ADVANCED MATERIALS & MANUFACTURING: Value and Challenges in Multi-campus University/Industry Connectivity (Collaboration)

The connectivity between regional academic institutions, with the possibility of shared intellectual and physical resources, has tremendous potential to advance our academic missions as innovation pipelines to industry. Similarly, the connectivity between linked academic institutions with industry is essential to shape and steer our missions in serving our constituents–and providing talent pipelines to industry.  Under this hyper-connected model, the value and challenges are equally amplified. Our panel will discuss ideas and best practices for this connectivity to flourish.

Nidal Abu-Zahra, PhD (Panel Moderator)

Chair, Materials Science and Engineering Department, UW-Milwaukee

Nidal received his MS in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies from the University of Manchester (UK) and his PhD in Industrial Engineering from Cleveland State University. He joined the Industrial Engineering department at UWM in 1998, subsequently joined the Materials Engineering department in 2004. He teaches courses in materials processing and his research is focused on functional materials and composites.


Doug Dunham, PhD

Director, Materials Science & Engineering Center, UW Eau-Claire

Doug received his MS and PhD degrees in Physics from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1992 and 1995, respectively. Doug joined the UW-Eau Claire Physics and Astronomy Department in 1999. He has been serving as the director of the Materials Science Center since 2004. He is also is the current chair of the Regional Materials and Manufacturing Network in Wisconsin.

Joe Hamann, PhD 

Director, Advanced Engineering at Rexnord Corporation

Joe is an engineering leader with diverse experience in technology, product, and talent development. He expertise is in building and leveraging University partnerships to create talent pipelines, catalyze collaborative research and product development projects, and launch technically oriented Learning & Development initiatives. Joe earned his MS, and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from UW-Madison, and an MBA from UWM.

Jessica Silvaggi, PhD

Director of Technology Commercialization, UWM Research Foundation

Jessica joined the UWMRF in 2009 as Technology Licensing Associate. She played a major role in the evaluation of UWM intellectual property for patentability and commercialization. She currently manages the overall patent portfolio and marketing and licensing program. Jessica received a BS in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in Biochemistry from Harvard University.

Konstantin Sobolev, PhD

Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Konstantin earned his BS/MS degree in Civil Engineering from Moscow State Civil Engineering University and his PhD from the Research Institute of Concrete and Reinforced Concrete (NIIZhB), Russia. He joined the UWM’s Civil Engineering department in 2007. He is the co-director of the UWM Center for By-Products Utilization. He is a world-renowned researcher in concrete nanotechnology.