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ICC4 Ceramic Leadership Summit Track Speakers

ICC4 and 3rd Ceramic Leadership Summit

Shaping the Future of Ceramics

Tim Lavengood, Executive Director, Technology Innovation Center


Biography: Lavengood has been director of the Technology Innovation Center, the high-technology incubator in Evanston, Ill., since 1999. He oversees overall operations, including due diligence on applicant companies, coordination of facilities and service programs, and liaison with area universities. Prior to joining TIC, Tim was a founding partner in Tambourine Technologies, a consultancy that advised developing economy governments on opportunities to leverage local resources with appropriate technologies to produce globally competitive goods and services. Tim was also a founder of the Institute for International Entrepreneurship and an industrial development specialist at Northwestern’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science and Technology. He began his career by founding Occam’s Razor, Inc., a science communications firm.



Collin Anderson, President and CEO, Digital Innovations


Biography: Anderson is a CEO, entrepreneur, and consultant with a broad skill set in all aspects of start-up and growth stages in a range of businesses. He recently returned as President and CEO of Digital Innovations, a manufacturer of proprietary consumer electronic and computer accessories that he co-founded and previously led for the first 5+ years of its existence. During his first tenure at Digital Innovations, he led the company from what was essentially ‘two-guys-with-an-idea’ to outstanding profitability, revenues well into 8-figures, and extensive distribution via the largest retailers worldwide. He was also co-inventor of DI’s flagship product, the “SkipDr” CD repair device, which has to date achieved over $250 million in retail sales and is arguably the most successful consumer electronics accessory product in history. He and his team achieved the above with less than $1M in total paid-in-capital. Between stints at Digital Innovations, he founded his own consulting practice, In the Arena Consulting, where he helped his clients’ top management navigate the waters from start-up to profitable going concern and was also co-founder and President of Neuros Technology. He currently serves on three boards of directors and is a frequent guest lecturer at top Chicago-area business schools. He has an MBA (High Honors) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; an MS and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where he was a Harold Stirling Vanderbilt Scholar; and a BS in Metallurgical Engineering (High Honors) from Montana Tech.


Alex Arzoumanidis, Founder, Psylotech, Inc.


Biography: Arzoumanidis is the founder of Psylotech, Inc., which produces unique mechanical test instruments, enabling finite element analysis of polymers, composites, and other difficult to model materials.  Prior to Psylotech, Dr. Arzoumanidis was at Schlumberger Doll Research in the Materials and Mechanical Sciences Group. He holds a Doctorate and Masters from the University of Texas at Austin, was previously a Guest Lecturer at MIT, and is currently an Affiliate at Northwestern University’s Segal Design Center.


Jonathan Goodman, Principal Member, Synthesis Intellectual Property, LLC


Biography: Goodman is the principal member of Synthesis Intellectual Property, a law firm specializing in solving the intellectual property issues faced by chemical businesses. He provides both legal and scientific advice on business development, intellectual property protection, and chemical synthesis. He graduated from the University of Delaware (BS Chemistry, 1994) and the University of Illinois at Urbana (PhD 1999) where his dissertation focused on the reactivity of soluble metal sulfides. Research led him to a post-doctoral position at MIT, and from there, a faculty position at Vanderbilt University. In 2005, he made an early-midlife career change to law. In his transition from researcher to service provider, he has assisted chemical companies of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, with the protection of their innovations. In addition to his legal business, he serves as a member of the American Chemical Society’s Patents and Related Matters committee and the Chair-Elect of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Small Chemical Businesses. He additionally helps educate entrepreneurs and small business owners on intellectual property matters through local technology incubators.



Leslie Millar

Leslie Millar, Director of the Office of Technology Management, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Biography: Millar joined the OTM in 2002 as an Engineering Technology Manager. As Director, she leads a team of 20 professionals responsible for the identification, protection, marketing and licensing of intellectual property arising from the more than $400 million in research conducted on campus. She also works with a wide range of campus, corporate, and community partners, furthering the office’s mission to encourage innovation, enhance research and facilitate economic development. Prior to joining the OTM, Millar had an extensive career in government in England where she worked in consulting, contract and small business management, strategic planning, and policy development. She is a frequent speaker at technology transfer seminars and professional meetings. She is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Intellectual Property Marketing Advisor Publication and is a regular contributor to articles and webinars for Technology Transfer Tactics. She is a member of both the Licensing Executive Society and Association of University Technology Managers. A native of Scotland, Millar has a BEd an MEd and an MBA. She is also a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).



John Banta, CEO and Managing Director, IllinoisVENTURES, LLC; Managing Partner, Illinois Emerging Technologies Funds


Biography: Banta is the former President and COO of DigitalWork, Inc., a Draper Fisher Jurvetson, TL Ventures and Dell Ventures portfolio company, having also served as its Senior Vice President of Corporate and Business Development. Prior to DigitalWork, John served as Vice President of Corporate Services for UBS, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Investment Management Consultant’s Association. John works with a wide variety of portfolio companies, with an emphasis on clean technologies including renewables fuels and chemicals, water, and agriculture. He serves as a Director on behalf of numerous portfolio businesses, as well as the Board of Directors of the Illinois Venture Capital Association and the iBio Institute, and the Advisory Boards of the Midwest Governor’s Association, the Argonne Venture Accelerator Consortium, the Chicago Energy Trust and the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern. He earned an MBA in finance and statistics with high honors from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where he has been a frequent guest lecturer, and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois College of Commerce.


John Hellmann

John Hellmann, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University


Biography: As a faculty member since 1986, Hellmann has also served as Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Materials, Chairman of the Ceramic Science and Engineering Program, Associate Head for Undergraduate Studies in Materials Science and Engineering, and Associate Dean for Education in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. His research interests concern the mechanical reliability and thermochemical durability of ceramics, metals, and intermetallic materials in severe thermal environments. He has published over 100 peer reviewed papers on research supported by the DOE, NASA, Office of Naval Research, NSF, and industry, and has supervised the research of over 120 graduate and undergraduate students, many of whom have received national and international awards for their work. He earned his BS, MS and PhD in Ceramic Science at Penn State, followed by a five year stint as a member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories prior to returning to the faculty at Penn State.



Ryoji Funahashi, Senior Research Scientist, Research Institute for Ubiquitous Energy Devices, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology


Biography: Funahashi is a senior research scientist at the Research Institute for Ubiquitous Energy Devices, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology. He earned his MS in Chemistry (1992) from the Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University and a PhD in Applied Physics (1998) from Nagoya University. Before his work at AIST, he was a Research Scientist of Osaka National Research Institute. He has been a lecturer at Nagoya University, Osaka Electro-communication University, Akita Prefectural University and Osaka University. He is currently a lecturer at College of Industrial Technology and Konan University. Funahashi is also the Chief Science Officer at Foundation of TES NewEnergy.



Jinlong Yang, Professor, Tsinghua University


Biography: Yang was born in May 1966 in PR of China. He obtained his BS of metallic materials and heat treatment from Beijing Institute of Technology in 1987, MS of metallic materials and heat treatment from North University of China (NUC) in 1990, and PhD of inorganic nonmetallic materials from Tsinghua University in 1996. He has the post-doctoral experience in Prof. Gauckler’s group at Department of Materials in Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich) from 1999 to 2000. He became a full professor in Tsinghua University in 2004, and had the position of special-engaged professor and director of laboratory of advanced ceramics in NUC since 2006. His main research interests include structure ceramics, ceramic matrix composites, colloidal forming of ceramics, laser green machining of ceramics and treatment and disposal of solids Waste. He had won some top honors, including the second class prize of National Technical Invention awarded by State Council of China, 3 Science and Technology Advancement Prices awarded by the Ministry of Education, and the government of Science and Technology Advancement Price awarded by Beijing. He has published more than 120 papers and got more than 40 national invention patents.


Janez Pirs

Janez Pirs, Scientific Counselor and Head of Natural Science and Technology Center, Jozef Stefan Institute


Biography: Pirs has worked for Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS) Solid State Physics Department since 1969. He works part-time as Director R&D at Balder Ltd., a spin-off company of IJS that he founded and is member of the board. His principal education and research areas include physics of liquid crystals: applied research of light modulation by means of LCD light shutters; phase transitions in Liquid Crystals; and nuclear magnetic resonance. He has served as Scientific Counselor at IJS, Ljubljana from 1989 and the Head of Natural Science and technology Center at IJS, Ljubljana. He is also founder and member of the board of the spin-off company of IJS, Redlab d.o.o., Ljubljana; a member of the Slovenian Academy of Engineering and a consultant for Kimberly Clark Professional. He receive his BA Physics (1969) and PhD Physics (1975) from University of Ljubljana; He was a Post-doc (1975-1977) at the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University, Kent OH, USA.





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