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Oregon BEST Adds New Members To BOD

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Oregon BEST has elected four new members to its Board of Directors, adding regional expertise from private industry and government labs to its leadership body tasked with helping the organization speed commercialization of a wide range of new clean technologies.

Joining Oregon BEST’s 13-member board are Jud Virden of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wa.; Michael Baker of The Baker Group LLP with offices in Seattle, Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, BC; Cynthia Powell of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) with offices in Albany, Ore., Pittsburgh, Pa. and Morgantown, W.Va. and Mateo Aboy of Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville campus.

“As Oregon BEST enters our seventh year helping grow the region’s cleantech economy by transforming research into new technologies that solve environmental challenges, we welcome the these new members and their expertise,” said David Kenney, President and Executive Director of Oregon BEST. “Because we work at the intersection of institutional research and industry commercialization, we look for deep experience in those areas on our Board, and with these new members, we have found that in spades.”

The new members, below, replace outgoing board members Wade Mosby of The Collins Companies, Rod Quinn of PNNL, and Charlie Jones of Oregon Tech. Previous board chair Dennis Wilde of Gerding Edlen, will stay on as an ex-officio member for one year.

The new board members include:

Jud Virden is the Associate Laboratory Director for the Energy and Environment Directorate (EED) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash., where he leads a team of 1,000 staff in delivering science and technology solutions for energy and environmental challenges. In fiscal year 2012, EED¹s research sales to government and industry clients totaled $210 million. Virden joined PNNL in 1991 as a researcher, and through the years has served in a variety of leadership roles. Prior to his current position, he was EED¹s Chief Science and Technology Officer, managing the directorate¹s science and technology capabilities to ensure they impact energy and environment challenges. Virden¹s involvement in the strategic direction and growth of PNNL energy programs, has helped shape national and international public/private technology partnerships to accelerate technology deployment. He holds a bachelor¹s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Washington.

Michael Baker is Managing Partner for the Baker Group, LLP, which has offices in Seattle, Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, BC. He has more than 25 years of executive experience with Philips Medical Systems, Inc., Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin Medical Systems and GE Medical Systems. He has commercialized new technologies in medicine, managed research and FDA processes and successfully exited technologies into the market. The Baker Group has invented technologies that include home hemodialysis, water purification systems, blood filtration, axial flux permanent magnet motor/generator, gearless wind energy systems, medical informatics solutions, and more. He and his team have developed and successfully launched several companies in the medical and energy markets and are on contract to assist Cedars Sinai in commercializing its intellectual property portfolio and managing its research vision for successful minimization.

Cynthia Powell is Director of the Office of Research & Development for the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). She supervises the onsite research personnel and laboratories in Albany, Ore., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Morgantown, W.Va. Previously the Materials Science Focus Area Lead at NETL, Powell has more than 15 years experience in high-temperature phase and microstructural development of structural materials and the effects of these phase changes on the bulk properties of these materials. She received her doctorate in materials science from Case Western Reserve University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in ceramic engineering from Clemson University. Her research also addressed microstructure/processing relationships in a wide range of intermetallic, metallic, ceramic, and composite materials, and the influence of microstructure on the tribological performance of ceramics and ceramics-based composites.

Mateo Aboy has been Associate Provost and Vice President for Research at the Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) since 2012, where he serves as the chief academic and chief operating officer for the Oregon Tech Wilsonville Campus and promotes and oversees sponsored projects, innovation and technology transfer at all Oregon Tech campuses. He founded and currently oversees the Office of Innovation and Tech Transfer and the Office of Sponsored Projects and Grants Administration. He joined the faculty at Oregon Tech during the 2004/05 academic year as a program director for the Electronics Program in Portland. Under his leadership as Dept. Chair between 2008-2011, the Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy Department was transformed from a single program to a multidisciplinary engineering department offering full engineering degrees, including a BS in Electrical Engineering, a BS in Renewable Energy Engineering, and a MS in Renewable Energy Engineering. During his tenure, the department experienced remarkable growth, nearly doubling the overall student enrollment at Oregon Tech Portland. Aboy is a recipient of the 2013 Portland Business Journal 40 under 40 Award and Oregon Tech¹s Faculty Achievement Award.

About Oregon BEST http://oregonbest.org
The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) is the nexus for clean technology innovation, building capability, convening collaborations, and accelerating solutions to environmental challenges that deliver prosperity in all corners of Oregon. Oregon BEST brings together Oregon¹s significant R&D strengths in clean technology to support the commercialization of new products and services. Since establishment in 2007, Oregon BEST¹s 220-plus Member Faculty have generated more than $90 million in research revenue from federal, industry and foundation sources to Oregon. At its four partner universities (Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon), Oregon BEST has established a network of seven shared-user research facilities. Oregon BEST Commercialization Grants are awarded to collaborations between entrepreneurs and Oregon BEST member faculty at partner universities.

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