2010 National SBIR Conference
Dr. Frances Abrams
Dr. Francis Abrams earned undergraduate degrees in chemistry (Colorado State University) and chemical engineering (University of Dayton) before coming to work at what was then the Air Force Materials Laboratory in 1979. She earned her MS and PhD while working at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Composites Branch. Her duties have included such diverse activities as intelligent process control for composites, development of novel reinforcements for carbon-carbon composites and high temperature materials manufacturing.   She has provided technical support for a number of AF systems as well as the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor. She moved from the Composites group to Manufacturing Technology in 1998 in order to provide technical leadership for the Composites Affordability Initiative.   Dr. Abrams is a fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE) and has received numerous awards for her work in manufacturing , process control and engineering expertise.    Since 2007 she has been Program Manager for the Advanced Manufacturing Propulsion Initiative (AMPI). 

Stephen Andrade - Battelle Technology Partnership Practice

Mr. Andrade joined Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice in 2004, and has worked to establish and continued to support the nationally recognized CT SBIR Office, which now operates as a unit within Connecticut Innovations.   He has also been involved in broad range of technology strategy and other implementation projects, including advanced manufacturing (Maricopa Community Colleges; Iowa); open innovation in green materials (Penn State) as well as a ten-year strategic framework for the Ben Franklin Technology Partners. He has also served as a member of the Massachusetts CleanTech Advisory Council for the past three years. Mr. Andrade brings over twenty-five years experience in developing and implementing technology-based and other regional economic development initiatives. 


Steve was a member of the management team that launched the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During the Center’s first five years he led the Center’s efforts in entrepreneurial development and investments in small technology-based firms. He was also one of the founders and directors of the Massachusetts Manufacturing Partnership. He was founding director of the Southeastern Massachusetts Partnership, a regional collaborative of five mayors and two higher education presidents. Stephen has also served with the Philadelphia Planning Commission and in private architectural practice. Throughout, he has worked at the intersection of government, industry and higher education, while, at different points, working directly in all three sectors. He has a B.Arch. with a Certificate in Gerontology from Syracuse, and a Masters in City and Regional Planning with distinction from Harvard.
Clara Asmail - SBIR Program Manager - NIST
Clara Asmail has managed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program since 2002 providing strategic vision and overseeing its implementation. In 2007, she pioneered a new approach to using the SBIR Program to enhance federal technology transfer efforts.   This new approach, SBIR-TT, couples the funding with access to federal commercially-viable background technology as well as access to know-how and tangible federal assets. The SBIR-TT approach is currently being propagated to other federal agencies.


Prior, Clara as a Technology Transfer Officer negotiated bilateral and multilateral collaborative R&D agreements. She also performed commercial assessments for invention disclosures submitted by NIST researchers and managed and marketed a patents portfolio and numerous license agreements.


Prior to technology transfer, Clara worked as a Physicist leading research and published over 35 technical articles. She is an inventor on a patent that has been exclusively licensed.

David G. Badman, PhD (University of Florida 1969) was Assistant Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College (MI) 1969-1974, and joined the NIH in 1974. He directed the extramural Hematology Program of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) 1975-2004, where he managed a large portfolio of blood-related fundamental research projects, supported by research grants, Center grants, and SBIR awards. He directed the Iron Chelator Drug Development Program of the NIDDK from 1976-2004, which has resulted in a number of new drugs currently in the clinic. In 1999, Dr. Badman was appointed Deputy Director of the Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases (DKUHD), NIDDK, where he had direct responsibility for the Division research budget, and advised the Director, DKUHD, on policy and administrative matters. He received numerous awards, including 2 NIH Director’s awards, the inaugural NIDDK Director’s award, and the American Society of Hematology’s Outstanding Public Service Award. He retired from the Federal Civil Service in December, 2004. He currently is contracted to the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke), where he works with the NIH-RAID Program (Rapid Access to Interventional Development), a trans-NIH Roadmap program designed to assist academic and small business investigators in the development of new therapeutic agents, including gene therapy agents.
Dr. Fazleena Badurdeen, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing, University of Kentucky
Dr. Fazleena Badurdeen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and is also affiliated to the proposed Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing, at the University of Kentucky. She received her PhD in Integrated (Industrial and Mechanical) Engineering and MS in Industrial Engineering both from Ohio University, Athens, OH and also holds an MBA. She conducts research in the sustainable manufacturing and supply chain areas with an emphasis on system design, modeling & optimization, developing metrics & indicators for performance evaluation and has conducted research on a number of projects funded by the Department of Defense working with well known companies. She is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Her work has been published in a variety of refereed journals and presented at national and international conferences.

Robin Ann Bienemann - Chairman - Crimson Rook
Robin Ann Bienemann is chairman and founder of Crimson Rook, a CT based firm specializing in helping small and mid size companies increase value through improved business processes and innovation.  
Ms. Bienemann has served in an executive capacity for companies with revenues as small as $1M and as large as $8B. At age 24, she founded Ocean Industries, a quality control equipment manufacturer in Manchester, NH. Prior to creating Crimson Rook, she was Senior Vice President of Operations with Blue Arc Corporation, a $30M computer storage manufacturer in San Jose, CA. Bienemann’s assignment at Blue Arc included the creation of strategic alliances and outsourcing strategies.  
Ms. Bienemann is a great believer in the power of innovation. Recognizing the challenges small and mid-size companies face in generating cash flow to fund innovation, Crimson Rook helps companies gain access to funding through its relationships with key sources like Connecticut’s Small Business Innovation Research program. 
Ms. Bienemann received her bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and her masters as a Sloan Fellow at MIT. The University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering recently tapped her to be its first Entrepreneur in Residence. She will help lead an effort to strengthen ties between the School and the small and mid-size business sector. 

Rochelle Blaustein serves as Senior Advisor for Technology Transfer at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) where she focuses on strategic efforts for accelerating innovation in a broad spectrum of scientific and technological fields, and on access to federal technology for commercialization. She is engaged in science and technology policy generally and in innovation policy most specifically.
Until early 2009, Rochelle served as the Director of Technology Transfer and Development at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she established that Institute’s technology transfer and development program, and engaged in trans-NIH policy initiatives. In 2008, she was honored with the NIH Director’s Award for her leadership.
Prior to joining the NIH, she was in private law practice, concentrating in intellectual property and business law, primarily for entrepreneurial clients. She also served as subject matter expert for the National Technology Transfer Center, creating and delivering courses to NASA personnel.
Prior to her move to Washington DC, Rochelle was an Assistant Professor of Law at the Pierce Law Center. She taught government officials and attorneys from over 35 countries, as well as traditional law students. She also taught negotiation skills, is a trained, experienced mediator, and has taught mediation skills.
Rochelle holds a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.
Beth Bornick is Executive Director, Technology Programs  for the Tech Garden and Director of the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program, SATOP <www.spacetechsolutions.com>. Beth served as Director of  SATOP from its launch in 2001 to 2006, and returned in 2009 to restart SATOP and develop additional programs. Previously Beth worked at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Office of Technology Commercialization where she managed patenting, marketing, and licensing for engineering and physical sciences innovations. She has also worked for a manufacturer of internet server computers, and held sales, support, and training positions for the leading developer of PC-based mechanical CAD/CAM software. Beth thrives on learning new technologies, touring manufacturing facilities, and seeing the latest developments from the research labs.
Beth earned a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clarkson and an MBA from Rensselaer at Hartford. She is currently studying technology transfer and intellectual property in Albany Law School's evening MS program.
The Tech Garden <www.thetechgarden.com> stimulates technological creativity through the incubation of technology start-up businesses at its facility in Syracuse, NY. It fosters the growth of emerging tech companies and supports the process of commercialization through its clean tech initiatives (The Clean Tech Center) and support of student entrepreneurial efforts (The Student Sandbox). Beth can be reached at beth@thetechgarden.com.

Edsel M. Brown, Jr. - Assistant Director - Office of Technology - U.S. Small Business Administration

Mr. Brown has served with the U.S. Small Business Administration since 1990. He is currently the Assistant Director for the Office of Technology. In this position he provides oversight over the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. 


Mr. Brown has served in several other positions with SBA including: serving as the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business, where he helped to establish the new office and assisted developing firms to become SDB certified; serving as Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Minority Enterprise Development, where he managed a central office and field staff and oversaw the 8(a) certification process; and as a Financial Analyst, Office of Small Business Investment Companies, where he oversaw the operations of venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.


He holds a  J.D. (Law) degree from the University of Toledo College of Law.


Kevin Burns - President - Precision Combustion, Inc.
Kevin Burns is President and co-founder of Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI).   PCI (North Haven, Connecticut)
develops and manufactures advanced catalytic reactors and systems for Energy sector applications, including fuel processing, air cleaning, combustion, oil and gas production, and chemicals manufacturing, with products that tend to offer unique performance features such as compactness, efficiency, operability, and fuel-flexibility. 
The company’s strategy has used the SBIR program to develop the early technology breakthroughs, using those technologies to attract substantial follow-on SBIR Phase III support from government and industry, as well as product sales. PCI has received two Tibbetts awards for excellence in the SBIR program, as well as some ten SBIR success stories. PCI is currently working with the U.S. DoD, DOE and a number of industrial customers on applications of its technology.
Kevin’s interest in technology development has included consideration of how a state or region can create an entrepreneurial growth atmosphere that will enable and stimulate startup, emerging and mature stage companies to generate sustainable technology-based industries with high quality jobs.  He earned an MBA in Management with distinction from Wharton and a BA in public policy from Princeton University, where he was also a University Scholar and a Woodrow Wilson School Scholar.


Dr. Charles Cleland - USDA SBIR/STTR Program
Charles Cleland received his B.A. from Wabash College in 1961, and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Stanford University in 1966. He spent two years at Michigan State University (1966-68) as a postdoctoral research fellow studying the hormonal control of flowering. He continued his research on the physiology and biochemistry of flowering as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Harvard University (1968-74), Visiting Assistant Professor of Botany at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1974-75), and Plant Physiologist at the Smithsonian Institution Environmental Research Center (1975-87). During this period, he authored over 30 scientific publications. Dr. Cleland joined the USDA as Director of the SBIR program in May of 1987. In 1998 he received a National Tibbetts Award in recognition of his contributions to the SBIR program. Today he continues to work with the USDA SBIR program as one of six National Program Leaders with responsibility for different parts of the SBIR Program.

Dave Cranmer – NIST-MEP

Dr. Cranmer is the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic account manager for the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership. With MEP since 1993, he has overseen extension centers, conducted research on innovation, new product and service development, supply chains, technology roadmapping, eBusiness and exporting, built a business-to-business marketing consulting practice for smaller manufacturers, and established specialty consulting practices in financial access and eBusiness for the MEP system. Prior to joining MEP, Dave was a research group leader and researcher in the NIST Ceramics Division and researcher with private and non-profit companies. Dave has also been a Commerce Science and Technology Fello in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society.



Glenn Cunningham-Chair of Shipman & Goodwin’s Intellectual Property Practice Group
Glenn Cunningham is the Chair of Shipman & Goodwin’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and a member of the firm's six-person management committee. Glenn’s trial practice includes the prosecution and defense of unfair competition, non-competition agreement, trade secret, trademark, patent and copyright cases. Glenn represents publically traded and privately held companies in intellectual property and technology cases throughout the United States.

Glenn has been a Lecturer in Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law teaching Trial Advocacy for nearly a decade. He is a frequent lecturer who has been called upon to provide legal commentary to the media in areas of the law such as illegal music downloads over peer-to-peer networks.

Gene A. Danko - Manager, Technology Transition – Pratt & Whitney

Dr. Gene A. Danko is the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) Technology Transition Manager for P&W Military Engines with broad responsibilities across the entire military product line. His primary focus is the maturation of new technologies for insertion into service engines. Dr. Danko directs and administers F135 internal research and development activities and serves as Program Manager to the Engine Technology Improvement Contract (ETIC). He is the primary P&W focal point for the Military Engine Reliability and Safety (MERS) US/UK program arrangement and is the P-SAR focal for Military Development Programs.


Previously, Dr. Danko worked in the Integrated Military Systems (IMS) group within Military Engines, directing P&W internal investments for the F135, F119 and IMS team and monitoring technology transition activities for those programs. He joined the company in 1999, working in Materials & Processes Engineering in areas of increasing responsibility from Systems Design & Component Integration to Ceramic Matrix Composite strategy development to MPE Program Office.

Dr. Danko has worked in small business as a senior research scientist and as Chief Scientist of a 20 person R&D group. He has also been in Federal service as a research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Danko has several patents pending and over 30 peer-reviewed publications. He has served on proposal review teams for government agencies and reviewed articles for the Journal of the Electrochemical Society, the Journal of the American Ceramic Society, and the Journal of Tribology. He has been an invited speaker at numerous international events.

Dr. Danko holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biophysics and a Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University. He served Johns Hopkins as a Postdoctoral Fellow and University Fellow in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Danko also holds a Master of Business Administration with Finance Concentration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dr. Doug Deason - Director, SBIR/STTR Programs - MDA
Dr. Doug Deason has been involved with the SBIR Program since the mid-eighties in a wide range of roles both inside and outside the government. He has been a principal investigator and employee or owner of small businesses engaged with SBIR work. He has also worked with Battelle Columbus Labs and United Technologies Corp. Since joining the civil service he has been a topic author, evaluation team lead, Manufacturing and Producibility Research Area Lead, co-author of the MDA’s  SBIR/STTR Investment Strategy, Phase II Transition lead evaluator and a member of the OSD Independent Review Team. Prior to joining the Missile Defense Agency, while with U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command he served as Deputy Division Chief for Advanced Technology. He currently serves as the Director, SBIR/STTR Programs for MDA.

Dr. Mark A. Druy
Dr. Mark A. Druy is the Technology Transition and Product Development Manager at Physical Sciences Inc. In this capacity Dr. Druy develops strategies and executes programs to transition PSI technology into commercial/government products. Dr. Druy is currently leading the effort to commercialize the fuel contamination monitoring technology developed by the Control & Automation group (under the leadership of Dr. Michael White). This technology is the basis for fuel contamination sensors that are now being procured for air capable ships and are being sold by PSI’s commercial products partner, Velcon Filters.

Ann Eskesen - President of Innovation Development Institute
President of Innovation Development Institute(idi) since 1983, Ann Eskesen is recognized as among the leading experts nationally on effective functioning and usage of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and as a longtime advocate for this important small business, technology, business and economic development resource. A dynamic and well-informed public speaker, her almost unparalleled SBIR knowledge is fundamentally grounded in considerable expertise in the complex task of bringing technology from the lab to the marketplace. That experience is targeted specifically towards enabling full realization of the created value in SBIR-involved small firms. The related business effort is anchored in the comprehensive, in-depth databases developed and managed with internal resources by idi, documenting the considerable detail of the business condition, technology competencies and intellectual assets of all SBIR awardees - at this point almost 18,500 firms


Ms Eskesen has close working relationships with various players in the SBIR community ranging from relative newcomers to the long-time involved awardees, and with those who work with them. Through the years Ms Eskesen has served on the boards of several SBIR firms and various technology development organizations. A skilled and informed analyst, she has also worked with a range of organizations regionally, nationally and internationally engaged in encouraging the growth of small, technology-based companies and focused to making more effective the form and extent of SBIR-STTR participation in their geographic areas. Given (the now) general acceptance of the critical importance of small(er) firms in contributing to the technical vitality of the economy, her detailed understanding of how SBIR reflects what is going on in the larger economic environment brings many invitations to work with those in the public sector with strong interest in the technology development and economic impact of SBIR. Nationally and internationally, she is often featured as the keynote speaker at technology and economic development events.

Paul Fleury is the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Engineering and Applied Physics, and Professor of Physics at Yale University. He served as Dean of Engineering at Yale from 2000 until January 2008. Prior to joining Yale, Dr. Fleury was Dean of the School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico from January 1996 following 30 years at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Vice President for Research and Exploratory Technology at Sandia National Laboratories.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the 1985 Michelson-Morley Award and the 1992 Frank Isakson Prize of the American Physical Society for his research on optical phenomena in condensed matter systems. He has served on the Secretary of Energy’s “Laboratory Operations Board” and the University of California President’s Council on the National Laboratories. He has also served as a Board member of Brookhaven Science Associates which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, and on review committees for Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. He is currently active on Sandia and LANL committees in addition to the NIST Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology.



Robert Frampton, Senior Systems Engineer, The Boeing Co.  

Mr. Robert Frampton has been with Boeing for 30 years. He has a strong background in the Systems Integration of spacecraft and has been a Senior Systems Engineer at the Space Exploration unit of Boeing in Huntington Beach, CA. He was manager of the Mars Together Study Team (1994-96), managing a study team including McDonnell Douglas and Lavochkin. He was Team Lead of the microgravity science applications assessment team (1996-98). Recently, Mr. Frampton was Proposal Team Lead and Chief Systems Engineer for Mars Scout, Discovery, and New Frontiers Aitken Basin mission proposals. He has also served as Proposal Team Lead and Systems Engineer for NASA Research Announcement (NRA) proposals, for atmospheric entry, descent, and landing (EDL); He led the proposal team for the Space Science Visions Neptune orbiter and atmospheric probe mission design study, resulting in a contract to Boeing. He previously taught mathematics at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona for several years. He also worked for fifteen years as an Engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. in the development of planetary missions.

James Freihaut is the Director of the DoE Mid Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center. He is also the Director of the Center for High Performance Building Systems and also directs the indoor aerosol laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering in the College of Engineering. His current research interests include: commercial building designs leading to combined heat and power system implementation in addition to low-allergen, low-energy residential building designs.  Prior to his tenure at Penn State, he worked at the United Technologies Research Center for 22 years, where he focused on air quality control systems, low emission combustion systems for industrial, commercial, aircraft transportation systems and physics-based modeling of combustion for gas turbine combustor designs. Among the positions he held were Director of External Resource development and Director of the UTC Building Science Program.
John C. Fusco - Partner - Shipman & Goodwin
John C. Fusco practices in the areas of export regulation compliance, including U.S. economic sanctions, export controls and licensing, U.S. Customs and trade laws, representing clients before Departments of Commerce and State on export control matters and U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding CTPAT designations, Customs seizures and tariffs. He also practices in the areas of commercial and residential real estate as well as business litigation. He is admitted to the bars of Rhode Island and Connecticut and in the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. John is a member of the American Bar Association.

Dr. James Gallup - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

Dr. James Gallup currently manages the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Gallup works with American businesses with fewer than 500 employees to develop and commercialize new environmental technologies. The SBIR program links these new, cutting-edge, high-risk innovations with EPA programs in water and air pollution control, solid and hazardous waste management, pollution prevention and environmental monitoring.


Dr. James Gallup has a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Oklahoma and is a registered Professional Engineer. He has over 30 years experience with the Environmental Protection Agency. In the l970’s Dr. Gallup was responsible for developing the industrial environmental guidelines for the textile finishing, leather tanning, food processing, and chemical industries. In the 1980’s Dr. Gallup managed the development and implementation of the industrial pretreatment and NPDES permit programs. This EPA experience required extensive inspection of industry factories, many technical and regulatory discussions with public and private organizations and provided a special understanding of the environmental problems and needs of industry. 


As SBIR Program Manager, Dr. Gallup has designed and implemented an accelerated commercialization program in which EPA provides business planning, promotes commercialization partnerships and provides financing information and economic incentives that help EPA’s SBIR companies commercialize new technologies and products in Phase II. EPA’s 10 Regional Offices and EPA Water, Air and Waste Management Program Offices are using SBIR to develop new technologies that will protect the environment in the 21st century.

Lawrence J. Gestaut-Vice President, Technical Sales and Business Development-Giner, Inc.
Lawrence J. Gestaut is the Vice President, Technical Sales and Business Development for Giner, Inc./Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC. He has over thirty years experience in the electrochemical industries and has participated in the development of electrolytic cells for chlor-alkali, high-speed electrogalvanizing, and aluminum electrowinning. He led the effort to develop and install the world’s first full-sized chlor-alkali cell utilizing gas diffusion electrodes. His previous employers include De Nora North America, Inc., ELTECH Systems Corporation, and Diamond Shamrock Corporation.


Dr. Gestaut received his B.A. in Chemistry from Lake Forest College and his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Duke University.
Jere W. Glover - Executive Director-Small Business Technology Coalition
Jere is an attorney with the Brand Law Group in Washington, DC representing small businesses on SBIR related issues. Jere Glover also serves as the Executive Director of the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), a group of small high tech companies most of who are involved in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Jere is currently on the board of Homeland Ventures Partners.
Jere’s experience with the SBIR is extensive, as he is one of the fathers of the program. As counsel to the House Small Business Committee, he directed an extensive set of hearings on small business and innovation that laid the groundwork for the SBIR in 1978. He was also the leadoff witness before Congress when the law was first proposed, and throughout the laws existence, he has been one of its most active supporters. Jere was also on the board and the investment committee of the Telecommunications Development Fund.

Jo Anne Goodnight - NIH SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator - Director, Division of Special Programs

Ms. Jo Anne Goodnight is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Coordinator of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Service.  She also serves as the Director for the Division of Special Programs in the Office of Extramural Research (OER). Most recently, she served on a seven-month detail to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship under Senator Olympia J. Snowe, where she served as a subject matter expert on issues relating to the reauthorization of the SBIR/STTR programs and other science and technology legislative issues.


Ms. Goodnight has more than 25 years of Government service. She has held positions in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration, and now the NIH where she has been a part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Intramural Research Program and the NCI Extramural Research Program.  As an intramural research scientist (1989–1994), she published over 20 studies about the selective involvement of Protein Kinase C in differentiation and neoplastic transformation. In 1994, she became a Program Director for SBIR/STTR grants that supported studies in the field of cancer biology, cancer genetics, and cancer immunology. She also served as the NCI’s SBIR/STTR Program Policy Coordinator and Special Assistant to the Director, Division of Cancer Biology. 


Ms. Goodnight leads NIH’s efforts to better manage and coordinate the NIH SBIR/STTR Programs. She was intimately involved in the development and implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act small business funding opportunities, the NIH SBIR/STTR Fast-Track Program, SBIR/STTR Phase II Competing Renewal Awards, NIH Technical/Commercialization Assistance Programs, and the NIH Pipeline to Partnerships initiative. She continues to develop other programs that assist the small business community in commercialization of their technologies.


 Her contributions to the SBIR/STTR programs and passion for helping small businesses to be successful in these programs have been acknowledged through several national awards.

Jack Griffin – U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division

Jack (John F.) Griffin serves on the staff of the Technology Parternership Enterprise Office at
the U.S. Navy’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division,
Newport, RI.  Jack is Coordinator of
Division's SBIR and STTR Programs. He is also the SBIR/STTR Coordinator for the Navy’s
Program Executive Office for Littoral and Mine Warfare (PEO LMW), one of the five PEOs
affiliated with the Naval Sea Systems Command (
NAVSEA).  In both roles, he is directly
involved in all program aspects from policy formulation, through topic calls, proposal
evaluation, contract awards, funding management, and transition support.
 At SBIR events,
Jack frequently presents to small businesses and staffs Navy one-on-one tables.

William Harris - Sikorsky
William C. Harris Jr. has been with Sikorsky for over 25 years in a variety of assignments; most recently as the Program Manager for The Rotor Durability Army Technology Objective and the High Performance, Low Vibration, and Low Noise Enabling Technologies programs. He holds a masters degree in management of technology and a bachelor of science in manufacturing engineering from Fairfield University.

Dr. Joseph E. Hennessey - Senior Advisor, SBIR - Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) Division - NSF
Dr. Hennessey came to the Engineering Directorate at NSF in June 1996 after retiring as Vice President and Director of Innovation at Armstrong World Industries. Armstrong is a $3 billion global company recognized as a world leader in interior furnishings as well as a variety of specialty products for the building, automotive and textile industries. During his 27 years at Armstrong, Joe led global innovation organizations, identified and leveraged technologies into commercially successful new products and designed multi-functional organizations consistent with global strategies. His leadership in applying Total Quality Management to the innovation process helped Armstrong to receive the 1995 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.


Joe, who received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Maryland, is a member of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), the Center for Innovation Management Studies (CIMS) at North Carolina State University, and a trustee of Millersville University.


At NSF, Joe works in the Industrial Inovation and Partnerships Division as Senior Advisor, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). He has also served as Acting Director, Industrial Innovation Programs, Co-Program Director in the Innovation and Organizational Change (IOC) program, Program Director for the SBIR/STTR program, Program Director for the Management of Technological Innovation (MOTI) program, Co-Program Director for the Transformation to Quality Organizations (TQO) program and as Acting Deputy Assistant Director for Engineering.

Mike Hernandez - Process Engineer - CNST
Mike Hernandez is a Process Engineer in the CNST NanoFab, which is located in the Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) complex at NIST, Gaithersburg, MD. Prior to joining the NanoFab, Mike was a Senior Applications Engineer and Laboratory Manager at Hitachi HTA. Mike has nearly 20 years of experience working on analytical instruments, including TEMs, SEMs, and FIBs. Mike has been officially recognized for outstanding customer service by multiple organizations, including IBM ASTC, the US Army Research Laboratory, and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Mike's main responsibilities in the NanoFab include training users on the FIBs, SEMs and TEM, and insuring that these instruments are fully functional.
Charles H. Huettner
Mr. Huettner is an aviation consultant and the Executive Director of the Aerospace States Association (ASA). He retired after 33 years of government service as the Executive Director of the Presidential “Commission on the Future of the US Aerospace Industry”. Prior to this, he was the Senior Policy Advisor for Aviation for the NSTC in the Executive Office of the President.
Mr. Huettner also served as a senior executive at NASA and FAA. He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has retired as a Colonel in the USAF Reserves.
Dr. Michael Izenson - Principal Engineer & CFO - Creare Inc.
Dr. Michael Izenson is a Principal Engineer and the Chief Financial Officer of Creare Inc. His technical responsibilities include new business development and project leadership in the areas of thermal management, life support systems, and compact refrigeration systems. Dr. Izenson received his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT in 1986.

Kristina M. Johnson, Ph.D. is currently the Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.  Prior to her appointment as Under Secretary, Dr. Johnson was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Johns Hopkins University.  She helped found several companies, including ColorLink, Inc, SouthEast Techinventures, and Unyos.

Dr. Johnson has 142 refereed papers and proceedings and holds 45 U.S. patents (129 U.S. and international patents) and patents pending. These inventions include pioneering work on liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) microdisplays and their integration into demonstration and commercial systems such as heads-up automotive displays (HUD); pattern recognition systems for cancer prescreening, object tracking and document processing; HDTV and 3D projection displays; displays brought to the eye and 3D holographic memories. Other inventions include tunable optical filters, spectrometers and color filters, microscope autofocus systems, rechargeable pacemakers and new methods for efficiently licensing intellectual property.  More



Norton Kaplan - Vice President, Assessments - Foresight Science and Technology 

Mr. Kaplan holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Prior to joining Foresight, Mr. Kaplan participated in the development of industrial robotics and automation solutions for manufacturers serving the aerospace, medical device, automotive, telecommunication, consumer products and other technology based industries.

In management positions such as the Director of Product Development for the automation division of Nypro, Inc. an international contract manufacturer, Mr. Kaplan has participated in end user product development such as: precision assembly – WD-40 integrated aerosol nozzle and tube; primary packaging – Clorox wipe container lid; electronic assembly – engine control module for a major automotive manufacturer; and process development – insert molding. Industrial products brought to market included the first imbedded PC controlled servo robots for the plastics industry and the highest performing part handling robots of the time. Mr. Kaplan was the co-inventor of a patented adaptive motion controller.

During the past 30 years, he was involved with all aspects of business including strategic business development, directing Engineering and R&D personnel and resources, and building and managing Sales and Marketing organizations in the U.S. and China.

Dr. Reid Leonard - Executive Director, External Research and Licensing - Merck & Co., Inc.
Dr. Reid Leonard is Executive Director, External Research and Licensing for the Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc. His home base is Merck's research facility in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  

Reid's role is to identify partnering opportunities that fit with Merck's strategic research and development objectives in key franchise areas. Such opportunities may reside in universities, start-up companies, or established bio-pharma firms. As part of Merck's global licensing team, Reid is one of several regional scientific assessment professionals deployed around the world to build relationships, provide guidance on Merck's licensing interests, and serve as a local contact for companies and institutions with which Merck can collaborate to develop best-in-class therapeutics for serious unmet medical needs. Reid's geographic area of responsibility includes the Eastern United States and Latin America with supervisory responsibility for scientific assessment in Canada and India. 

Dr. Leonard's research career in neuroscience and cell physiology began while an undergraduate at Brandeis University where he earned a B.A. in Biology and Psychology. Reid subsequently earned a Ph.D. in biology from Purdue University and completed postdoctoral training in molecular pharmacology at the California Institute of Technology. He joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1989 to carry out basic and discovery research on ion channels and moved into the scientific licensing organization in 1998. Since that time, Reid has held a variety of assignments contributing to the identification, scientific assessment, and execution of academic and biotech partnership agreements for Merck & Co., Inc.  

Dr. Henry C. Lee is one of the world’s foremost forensic scientists. Dr. Lee’s work has made him a landmark in modern-day criminal investigations. He has been a prominent player in many of the most challenging cases of the last 45 years. Dr. Lee has worked with law enforcement agencies in helping to solve more than 8000 cases.

Dr. Lee’s work figured prominently in the JFK assassination, Wood chipper murders, Vincent Foster’s death investigation and O. J. Simpson trial, and in convictions hundreds of other murder cases

Robert E. Mansfield, Jr., Brig Gen, USAF (RET)
Mr. Mansfield is a retired Air Force Brigadier General, with 34 years of experience in logistics planning, operations, and supply chain management. He served as the Air Force Director of Supply, and was the chief architect of the Air Force's supply transformation initiative to improve weapons systems' availability and manage cost. Major initiatives included bringing best practices in purchasing and supply management (PSM), activity based cost management (ABC/M), enterprise applications integration (EAI), and logistics command and control to Air Force spare parts management. He led the Department of Defense's surplus and excess property operations; reshaping the global organization’s business operations by training the entire workforce to use applicable best commercial business practices, leveraging information technology, and focusing on customer determined outcomes.

He is currently the Aerospace Executive in Residence at the Embry Riddle Worldwide Center for Aviation and Aerospace Leadership. Prior to this position he was the Director of the National Center for Aerospace Leadership at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology; leading a team of scientists and technicians to improve the competitiveness of US aerospace manufacturing through the application of next generation manufacturing technologies and developing a workforce capable of using these technologies.  Prior to joining CCAT, Mr. Mansfield was Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Director of Global Supply Chain Services.



Charles J. "Chuck" McDermott General Partner RockPort Capital Partners
Chuck began his cleantech career over 20 years ago helping to launch in 1984 the nation’s first independent bulk electric power trading company, the predecessor to Citizens Power. In 1986, having directed the successful campaign of Congressman Joseph Kennedy II, Chuck served two terms as his Chief of Staff. He then joined Waste Management, the world’s largest environmental services company, as Vice President for Government Affairs. During his 12 years of senior level energy and environmental policy work in Washington, DC Chuck established strong administrative and strategic relationships that have put him at the forefront of cleantech policy deliberations today.
He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Advanced Electron Beams, Project FROG, Recurve, Renaissance Lighting, Soliant Energy, and Tioga Energy. He serves as President of the Smart Grid Policy Center, director and executive committee member of the GridWise Alliance, a member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Venture Capital Advisory Committee, and a member of the Energy Future Coalition Advisory Council.


Duncan McIver - Technology Commercialization Center
Mr. McIver is Vice President of the Technology Commercialization Center, Inc. (TeCC) in Hampton, Virginia. Mr. McIver served as Director of TeCC from 2003 through 2006, when the company operated the NASA Mid-Atlantic Regional Technology Transfer Center. Mr. McIver is currently part of the TeCC support for the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) SBIR/STTR program. McIver also markets TeCC business activities and develops new business opportunities.
Mr. McIver worked at NASA LaRC from 1958 to 1980 in the fields of sensors and avionics. He moved to NASA Headquarters to become Director of the NASA Guidance and Control, and Human Factors Program. In 1985 he spent a year at Bechtel, Inc. in San Francisco in the President’s Executive Exchange Program. In 1986, he was promoted to head of the NASA National Aero-Space Plane (NASP) Office.
McIver retired from NASA in 1989 and became active in community affairs.  He co-founded the Southeastern Virginia Network (SEVAnet) which provided web services for businesses, served 12 years on the Board of the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, served as President of the NASA Langley Alumni Association (LAA), and is currently leading the marketing activities for the Hampton Roads Technology Council.
Mr. McIver has a BS in Physics from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and completed graduate courses in physics at the College of William and Mary.

J. Michael McQuade - Senior Vice President for Science & Technology
J. Michael McQuade is Senior Vice President for Science & Technology at United Technologies Corporation. His responsibilities include providing strategic oversight and guidance for research, engineering and development activities throughout the business units of the Corporation and at the United Technologies Research Center.
McQuade has held senior positions with technology development and business oversight at 3M, Imation and Eastman Kodak. Prior to joining UTC in 2006 he served as Vice President of 3M’s Medical Division. Previously, he was President of Eastman Kodak’s Health Imaging Business. Earlier, McQuade held technology and business leadership positions at Imation Corporation after its spin-off from 3M in 1996. His early career at 3M was focused on research and development of high-end acquisition, processing and display systems for health care, industrial imaging and remote sensing. He has broad experience managing basic technologies and the conversion of early stage research into business growth.

David Model - Executive Vice President of Triton Systems and Acting Chief Financial Officer of Aduro Biotech 

Mr. Model has thirty-two years of business experience in aerospace and related high technology fields. He has been with Triton and its spun-off affiliates for eleven years, serving as CEO, CFO or COO as required bring the companies to a point of self-sufficiency.  Mr. Model’s technical area of expertise is in aircraft repair, maintenance and overhaul (MRO).


Mr. Model came to the Triton Systems family of companies from ImageMax, Inc., (now DataBank IMX), where he was a founder and President, and part of the group that took ImageMax public in 1997. Prior to that, Mr. Model co-managed Airfoil Technologies, LLC, a joint venture between Teleflex and General Electric to provide the world's commercial airlines with turbine repair services.  (General Electric acquired 100% of the venture in 2009.) This capped a ten year career at Teleflex, where he had built the engine repair business from a single facility into a global network of services. 


Mr. Model began his career as a mechanical engineer with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, designing engine components and later running development and test programs.

Leisa Moniz - SBIR/STTR Program Manager - Department of Transportation
Ms. Moniz has been with the U.S. Department of Transportation for 16 years and has been serving as the SBIR Program Director for the past year. Prior to her tenure as the SBIR Program Director, Leisa managed large scale technology research and development programs in the areas of transit operations and security planning, highway tolling, emergency preparedness and response and critical infrastructure protection.   She has considerable expertise in RF and infrared technologies for road tolling, smart card systems for both ticketing and access control, and counter terrorism technologies for transit security.

Susan Nichols - Program Director, Small Business Programs Office - DARPA

Ms. Susan Nichols began her 20-year career with the Federal government at the US Army Corps of Engineers, where she started out as a secretary and worked her way into the Comptroller career program as a Department of the Army (DA) Intern. After graduating from the DA Intern program, she held various management and budget analysis positions before moving into program analysis where she was introduced to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. From 2004-2008, she served as the Army SBIR Program Manager at the US Army Materiel Command. Today, she is serving as Program Director of the Small Business Programs Office at DARPA.

Ms. Nichols has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management/Computer Information Systems from Park University.

Christopher O’Gwin – Program Manager - DOE SBIR Commercialization Assistance

Chris serves, among other duties, as the DOE SBIR Commercialization Assistance program manager. In this capacity, he provides the overall direction and leadership for all programmatic aspects of the Department’s SBIR commercialization and technical assistance program and on matters concerning overall program operations, outreach, and legislative issues impacting both the SBIR and STTR programs.


Chris has worked for the Department for many years, holding positions of leadership in both management and technical organizations. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education and Economics from Longwood University and a Master of Science in Government from the Johns Hopkins University.


The DOE SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are U.S. Government programs in which Federal agencies with large R&D budgets set aside a small fraction of their funding for competitions among small businesses only.  For the DOE in 2009, these set-asides correspond to $137 million and $16 million, respectively. Small businesses that win awards in these programs keep the rights to any technology developed and are encouraged to commercialize the technology. Each year, DOE issues a funding solicitation inviting small businesses to apply for SBIR/STTR Phase I grants.  It contains technical topics in such research areas as, Energy Production (Fossil, Nuclear, Renewable, and Fusion Energy), Energy Use (In buildings, vehicles, and industry), Fundamental Energy Sciences (Materials, life, environmental, and computational sciences, and nuclear and high energy physics), Environmental Management, and Nuclear Nonproliferation. For more information on the DOE SBIR/STTR programs, please visit www.science.doe.gov/sbir.

Dr. Karl M. Prewo - Innovatech LLC
Dr Karl Prewo, founder of Innovatech LLC, consults in the development of new products and the growth of new enterprises. He has over 40 years of experience in the development and application of materials for product innovation.   He spent 30 years at United Technologies Corporation working in both commercial and aerospace product development. He was responsible for the development and application of engineered materials to spur transformational advances in product performance and cost.  
He is the author of over 50 issued patents in both the US and internationally covering new materials and their applications and has published over 80 technical papers in the field of materials science.  Additionally, he has received numerous national and international awards.
From 2002 to 2007 he led the development of a new technology center in Connecticut and was the founding Director of the multi-state National Aerospace Leadership Initiative dedicated to increasing the competitiveness of US aerospace manufacturers. He is a Fellow of both the American Ceramic Society and ASM and is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.

John Pucci, Acting PM and Operations Manager for Army SBIR
John Pucci has a long history of supporting research for DoD.  Prior to working for the Army, he spent 14 years with the Navy at the Naval Electronic Systems Command (NAVELEX) and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).  There he managed numerous Navy and DARPA projects, as well as working on SBIR and Independent Research and Development (IR&D) efforts, aimed at bringing advanced technologies into Navy systems.


Since 1997, he has been supporting Army programs, first as part of the Research, Development and Acquisition Directorate of the Army Materiel Command (AMC DCSRDA) and later as part of the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Systems of Systems Integration (RDECOM SOSI).  As part of his duties, he provided hands on expertise on all aspects of Army Science and Technology development, prioritization and resourcing.  Included in this was annually coordinating the RDECOM Army Technology Objective (ATO) process and serving as the Army Principal to the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (Nov 06 – Oct 07). Mr. Pucci has been the Operations Manager for the Army SBIR Program since June 2008 and assumed the Acting PM position in December 2009.

Chuck Richards, Founder & CEO
After four startups as CEO and CFO, two turnarounds, and making the Inc 500, Chuck formed Chairman's View to share with owners and leaders the critical importance of Value. He has helped hundreds of owners and CEOs of private companies. As a speaker and lecturer, he has written articles, been interviewed on TV and radio, including NPR, and has been quoted in national magazines. Chuck has a BA in Economics from Williams College, and a ME from MIT in Engineering & Business. He has four children and resides in VT with his wife, Jeanne.

Christopher S. Rinaldi, P.E. - SBIR & STTR Program Administrator - U.S. Department of Defense
Mr. Rinaldi is the Program Administrator for the Department of Defense (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. He is responsible for policy and oversight of an annual $1.4B research program designed to provide small high-tech businesses the opportunity to propose innovative research and development solutions to critical war-fighter needs.


Mr Rinaldi has broad experience in a variety of warfare products to include armament, vehicles, communications, electronics, sensors, rotorcraft, missiles, soldier, biological and chemical systems, training and simulation. He has in-depth technical knowledge in weapons, munitions, fire control, heat transfer and advanced composites. As Chief Engineer in the development of the Crusader self-propelled howitzer cannon system, Mr Rinaldi directed analytical and experimental activities to advance state-of-the-art technologies into the weapon system. He is the inventor and patent holder of an innovative cannon thermal cooling system enabling unlimited rate-of-fire.


Mr. Rinaldi has received numerous honors and awards for his professional accomplishments including the Secretary of Defense Team Excellence Award, the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Award, and the US Army Acquisition Streamlining Excellence Award. He holds multiple patents and authored numerous publications in product development of weapon systems.


Eli Ross – Pratt & Whitney
Eli Ross has worked as an engineer in Materials & Processes Engineering at Pratt & Whitney for more than 10 years. Currently he is in the customer systems integration group, focused on materials-related technology, produce ability, and manufacturing issues as they relate to the F135 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. Additionally, he is Pratt & Whitney's program manager for the ManTech AMPI (Advanced Manufacturing Propulsion Initiative), which entails ensuring alignment and coordination across the supply base to facilitate the implementation of AMPI-related manufacturing technology into key P&W products. Previous to P&W, he worked for Boeing Phantom Works in Renton, WA.

Deb Santy - Director - CT Small Business Innovation Research Office
Deb Santy is the State Program Director for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Deb brings over twenty years of executive experience leading startups, business change, technology integration and project management for the largest insurance companies in the US. 

Deb has authored a workbook for developing business plans – Business Succe$$ - Plan On It! using it while teaching at Florida Institute of Technology and purchased by the Small Business Administration and colleges nationwide.

Deb is a graduate of Elmira College and has an MBA from the University of Hartford
Karl Schmidt - Evisive
Karl Schmidt is Defense Applications Program Manager for Evisive, Inc., a small business providing novel microwave interferometry solutions for nondestructive testing of dielectric materials. Evisive is performing two Phase II SBIR projects: AF07-105 NDE of CMC materials and A08-186 NDE of Ceramic Armor, and two Phase I SBIR projects: A092-114 Automatic Test Equipment for NDE of Composite Rotor Blades and A082-144 NDE for Ground Vehicles. Phase II proposals have been invited for both of these.

Prior to his work with Evisive, Karl was responsible for the Quality Programs Division of Washington Group International, and Vice President Quality Technology and Engineering, of its predecessor organization Raytheon Engineers and Constructors. These duties included quality assurance and inspection services for nuclear power, Department of Energy, NASA and the energy industry. Karl holds a patent for robotic inspection technology, and has authored numerous papers on technology applications in nondestructive testing and quality assurance


Rick Shindell, president of Zyn Systems, is a long time SBIR advocate supporting small businesses, federal agencies, state outreach organizations, intermediaries and advocacy groups. 


Rick is perhaps best known for his hard hitting “SBIR Insider” newsletter which provides the SBIR community with news and critical information about the SBIR program, proposed legislation, successes, failures and controversies. His SBIR Insider is read by thousands including small businesses, state intermediaries and providers, federal program managers, and many congressional staffers.


Rick also created and manages Zyn’s SBIR Gateway (www.zyn.com/sbir), a free cross-agency SBIR/STTR information web site serving over 5,000 users daily, who perform more than 45,000 SBIR topic searches per month across all agencies open SBIR/STTR topics.


Rick was honored in 2006 with an SBIR Tibbetts Award for outstanding contributions to the SBIR program.

Ricahrd V. Smerbeck - Business Acceleration Manager - Dawnbreaker, Inc.
Richard Smerbeck brings 25 plus years of R&D experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to Dawnbreaker where he provides product commercialization and product development expertise to small advanced technology firms and their investors.  Over the course of his career, Richard has played key roles in the development and launch of more than 50 new products. These include Rx and OTC pharmaceutical products, medical devices, nutritional supplements and, skin care products. Additionally, he is an inventor on 25 patents. Richard has held a series of increasingly responsible positions at Warner Lambert, Schering Plough and finally at Bausch and Lomb where he retired as Vice President, Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development. In this role, Richard was responsible, at the corporate level, for the development and launch of all new pharmaceutical products. During his tenure at Bausch and Lomb, he has also held the positions of Vice President, Research, Development and Engineering, Europe; Vice President, New Product Commercialization and; Director of Product and Process Development. Additionally, Richard was the principal of RVS Pharmaceutical R&D Consulting providing product development expertise to clients ranging from start-ups to established corporations. Over the course of his career, Richard has worked successfully along the entire product development continuum - from basic/applied research to pre-clinical efficacy methods development, business development; program management, product and process development, to executive management. Richard has a B.S in Biology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Elissa (Lisa) Sobolewski – DHS SBIR Program Director

Ms. Sobolewski has over 25 years of experience managing high risk, high payoff R&D initiatives funded by the Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce and Defense. She joined the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) in January 2006, and became the DHS SBIR Program Manager in June 2006 and the DHS SBIR Program Director in January 2009. Prior to joining DHS, Lisa held numerous management and technical positions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD. She was a Program Manager at DARPA for nine years, responsible for managing the RF and microwave/millimeter wave programs. Lisa also held positions at the David Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center, and at the Department of Defense Technology Analysis Office. She worked for McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company (Engineering Services) on various government contracts supporting the USMC. Lisa is an IEEE member and a member of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. She holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Duquesne University, and an MBA from George Mason University
Dr. Phyl Speser - Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Speser is a co-founder of Foresight and its Chief Executive Officer. He is a noted authority on SBIR. He was the lead lobbyist for the original enabling legislation for SBIR and developed the concept for the STTR with Roland Tibbetts, and had the first legislation that lead to that program introduced. He has been program manager for numerous SBIR Commercialization Support Programs for federal agencies. He also wrote many federal governments manuals on how to compete for and win SBIRs. In the 1990s he was a multiple SBIR award winner. All of his awards were commercialized.
Dr. Speser has supported technology development, location, and commercialization in most fields of science and technology. He is the author of many publications, papers, and presentations on these subjects, most recently The Art and Science of Technology Transfer (John Wiley and Sons, 2006). 

James Stegeman represents the Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD) technology interests to the SBIR program and also coordinates the SBIR technology investment strategy for the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program.  In these roles, he interacts with SOMD staff to define technology topic and sub-topic areas for the SBIR solicitation.  He also collaborates with the other NASA mission directorate representatives and other federal agencies’ SBIR programs to ensure that all SOMD technology needs are addressed in a strategic manner.  He obtained a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering along with a Master of Science in Engineering Science from the University of Toledo.

Tom Tuffey-Director-PennFuture Center for Energy, Enterprise & the Environment

Tom Tuffey is the Director of the PennFuture Center for Energy, Enterprise and the environment in Philadelphia. Tuffey is an experienced entrepreneur with particular interests in developing enterprise solutions to energy issues. He has been actively involved in over two dozen mergers, acquisitions and many organization startups. He has served on many boards of directors in both the private and public interest sectors.


Previously, Tuffey was the executive director of the Sustainable Energy Fund, a $20 million nonprofit private finance company focused on central Pennsylvania. He was also an executive committee member of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), the trade association of the 17 state clean energy funds, with resources of $4 billion.

Rheal P. Turcotte, PhD

Rheal (Ray) joined NASA in 2000 and is a member of Langley Research Center’s Strategic Relationships Office, emphasizing technology transfer. His role as a Partnership Development Manager includes leading or supporting initiatives related to technology infusion, licensing NASA inventions and developing other beneficial technology development collaborations with industry, universities and other government agencies.

Prior to joining NASA, Ray held executive positions as a founder of private companies in Seattle and in Chicago and for 6 years was Associate Director of a 100 person applied research institute at Northwestern University. For 15 years, he was a researcher, then manager of a Materials Chemistry group at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He is the author of 35 technical publications.

Dr. Turcotte obtained the PhD in Physical Chemistry from Arizona State University and B.S. in Chemistry from Niagara University.

Chris Van Buiten - Director Sikorsky Innovations 

Chris Van Buiten is the Director of Sikorsky Innovations  at Sikorsky Aircraft where he is responsible for maturing next generation technologies including X2, active rotor, and autonomy as well as defining next generartion products.  Mr. Van Buiten joined Sikorsky in 1989 where he has been engaged in the conceptual and preliminary design of Sikorsky products including the S-92 commercial transport, CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, and UH-60M BLACK HAWK as well as several advanced concepts. He has served as Chief of Preliminary Design and Manager of Advanced Design and has led Sikorsky’s Strategic Planning group. Chris led Sikorsky’s acquisition of the PZL Mielec Aircraft Company in Mielec, Poland . He has also served as a Technical Fellow for Advanced System Design.



Mr. Augustine Vu is the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program Manager. Mr. Vu began supporting the SBIR/STTR Program Office in the Air Force Research Laboratory Headquarters in December 2008. Before coming to Air Force SBIR/STTR Program served as the Force Technology Transfer Program Manager.
Mr. Vu has a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration Degree, both from the University of Dayton. Mr. Vu worked as a design engineer in industry before earning his Masters Degree and then worked for a Partnership Intermediary for the Air Force identifying and brokering collaborative opportunities between private sector technology developers and the Air Force.
Mr. Vu strives to educate both Air Force personnel and small businesses on how the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program provides a return on the Air Force Science & Technology investment while enhancing economic development.
Bruce (Tab) Wilkins, Jr.  - NIST 

Mr. Wilkins joined the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership as Senior Technology Advisor and Account Manager in 2006.  He brings over 20 years of experience forming and leading non-profit organizations in New York State, Connecticut and Washington State which fund new technology development and consult with small and mid-sized manufacturers in business development. Much of his work has focused on helping established manufacturers, although he’s also created angel networks and managed university-industry cooperative research programs supporting the formation of new technology-based companies and spin-out firms. Currently he manages the NIST MEP investment in west coast centers and directs the national NIST MEP effort in supporting early stage companies with federal R&D funding.


Dr. Jie Yao - B&W Tek
Jie Yao, Ph.D., has been the Principal Investigator of 8 research and development contracts with the U.S. federal government. Dr. Yao designed and developed a tunable laser heterodyning system for the generation and detection of TeraHertz radiation with 100 kHz frequency repeatability, stability, accuracy and resolution for Goodrich Aerospace Division under a contract with U.S. Army Research Lab. Dr. Yao invented high-speed photodiodes with sensitivity both designed and experimentally proven to exceed well-accepted textbook limits. He was also the only design engineer at a high-tech start-up company responsible for lasers, modulators, photodetectors, monolithic photonic integration, fiber optic coupling, and the successful launch of various photonic integrated circuit products. In collaboration with the Army Research Lab, Dr. Jie Yao developed the world's most sensitive Quantum Well Infrared Photo-detector (QWIP) for the early detection of inter-continental ballistic missiles and infrared astronomical observatory, the resulting device capable of detecting a basketball at room temperature half an equator away.