory, in particular as it applies to economic development. Beginning with the use of biological systems as models for cashew farming cooperatives in Honduras, he went on to develop and build businesses in the Medical, Entertainment, Real Estate, E-commerce and Food & Beverage industries.
For the past ten years since co-founding SecondMuse he has accelerated over 300 impact business, raising over $400M and generating over $11B in market value. At the center of this work is the development of economies that create social and environmental justice.
Rebekah Kowalski - Client Workforce Solutions, ManpowerGroup North America
Rebekah Kowalski leads Client Workforce Solutions for ManpowerGroup North America. Rebekah’s work focuses on developing solutions that help organizations and leaders deal with the implications of both the shortage of rightly skilled workers, and the rapid evolution of roles and skills across multiple sectors.
Rebekah led the ManpowerGroup team who worked with the Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) to define the future workforce for digital manufacturing and design, and is responsible for leading ManpowerGroup North America’s Manufacturing Sector Strategy.
Paul LaPorte - Cyber Security Coordinator, Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM)
As an IT professional for 10 years, Paul has provided a variety of IT and Cyber Security solutions and training in the fields of engineering, manufacturing, education, commerce, insurance, and more. Paul has an A.S in Microcomputer Technologies: Technical Support and a B.S. in Network and Computer Security. Prior to joining AIM, Paul was the Interim Director of Information Technology at the Utica School of Commerce.
Marnie Lavigne - President & CEO, Launch NY
Dr. Marnie LaVigne, President & CEO of Launch NY and Executive Director of the Emerging Cleantech Incubator (ECO), has spent more than 25 years in both the private and public sectors creating new products and start-up businesses, driving innovation and economic growth in high-tech industries, such as life sciences, informatics, and advanced manufacturing.
In 2014, she became the President and CEO of Launch NY, a nonprofit venture development organization she co-founded with other ecosystem partners and whose mission is to identify, support. and invest in high-growth, high-impact companies and catalyze the entrepreneurial culture of Upstate New York. Serving more than 825 companies comprising over 2700 jobs since 2012, Launch NY provides pro bono mentoring and the most active seed fund in Upstate NY. Launch NY was selected by NYSERDA to introduce the ECO Incubator in 2018.
Michael Liehr - CEO, American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics
Michael Liehr is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics. Michael focuses on the creation of new AIM business opportunities, and is responsible for the effective and efficient operation of AIM’s programs including SUNY Poly’s strategic 300mm integrated photonic semiconductor and 3D packaging.
He is also SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Vice President for Research and Executive Vice President for Technology and Innovation. Prior to this assignment, he led the Global 450mm Consortium through the start-up phase as the General Manager and was an IBM Distinguished Engineer.
Stephen Majot - Founder and CEO, ComplyUp
Stephen has been a cyber-defender for over fifteen years, supporting clients in industries ranging from media and finance to technology and government. In 2011, he launched a cybersecurity business that helps federal clients like the Dept. of Homeland Security achieve their cyber goals.
In addition to delivering security engineering solutions on cyber contracts, he and his team have performed numerous compliance assessments on behalf of federal agencies. After learning of the upcoming DFARS cyber compliance deadline in late 2016, Stephen founded ComplyUp specifically to provide federal contractors with a tool for solving NIST 800-171.
Bryan Margulies - CSO and Cofounder, ZetaGen Therapeutics
Previously, Dr. Margulies was a tenure-track faculty at SUNY Upstate in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, with additional appointments in Cell and Developmental Biology and Pharmacology. Dr. Margulies is one of the co-inventors of the technology that underlies ZetaFuse. He is the recipient of the NIH NRSA Fellowship and the Mazess Student Fellowship. Dr. Margulies’ research has focused on stem cell modulation to promote bone formation and growth in all orthopedic practice areas. He has extensive experience in animal surgery, having trained in the veterinary schools at University of Pennsylvania and also at Cornell University. He also has extensive experience in histomorphology, microCT, biomechanics, and developing primary stem cell cultures.
Dr. Margulies completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He earned his PhD, MS and BS in bioengineering from Syracuse University in bioengineering with a focus on biomechanics and a minor in neuroscience. He also trained at SUNY Upstate in orthopedic science and bone tumor during his NIH Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. In addition, he trained in small animal surgery at Cornell University and SUNY Medical University. He also trained in histomorphology and pathology at Cornell University in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Margulies is the author of 30 peer-reviewed publications, 4 patent applications and 81 presentations at national scientific meetings. Dr. Margulies is originally from southern NJ and grew up able to walk to the ocean. He has lived in the Syracuse area for 20-years.
Michael McKittrick - Technology Manager, U.S. Department of Energy
At the U.S. Department of Energy – Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), Michael is the Technology Manager of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), DOE Lead for the REMADE Manufacturing USA Institute, and Program Lead for R&D Consortia. These programs help the United States position itself as a world leader in strategic areas of manufacturing by bringing together manufacturers, suppliers, companies, institutions of higher education, national laboratories, and state and local governments in public-private R&D consortia.
These programs and partnerships create an innovation ecosystem that accelerates technology development and facilitates the transition of innovative advanced manufacturing technologies to industry. Impacts range from overcoming challenges in the supply chains of critical materials, such as rare earth elements (REE), to the development of technologies that reduce the cost and energy needed to recycle, reuse, and remanufacture. Michael’s background and specialties span chemical engineering, catalysis, materials, polymers, rare earth elements, critical materials, recycling, and sustainability.
Christopher Medve , Defense Diversification Specialist, Empire State Development – NYSTAR
Christopher Medve is the Defense Diversification Specialist at Empire State Development – NYSTAR. In his role, he assists small and mid-sized manufacturers in diversification efforts that will help them grow in NY and remain resilient to fluctuations in Department of Defense spending, by collecting information through direct meetings with companies and engaging with NYSTAR assets and partners.
Prior to joining NYSTAR, he was a Quality Manager at Specialty Silicone Products, Inc. in Ballston Spa, NY.
Ben Miller - Professor, University of Rochester
Prof. Benjamin L. Miller completed his undergraduate studies at Miami University (Ohio), receiving degrees in Chemistry (B.S.), Mathematics (A.B.), and German (A.B.) in 1988. He next moved to Stanford University, where he carried out his Ph. D. research in Chemistry under the direction of Paul Wender. Following a stint as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard in Stuart Schreiber’s laboratory, he joined the University of Rochester faculty in 1996, where he is currently Dean’s Professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Biomedical Engineering, and Optics.
His group’s expertise in molecular recognition, combinatorial chemistry, nanotechnology, and optical sensing has been applied to the development of novel optical biosensor platforms and synthetic compounds targeting several human diseases. As an entrepreneur, Miller is a founder of Adarza BioSystems, Inc., a multiplex optical biodetection company located in St. Louis, MO. He is also the Academic Lead for Integrated Photonic Sensors in AIM Photonics.
Scott Miller - Director of Strategic Programs, NextFlex
As the director of strategic programs at NextFlex, Scott is responsible for overseeing US government projects, building relationships with DARPA and the National Science Foundation, and building and managing critical relationships with the medical, avionics and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, he was the manager of GE Global Research's Material System Lab where he led a multidisciplinary team developing and delivering material technologies and processes for GE products and services.
Prior, he led GE's Nanostructures & Surfaces Lab where he oversaw a multidisciplinary team of researchers in the field of nano-enabled materials, serving GE's Healthcare, Aviation, Power, and Oil & Gas Businesses. Scott holds eight patents, was a Board member and the Founding Board Chair of the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC) and is a member of the American Chemical Society. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.
Mark Peterman - CEO, OnDaVia
Mark is a serial entrepreneur with broad technical and business experience. He founded a recycling company at thirteen, led programming efforts for environmental compliance software at a start-up during his undergraduate studies, and invented the core technology that would become the foundation for two later start-ups during graduate school.
Matt Plaks - Head of Upskilling and Business Development, Temboo
Matt has gone from art to running a commercial bakery, but he's spent the last few years working in the Industrial Internet of Things with Temboo. As the Head of Upskilling and Business Development, he works with SMEs to Fortune 500s, empowering them to use Temboo's Industrial IoT platform to build powerful software applications that connect their physical operations to the cloud.
Nicholas Querques - Program Manager for Technology to Market, NYSERDA
Nicholas Querques is Program Manager for Technology to Market at NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. NYSERDA advances innovative energy solutions in ways that improve New York's economy and environment. Nick leads the Technology to Market team at NYSERDA where he is directly responsible for a $130 million portfolio of innovation, technology development, and investment initiatives targeted to entrepreneurs, innovators, and early-stage companies in the energy space.
Nick’s team is driving New York’s efforts to develop and deploy world-class clean energy innovation assets throughout the state and accelerate the time to market for NYSERDA’s portfolio companies. Nick joined NYSERDA in 2014 as a Project Manager with the former Innovation Capacity and Business Development team.
Michael Riedlinger - Executive Director of Technology Commercialization, NextCorps
He has created programs including NextCorps LaunchPad for web and mobile startups by drawing on his experiences from founding and co-founding eight startups (including one that became publicly-traded) as well as training through the National Science Foundation iCorps Program at Stanford University.
Invention and creativity are key areas of interest for Mike, who holds a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and a MBA from the University of Rochester, where he is currently a Lecturer in Technical Entrepreneurship Management. He also is a teaching team member for the NSF National I-Corps program and instructor for the I-Corps Regional Node led by Cornell, University of Rochester and RIT.
Stephen Rock - Senior Research Scientist, NYS Center for Automation Technologies and Systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Stephen Rock is a Senior Research Scientist in the NYS Center for Automation Technologies and Systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Steve serves as lab director for the CATS' Additive Manufacturing Lab, and he leads projects and conducts research on information-driven manufacturing process development - often involving advanced technologies such as laser systems, industrial robotics, and ultrasonic processing. Steve began work in Additive Manufacturing in 1989 on CAD/CAM interfacing, model validity checking, automated repair, topology-based slicing, and creation of an improved file format for storing facet model data.
Steve invented and patented a powder-based metal additive manufacturing process, and he applied finite element modeling techniques and powder sintering models to perform shape optimization and correct for process-induced geometric distortions introduced during powder consolidation. Steve leads metal additive manufacturing R&D within the CATS and serves on the NY State Additive Manufacturing Steering Committee jointly organized by NYSERDA and ESD/NYSTAR. Steve has also served on the Robotic Industries Association board of directors and chaired the RIA Education Committee.
Christopher Rooney - Business Development-Additive Manufacturing, NYSTAR
Christopher Rooney is a Business Development-Additive Manufacturing Specialist at Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (ESD/NYSTAR). In his role he works as a liaison and additive manufacturing technology specialist across small and medium-sized manufacturers in New York State, New York’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and Manufacturing USA innovation institutes.
Prior to joining NYSTAR, Chris has worked extensively in the specialty chemical additives and plastics industry in a commercial sales and business development capacity.
Ray Sambrotto - President and Chief Science Officer, Allied Microbiota
Ray Sambrotto has worked on environmental microbes and how they interact with our environment for over 30 years. He has sampled microbes high and low, in the ocean and rivers as well as in sea-ice, glacial ice and sediments. He saw firsthand how microbial diversity makes them nearly omnipresence on our planet. At the same time, growing environmental challenges prompted him to consider the ways environmental microbiology could contribute to solutions.
This led to the creation of Allied Microbiota, a company focused on bringing cost-effective solutions to environmental problems based on our growing understanding of microbial functions. Allied Microbiota’s initial products remediate organic contaminants in soils, sediments and water using selected microbes and their proteins.
Suresh Santanam - Director, Syracuse Industrial Assessment Center
Dr. Santanam serves as director of the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) at Syracuse University and is an Associate Professor with the Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Department at the College of Engineering & Computer Science at Syracuse University. He focuses his training in public health and engineering to develop and apply innovative solutions in the energy and environmental fields to current issues facing industrial, commercial, and institutional entities.
Dr. Santanam teaches courses on advanced chemical engineering design, energy sustainability, green engineering, experimental methods, chemical process control, fundamentals of air pollution, and air pollution control design. He is a founding member of the Great Lakes Sustainable Energy Consortium, consisting of academic, industry, and policy-leaders from central upstate New York and eastern Ontario, Canada, who are synergistically working to address renewable energy and sustainability issues.
Bryan Sapot - Founder, SensrTrx
Bryan is a lifelong entrepreneur. Throughout his career, he built products and started companies that leveraged technology to solve problems to make the lives of manufacturers easier. Due to the success of SensrTrx, Bryan has become a sought-after speaker for a diverse set of topics relating to manufacturing technology.
Bryan is known for his deep industry insights and plain language explanations of complex ideas. Bryan is the founder and former CEO of Datix, one of North America’s preeminent ERP consultancies. He successfully exited Datix in 2015 and formed SensrTrx, a new breed of manufacturing analytics company that was designed to make analytics meaningful, affordable, and accessible to all manufacturers.
Bryan is a former St. Louis Business Journal 30 under 30 recipient, has been featured many different publications such as INC magazine, St. Louis Post Dispatch and the St Louis Business Journal.
Shiraj Sen - Lead Scientist, GE Global Research; Advisor, invii.ai
Shiraj Sen is a lead scientist at GE Global Research, where, as part of the GE Robotics team, he is responsible for research, development, and deployment of real-world systems for aerial and ground robots.
At GE, which he joined in 2014, Sen works closely with customers and multi-disciplinary teams to shape robotics projects and products in the energy, transportation, and aviation sectors. His main areas of interest include robot learning, robot planning, computer vision, and certification of autonomous systems. He has been actively involved in the creation of two new robotics-enabled businesses at GE and has filed over a dozen patent disclosures.
Prior to joining GE, Sen was a postdoctoral fellow in the UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences Robotics Lab and worked with NASA to develop robotic learning techniques, including teaching robots to make decisions under uncertainty. Sen earned a B.S. in mathematics and computing from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur in 2004 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2007 and 2012, respectively.
Phillip Singerman - Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Phillip Singerman is the Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In this capacity he is responsible for the NIST suite of external partnership programs, including the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the Office of Advanced Manufacturing, NIST technology transfer, economic analysis, and small business innovation research awards.
Mr. Singerman serves as the U. S. Co-Chair of the Israel–U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation and on the U.S. – India Science & Technology Endowment Board (STEB) and the Stakeholders Council of the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA).
Prabhjot Singh - Additive Product Breakout Leader, GE Global Research
Prabhjot Singh is the Additive Product Breakout Leader at GE Global Research where he has supported the movement of additive manufacturing in the lab, to the development of exciting product applications and production systems that transform how GE produces their latest generations of products across their businesses. Additive Manufacturing technologies continue to unlock new capabilities in products from healthcare to jet engines and transform how a company can innovate and explore new frontiers.
His background is in additive manufacturing (AM) process development and the computational aspects of AM process planning. During his graduate studies at the University of Michigan, he developed a process-planning framework for the five-axis layered deposition of complex 3D CAD models. Upon joining GE, he developed a novel digital micro-printing system for producing ceramics, and lead the Additive Manufacturing Lab at GE Global Research with a focus on the industrialization of laser powder-bed processes.
Brett Spector - Co-founder, Director and CEO, FesariusTherapeutics
Since co-founding FesariusTherapeutics in early 2015 with his brother Dr. Jason Spector, Mr. Spector has overseen all financial, strategic and operational activities of FesariusTherapeutics Inc. In addition to his role at Fesarius, Mr. Spector is also the founder and Principal of RunUrFund LLC, a consultancy that provides turnkey startup services to hedge fund managers.
Prior to co-founding FesariusTherapeutics and RunUrFund, Mr. Spector was the CFO and CCO at Tide Point Capital Management LP, a long-short hedge fund he helped found in April 2012 which grew from under $30 million at launch to over $800 million in assets under management at the time of his departure in April 2015. Before Tide Point, Mr. Spector was the President and COO of SuttonBrook Capital Management LP, a multi-strategy hedge fund with peak assets under management of approximately $2.8 billion, which he also helped co-found in April 2002.
Prior to SuttonBrook, Brett served as the CFO and CTO of several successful start-up and private companies. He began his career in the Financial Advisory Services Group at Coopers & Lybrand.
Neil Supola - Government Program Manager, AIM Photonics Institute
Neil Supola is currently employed at the RDECOM Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) and is serving as the Government Program Manager of AIM Photonics Institute. In addition he is also the Infrared Focal Plane Array Branch Chief overseeing research directed towards in-house growth, processing and device characterization research for the next generation of infrared focal plane arrays.
Previously he served as a deputy program manager for the Vital Infrared Sensor Technology Acceleration (VISTA) Program. He has had significant involvement in the ManTech community by chairing the Electronics Subpanel of the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel and also managing a wide variety of successful night vision related cost reduction efforts. Over his ~35 years at NVESD he has played a lead role in the upgrade of 1st Generation detectors, development of 2nd and 3rd Generation Focal Plane Arrays and associated electronics and vacuum packaging.
Bryce Tennant - Co-founder and CTO, Veluxsys
Bryce Tennant is the co-founder and CTO of Veluxsys out of Rochester, New York. His aim with the company is to leverage the unique capabilities and strengths of integrated photonics to form more capable and cost-effective system solutions for millimeter wave radio communications. Bryce’s role is ultimately to facilitate the development of the team and the technology internally as well as to foster strong external relationships with Veluxsys.
Prior to forming Veluxsys with Todd Davis, Bryce was the CTO of Precision Optical Transceivers. He holds his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering / Signal Processing from Rochester Institute of Technology. Bryce has over 20 years of industry experience in integrated photonics and packaging, fiber optic communication systems, RF communications systems, digital signal processing, real-time embedded development, software defined radios, and audio/acoustics.
Before joining Precision Optical Transceivers, Bryce was the DSP/Audio Systems Architect for Harris Corporation out of Rochester, NY. He holds 9 patents and 3 papers in various fields of optics, signal processing, and communications systems. His current academic and industrial interests center around all optical signal processing applications and integrated photonic systems and solutions, primarily with a focus on the manufacturing challenges of medium to high volume applications.
Judith Tholl - Program Manager for the Centers of Excellence, NYSTAR
Judi joined Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) in October 2016 as the Program Manager for the Centers of Excellence. Since joining NYSTAR Judi has also become Program Manager for the Matching Grants Leverage Program, and co-manager of the Business Incubator / Hot Spot Program.
She has been with the NYS Department of Economic Development for twelve years. She started as a program Specialist in the Empire Zones Program, where she was also the Secretary of the Empire Zones Board for nearly two years and was an integral part of the Zone Coordinator training. When the Empire Zones Program sunset, she began working on the Excelsior Program, Film Tax Credit Program and the START-UP New York.
Cole Thompson - Sr. Director, Marketing, Novomer
Cole has more than 20 years of international petrochemical and renewable energy business management experience at Fortune 50 & 100 companies. He has worked on large scale projects involving current and first adapter technologies throughout the world and has a proven track record of implementing new materials and innovations.
He works out of Novomer’s Boston office but resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his wife Laurie and two dogs.
Deepak Trivedi - Mechanical Engineer, GE Global Research
Deepak Trivedi is a mechanical engineer at GE Global Research. He is exploring the application of soft robotics and adjacent technologies for in-situ inspection, repair and performance augmentation of turbomachinery. He is also currently working on design and development of advanced film riding seals for turbomachinery, including for supercritical carbon dioxide based power cycles. Deepak has led technology development spanning a range of industries from aircraft engines, steam and gas turbines, to subsea blowout preventers (BOPs) for the oil and gas industry. Dr. Trivedi's work in these areas has led to over 30 patent applications and five granted patents.
Dr. Trivedi joined GE Global Research in 2010 after completing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Computational Science from Penn State. His graduate work focused on designing, modeling, building and localizing biologically-inspired soft robots with unique capabilities, such as that of performing delicate tasks in cluttered and/or unstructured environments. Deepak has authored over 15 publications that have been cited in total over a 1000 times.
Matt Watson - Director, Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation
Matt Watson has extensive experience in organizational management, program development, policy, and advocacy. His twenty-year career includes senior and executive roles in the public and private sectors.
Currently, he serves as the director of Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (ESD/NYSTAR), the state economic development division responsible for advancing science, technology, and innovation in support of industry growth and competitiveness.
Edward White - Associate Vice President for TAP Facility, American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics
Ed White is AIM Photonics Corporate Outreach Executive. Ed has responsibility for identifying companies who will participate and benefit from improvements in Photonic Integrated Chip manufacturing, generally educating the community about the merits of Photonic Integrated devices, and increasing membership in AIM Photonics. He will also focus on AIM Photonics’ sustainability post government funding. In addition to these duties, Ed is responsible for the AIM Photonics’ Test, Assembly and Packaging business located here in Rochester.
He is a native of New York State, and began his career at Kodak after earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester. He later went on to earn an Executive MBA also from the University of Rochester. At Kodak, Ed held several executive positions with global responsibility including General Manager Optical Products & Vice President Commercial Imaging Group, Director WW Equipment Manufacturing & Vice President Global Manufacturing and Logistics, Director Ink Jet Manufacturing & Vice President Consumer Digital Group. After leaving Kodak in 2009, Ed led JML Optical Company as President and CEO in an interim capacity and in 2010 he founded Edward White Consulting, LLC.
John Wilczynski - Technology Director, America Makes
As the Technology Director, John is tasked with the facilitation of the National Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing Roadmap, the development of an Intellectual Property (IP) Management Plan, the execution of the Project Call Process for Agency-Driven and Cooperative Agreement Driven project solicitations, and program management of the America Makes project portfolio.
John graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He has worked in a wide variety of manufacturing positions with varying levels of responsibility. John started out as a Process Engineer at Valeo Engine Cooling with a focus on process improvement, equipment productivity and new technology implementation.
Kaiming Ye - Director, Center of Biomanufacturing for Regenerative Medicine at Binghamton University
Dr. Kaiming Ye is Professor and Department Chair of Biomedical Engineering and Director of Center of Biomanufacturing for Regenerative Medicine at Binghamton University (BU), State University of New York (SUNY). He is one of the top most distinguished and accomplished leaders in the field of Medical and Biological Engineering. He is fellow of AIMBE and senior member of IEEE.
As one of the leading scientists in advanced biomanufacturing, he contributed to the emerging and growth of the field. He is well known for his work in bioprinting and pancreatic organoid development. He has invented a tissue biofabrication platform tissue organoid development and fluorescent nanosensors for continuous glucose monitoring. During his tenure at NSF, he directed a biomedical engineering program and was member of a number of interagency working groups, including the Interagency Workgroup for Neuroscience under the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Interagency Modeling and Analysis Workgroup, and Multiagency Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Workgroup. As chair of Biomedical Engineering Department at BU, he led the growth of the Department.