Our Experts

Consultants

Kim Capps

  • University-Industry Strategy
    • Industry Structuring to Support U-I Relationships
    • Industry Policies and Procedures to Maximize Engagement
    • Industry-based Advisory Boards
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships:
    • Industry Engagement Tactics
    • Industry Communicating Research Needs to Academia
    • Industry Metrics for Success
    • Industry Partnering for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
    • Industry Financial Return on Investment

Kim Capps is a strategic leader of academic relationships. Her skill in identifying university experts whose research is germane to company interests, and keenly developed ability to take the pulse of corporate needs is of great value to her clients

Kim most recently served as Director of Academic Relations at LinkedIn, where she built the program from the ground up. She adeptly partnered with multiple internal cross-functional teams and research operations to drive the execution of research brand objectives and provide program oversight for each engagement. She also launched the LinkedIn Scholars program and oversaw the research award calls for proposals. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Kim served Yahoo as Academic Relations manager and Chief of Staff of Yahoo Research. She also has university relations experience at both Intuit and Cisco.

Based in California, Kim received a B.S. in Finance from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  

Todd Cleland

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to Support U-I Relationships
  • Developing and Managing
  • Partnerships
  • Communicating with Industry
  • Engagement Tactics
  • University Metrics for Success
  • Contracting
  • Foreground Intellectual Property

Todd Cleland leverages his extensive background in facilitating collaborations between industry and academia to deliver exceptional client service. With twenty plus years of practical corporate experience in developing technology strategy, incubating new businesses, and managing strategic engagements with outside companies, and eleven years developing corporate partnerships at a major research university, he brings both a university and industry perspective to client projects.

Todd most recently served as Senior Director for Corporate Relations at the University of Washington, where he led the central corporate relations team, managing some of the university’s most important corporate relationships while driving strategic projects to enhance industry engagements. Prior to his academic career, Todd held a variety of research & development management roles during his two decades at Hewlett-Packard.

Based in Washington State, Todd received a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton and a Ph.D. in
chemical engineering from UC Berkeley. He also holds an S.M./M.B.A. in technology management from MITs Sloan School of Business.

Andrew Cockerill

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to Support U-I Relationships
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships

Andrew Cockerill builds effective relationships across organizational boundaries with his clients. He is passionate about helping engineers, scientists, and researchers from different backgrounds collaborate effectively to accelerate innovation through application. Drawing on his extensive experience spanning over three decades in the dynamic oil and gas industry, Andrew’s university and industry clients benefit greatly from his unique perspective.

Andrew most recently served as Director of Strategic University Research Relations for BP, where he established the global framework for strategic university research partnerships and led efforts to build synergies between research, recruitment, executive development, and policy development. He spent five years embedded at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the BP Relationship Manager with oversight for a broad spectrum of sponsored research, graduate recruitment, and executive education.

Based in Massachusetts, Andrew received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester.

Melissa Erekson

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to Support U-I Relationships
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Communicating with Industry
  • Engagement Tactics
  • U-I Advisory Boards
  • Partnering for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • University Metrics for Success

Melissa is a higher education strategist who brings nearly two decades of expertise as a changemaker in industry partnerships to her clients. She helps both public and private research-intensive institutions leverage data and alumni networks to develop strategic industry partnerships that defy the pull of academic siloes. She brings an emphasis on the industry audience to her work with higher education –
helping universities clearly communicate their distinctive advantage to industry partners.

Melissa most recently served as Assistant Vice President for Corporate Engagement at The Pennsylvania State University, where she launched their first-ever Corporate Engagement Center to bring together corporate relationships spanning industry sponsored research and corporate philanthropy. Melissa also spent fifteen years in corporate, foundation and research relations at Tulane University, where she grew
and sustained key corporate partnerships and developed expertise in areas of social impact including sustainability, health equity, community development, and public health.

Based in Pennsylvania, Melissa received an M.B.A. with a concentration in International Marketing from the FW Olin School of Business at Babson College, and a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish Studies from Tufts University, both magna cum laude.

Dennis Fortner

  • U-I Strategy
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Government Support
  • Communicating with Industry
  • Engagement Tactics
  • Contracting

Dennis brings over three decades of “boots-on-the-ground” industry research and development experience to his clients. Intimately familiar with aerospace and defense contractors, Dennis leverages his experience in small business innovation and research to provide expert advice on aligning research
and development projects with evolving programs of record for the US Department of Defense.

Dennis most recently served as Director of Business Engagement at Carnegie Mellon University, where he developed and managed strategic partnerships with industry leaders. He has thirty-three years of experience working in the aerospace and defense community in roles including business development, research, and new venture activities.

Based in Florida, Dennis received a master’s degree in technology management from New York University and a B.S.E. from the New York Institute of Technology.

Jilda Garton

  • Contracting and Intellectual Property Strategy
  • University Contracting
  • Master Agreements
  • Sponsored Research Agreements
  • Foreground Federal Funding of UI Partnerships
  • Export Control and Foreign Influence
  • Tax Exempt Bonds
  • Contracting Policy

Jilda Garton is a research administration leader whose broad view of research policy attained through an active presence at the national level, greatly benefits her clients. She brings thirty years of experience in university-industry contracting to bear on solving problems clients face at the local level. Jilda most recently served as the Vice President for Research and General Manager of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation and Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation. She led the financial business affairs of both entities and directed the activities of several offices within the university’s research organization. Previously, Jilda spent eight years at the Ohio State University Research Foundation.

Jilda most recently served as the Vice President for Research and General Manager of the Georgia Tech Research Corporation and Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation. She led the financial business affairs of both entities and directed the activities of several offices within the university’s research organization. Previously, Jilda spent eight years at the Ohio State University Research Foundation.

Based in Georgia, Jilda received a M.S. in Zoology from Louisiana State University and a B.A. in Biology from Vanderbilt University.

Karl Haider

  • University-Industry Strategy
  • Industry policies and procedures to maximize engagement
  • University based advisory boards
  • Industry based advisory boards
  • University-Industry Partnership Management
  • University engagement tactics
  • Corporate Sponsorship on university campuses
  • Industry communicating research needs to academia
  • Contracting
  • Industry Contracting
  • Master Agreements
  • Sponsored research agreements
  • Foreground intellectual property
  • Contracting policy review

Karl Haider brings his extensive experience both inside the lab and in contracting to his clients. A seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience leading research and development programs in the polymer industry, Karl’s clients benefit from his in depth understanding of both the scientists and the lawyers involved in successful university-industry collaborations.

Karl most recently served as Research Fellow and Head of Industry Academia Collaboration for North America at Covestro. Prior to that, he served in a variety of technical and academic collaboration roles for Covestro and its predecessors Bayer Material Science and Mobay.  He has led the company’s open innovation group – brokering partnerships with consultants, universities and national labs. His intimate knowledge of intellectual property as an inventor as well as a company representative make him the right person to have at the table.

Based in Pennsylvania, Karl received a B.S. in chemistry from the Juniata College, and M.S. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Ohio State University.

Chris Heivly

  • Innovation Ecosystem Assessment and Development
    • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Economic Development
    • Federal Incentives
    • Strategy
    • Innovation Districts
    • Venture Development
    • Innovation Ecosystems
    • Change Management

Chris Heivly is a national expert on launching startups. He brings his experience in solving business problems at the highest levels for some of the world’s most recognized brands to his clients.

Chris co-founded MapQuest, is a long-time angel investor, ran a corporate venture fund and 2 micro venture funds, and most recently served Techstars as Senior Vice President of Innovation. Techstars is the world’s largest ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs build great businesses. There, he developed a new set of products and services focused on helping startup communities grow. He is the author of two books, Build the Fort and The Startup Community Builder’s Field Guide for founders, investors, and economic development leaders.

Based in North Carolina, Chris has an M.A. in Geographic Information Systems from the University of South Carolina. He also received a B.S. in Geography from the West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

Karl Koster

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to Support U-I relationships
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Engagement Tactics
  • U-I Advisory Boards
  • University Metrics for Success
  • Global Partnerships
  • Innovation Ecosystems
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation Districts

Karl is an experienced university executive who brings more than three decades of university-industry leadership experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to his clients. With expertise spanning the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America – Karl helps universities position themselves for industry engagement success, advising on internal challenges and objectives as well as the external landscape.

Karl most recently served as Director of Alliance Management in MIT’s Office of Strategic Alliances and
Technology Transfer. This new umbrella organization, which he helped define and implement, provided a streamlined interface for the university’s technology licensing and transfer, non-federal contracting, and corporate relations professionals to facilitate industry and other non-federal sponsored research engagements. Karl previously led MIT’s Office of Corporate Relations, including the Industrial Liaison
Program and the MIT Startup Exchange.

Based in Massachusetts, Karl received an M.S. with a concentration in the management of technological
innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a B.A. in Geology and Economics from Brown
University.

Edward Krause

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to support U-I relationships
  • Contracting and Intellectual Property Strategy
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Global University Relations
  • Industry Metrics for Success
  • Financial Return on Investment

Edward Krause is an R&D strategist and university partnership thought leader who brings three decades
of industry experience to his clients. He has a firm belief in the need for quantitative valuation of university-industry partnerships. He assists clients in creating the path to delivering unimpeachable financial return on investment through win-win university-industry partnerships. His expertise covers the US, Europe, Australia, China and India, where he sees unique opportunities for companies to effectively engage with universities.

Ed most recently served as Global Manager, External Alliances, for Research and Advanced Engineering
at Ford Motor Company. In 21 years of managing university collaborations at Ford, he oversaw more than 2000 projects with over 130 universities and negotiated numerous best-in-class master agreements. Prior to joining Ford Motor Company, Ed spent nine years with Pilot Industries managing
the research and development, market development, and information technology departments.

Based in Michigan, Ed received an M.S. and B.S. in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the Executive Education Program of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Rob Lowe

Innovation Ecosystem Assessment and Development
Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Economic Development

Federal Incentives

Strategy

Innovation Districts

Venture Development

Innovation Ecosystems

Rob Lowe is an entrepreneurial leader and recognized expert in innovation practice. He brings a unique perspective to his clients, based on twenty-five years of success in every aspect of the university- industry innovation ecosystem – from bootstrapping to raising venture capital to selling businesses for industry-leading investor returns.

Rob has founded and served as CEO of two B2B software companies, both resulting in positive exits. His most recent company, Wellspring, is the leading software provider for universities, government agencies, and companies to manage their licensing, collaboration, and research programs. He also founded several incubators over his career, resulting in dozens of successful tech spin-outs.

Rob previously served as a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, where he built successful university-industry partnerships, as well as in the office of the President at the University of California. Based in Illinois, Rob has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Business and Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He also received a B.BA. in Finance, Computer Information Systems, and Economics from the University of Michigan.

Matt McNair

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to support U-I relationships
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Leveraging Alumni Networks
  • University Metrics for Success
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Partnering for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Industry Advisory Boards

Matt brings a focus on aligning systems and goals, intentionally designing culture, and change
management to all his clients. He is an experienced university leader in fundraising as well as broader
industry partnerships.

Matt has fourteen years of experience in various roles in higher education, including corporate
partnerships, economic development, and technology commercialization. He most recently served as
President of the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation. Prior to his academic career, Matt was
an accomplished lawyer. He served in the Navy JAG Corps, as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, practicing
corporate and securities law, and as Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Nebraska

Based in Oregon, Matt received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, and a
J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Lili Portilla

  • Industry and Federal Contracting
  • Foreground Intellectual Property
  • Federal Funding of U-I Partnerships
  • Contracting Policy Review
  • Innovation and Ecosystem Assessment and Development
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Federal Incentives
  • Innovation Ecosystems
  • Small Business Innovation Programs

Lili Portilla is an expert in commercialization strategy who brings deep knowledge of federal programs and their collaboration mechanisms for biomedical technologies to her client work. Her skills in organizing translational science partnerships, strategic alliances and technology transfer initiatives are assets for both industrial and academic clients.

Lili’s career as a practitioner has included leadership positions at several organizations within the National Institutes of Health, including the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Center for Research Resources, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. At the latter, she led the execution of 300 public private partnerships and collaboration agreements each year with pharma, small businesses, patient advocacy organizations, and academia. She also managed the small business grant and contract program. Most recently, she has served as the senior commercialization advisor for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health’s Project Accelerator Transition Innovation Office.

Based in Maryland, Lili received a M.P.A. from American University and a B.B.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Lubab Sheet-Davis

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to support U-I relationships
  • Governance
  • Capacity Building
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Partnering for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Industry Advisory Boards

Lubab Sheet-Davis brings thirty years of corporate strategy expertise in technology settings to bear in finding solutions to her clients’ problems. Her experience in standing up university engagement functions for industry makes her the ideal consultant to put forward governance options and make recommendations for how to structure and staff academic relations offices.

Lubab most recently served as Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for the Chief Technology Officer at Lam Research, a $15 billion semiconductor equipment manufacturer. She led a team that managed a portfolio of internal and open innovation programs and events as well as communications to catalyze technology development, empower employees to innovate on business relevant topics, support collaboration and expand skills. Previously, she headed up emerging technologies at SEMI, match-making
big and small companies, and was co-founder of SemiSales.com, an e-commerce pioneer.

Based in California, Lubab received an B.S. in Materials Engineering from San Jose State University and
an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University.

Jeffrey Southerton

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to Support U-I Relationships
  • Contracting and Intellectual Property Strategy
  • Policies/Procedures to Maximize Engagement
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Industry Metrics for Success
  • Financial Return on Investment

Jeffrey Southerton is a dedicated business development consultant who brings scientific knowledge and extensive understanding of the biopharmaceutical industry to his clients. His skill at creating and managing collaborations, as well as in-licensing and out-licensing of assets at all stages of development, are true assets for academic medical centers as well as companies in the field.

Jeff’s 30-year career at Pfizer spanned both the UK and US, where he served most recently as Lead, Medical Partnerships. He identified assets with the potential to be developed as new therapeutics for underserved patients and sought to advance them through creative partnerships. In this role he built upon the expertise he gained as an Executive Director, Business Development at Pfizer where he was

Based in California, Jeff received a Ph.D. and B.S. in pharmacology from the University of Manchester, UK and an M.B.A. from The Open University, UK.

Joanne Tornow

  • Innovation Ecosystem Assessment and Development
  • Federal Incentives
  • Intellectual Property
  • Change Management
  • University-Industry Partnership Management
  • Centers of Excellence
  • Partnering for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Joanne Tornow brings extensive experience in leading the way for the scientific community to connect with industry through government programs. With over two decades of experience at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Joanne’s depth of understanding of the ways in which the federal government supports university-industry collaboration is an invaluable asset for her clients.

Joanne most recently served as the Assistant Director for the Biological Sciences at NSF, where she provided leadership for the Biological Sciences Directorate. In that capacity, she co-led a landscape study that informed NSF’s strategy for enhancing partnerships, and actively collaborated in the establishment of the Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) Directorate. Prior to leading the BIO directorate, Joanne served in a variety of roles with NSF where she brokered university partnerships. Earlier in her career, Joanne served as faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi and Portland State University.

Based in Virginia, Joanne received a Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University and a B.A. in biology from Rutgers University.

Stewart Witzeman

  • U-I Strategy
  • Structuring to Support U-I Relationships
  • Contracting and Intellectual Property Strategy
  • Policies/Procedures to Maximize Engagement
  • Developing and Managing Partnerships
  • Industry
    Metrics for Success
  • Financial Return on Investment

Stewart Witzeman is an experienced consultant who brings broad expertise in the field of innovation as well as a deep knowledge of the chemical industry to his clients. He has demonstrated success with clients in sectors including chemicals, materials, biomaterials, biotech, nutraceuticals, and higher education.

Stewart has three decades of experience in leading research and development groups with Eastman Chemical Company. He most recently served as Director, Eastman Innovation Center on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University, where he had responsibility for overseeing all of Eastman’s strategic university partnerships.

Based in Tennessee, Stewart received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.S. in Chemistry and Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University. Prior to starting his industrial career, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago

Project Managers

Tamara Hayman Henry

Tamara Hayman Henry brings her expertise as a certified project management professional, Lean and Six Sigma Blackbelt and engineer to her clients. She has more than 16 years of experience in varying disciplines including software and systems engineering, information technology, project management and process improvement.

Tamara is a special projects consultant for the parent company of UI Collab, UIDP, where she manages the initiative to aid members in growing their relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Tamara most recently served as a senior project manager for T. Rowe Price, where she led the effort to transition technology systems. She also previously served as a project manager for Leidos as well as Lockheed Martin.

Based in Maryland, Tamara earned an M.S. in technical management from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in computer science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Jaap Schut

Jaap Schut brings his deep knowledge of materials science alongside two decades of experience in innovation, consultancy, and new business and product development to his clients. They benefit from his active and broad participation in the innovation ecosystem – as an adjunct professor and an entrepreneur-in-residence, as well as a coach to founders.

Jaap served as Vice President for New Business Development for PACE Business Partners, a materials science and innovation strategy consultancy company. He previously spent eight years in industry, including five years at Fujifilm enabling new business development and commercialization of functional films and membranes for new markets as they pivoted away from traditional photography and graphic arts markets and products.

Based in North Carolina, Jaap received a Ph.D. in Polymeric Materials and Composites from the National Institute of Applied Sciences, Lyon, France. He holds an M.Sc./B.Sc. in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Groningen. Prior to starting his industrial career, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Rutgers University.

Kristina Thorsell

Kristina Thorsell brings her passion for work at the intersection of academia, industry, and government to her clients. She creates opportunities for expanding cross-sector collaboration by identifying challenges, developing contemporary solutions, and lowering barriers to create stronger innovation ecosystems.

Kristina currently serves as the Senior Project Advisor for the parent company of UI Collab, UIDP. She assesses current practices and makes recommendations for change through a combination of crowdsourcing, professional facilitation, and strategic planning approaches. She manages a robust project portfolio focused on increasing the ROI for cross-sector partnerships. The portfolio covers a wide array of topics relating to contracting, strategic partnerships, workforce development, and government engagement. Kristina ensures that recommendations are actionable and make people’s day jobs easier. Previously, Kristina held positions with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences.

Based in Virginia, Kristina earned an M.P.P. with specializations in international security and economic policy and international development policy from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in chemistry and biochemistry from Purdue University.

Business Development

Brian Carter

Brian brings over three decades of industry research and development experience to his clients. He leverages his experience in life and physical sciences as well as engineering, information technology and academia to provide expert advice. He is adept at aligning research and development projects and utilizing technology road mapping tools and techniques to develop strategic university-industry partnerships.

Brian is currently a principal partnerships manager at University College London, where he focuses on the development of strategic partnerships between external organizations and university researchers in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. He has a particular interest in work related to small molecule drug discovery, structural biology, and informatics. He previously served as a corporate relations coordinator at the University of Cambridge, prior to which he worked for over 25 years in pharmaceutical research and high-performance computing.

Based in England, Brian earned a B.S. in Chemistry, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

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