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Advisory Board


Adib, hamidcm

Hamid Adib

President of Adib Group Inc

Dr. Hamid Adib, P.E., is President of adib group inc, a professional engineering and management firm with offices in Connecticut and New York. Prior to forming his practice, Dr. Adib was a senior executive with global companies such as Samsung C&T in Korea, AECOM, WSP and Weidlinger Associates in New York and The S/L/A/M Collaborative in Connecticut.

Dr. Adib holds an MBA, PhD and Master of engineering from the University of Connecticut and has a broad background in the field of design and construction. He is a licensed professional engineer in many states and has been a key person in delivering significant projects in US, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and has served on the Board of Governors of the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute and a board member of the University of Connecticut New York City Alumni Chapter as well as Weidlinger Associates, The S/L/A/M Collaborative and Somerset Square Constructors.

beecher, s

Scott Beecher
Engineering Fellow for Software Certification
Pratt & Whitney

Scott Beecher is an Engineering Fellow at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT and a Designated Engineering Representative (DER) for the Federal Aviation Administration. He has worked over 35 years in the aerospace software development domain primarily between UTAS and Pratt & Whitney. He has been primarily involved in software development and the certification process for Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADECs). He has most recently been working on the Next Generation Product Family (NGPF).

Mr. Beecher received a B.S. degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1980. He has been inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers at UConn. He received his M.S. degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from RPI, Hartford. He is currently president and a founding member of the UCONN Computer Science Engineering Advisory Board. For the past 8 years, he has been instructor for the software engineering course for the Federal Aviation Administration Academy, Oklahoma City, OK.

Kevin Bouley
President and CEO
Nerac, Inc.

Kevin Bouley is President and CEO of Nerac, Inc. a global research and advisory firm for companies developing innovative products and technologies. A recognized leader in the information industry and Connecticut native, Mr. Bouley holds a B.S. in Finance (’80) from the University of Connecticut. He serves on the Third Bridge Grant Advisory Board, the School of Engineering Advisory Board and Dean’s Advisory Cabinet for the School of Business. Bouley received the School of Engineering Distinguished Service Award in 2010 and was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Fame in 2014.

A passionate speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship, and strong advocate for research enabled technology venture development; he supports and encourages entrepreneurial studies in the UConn School of Engineering, School of Business and School of Nursing. In addition to contributing ideas for new curriculum to stimulate and challenge the aspiring student entrepreneurs, he frequently serves as mentor and judge for a number of competitive programs that function as an entrepreneurial gateway for students. He regularly chairs the XcellR8 “Shark Tank” pitch events and has provided or secured seed money for a select number of students’ ventures/products.

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Kenneth B. Bowes
Vice President – Energy Delivery Systems
Eversource Energy

Kenneth Bowes is Vice President, Transmission Performance for Eversource Energy. He is responsible for the leadership and direction of Transmission performance as it relates to customer impacts and benefits, Transmission performance indicators, Federal and State regulatory plans, and operational compliance. He serves as a technical consultant and expert witness for various regulatory proceedings and large transmission projects including Northern Pass Transmission and Bay State Wind.

Ken has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is the past Chairman of the Edison Electric Institute’s Transmission Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Connecticut, the Bristol Boys and Girls Club, and is Chairman of the Board of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was inducted into the University of Connecticut, Academy of Distinguished Engineers in 2016 and elected into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in 2017.

Michael Cantor
Cantor Colburn LLP

Michael Cantor leads one of the country’s largest and most productive intellectual property law firms. After graduating from UConn with a B.S. in with honors in Chemical Engineering / Materials Engineering and a J.D., Michael became a partner at Fishman, Dionne & Cantor. Thirty years later, the firm has grown exponentially to more than 115 attorneys and patent agents, with offices in Hartford, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, and Detroit. Cantor Colburn’s clients include Fortune 100 companies, select high tech start-ups, universities, and numerous mid-size companies in the U.S., Japan, Korea, Europe, Israel and the Americas. Michael has represented businesses from a broad range of industries, including high-technology, entertainment, and consumer products.

Michael is a frequent speaker and author on intellectual property issues, and is active in industry associations such as International Trademark Association (INTA), American Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), the Connecticut IP Inn of Court, and the Connecticut Bar Association, where he is a James W. Cooper Fellow. Michael is also active in supporting economic development and innovation. In 2013, Governor Dannel Malloy appointed Michael to chair Connecticut Innovations, the quasi-public agency charged with growing Connecticut’s economy by making strategic capital and other investments that encourage the development of high-tech industries within the state, such as energy, biotechnology, information technology, and photonics.

UConn has remained important in Michael’s life since graduating. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Engineering, where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the School of Law, where he teaches patent law as an Adjunct Professor at UConn’s School of Law. He is a former member of the UConn Foundation. Michael’s wife Shari is a UConn trustee, and two of their four sons are currently enrolled in UConn graduate schools. He serves on many other boards, including the Connecticut Technology Council, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and the Connecticut Historical Society.

Joel Douglas
Partner at Nuventus LLC
Shelby Cullom Davis Visiting Lecturer at Trinity College

Joel S. Douglas is a founding partner and patent agent at Nuventus LLC in Bonita Springs, FL. He is also is a visiting lecturer at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Earlier in his career, Douglas founded two medical device companies: Amira Medical, developer of the first alternate site glucose meter and Sterling Medivations, developer of a series of insulin delivery devices. Currently, he holds 97 issued U.S. patents, 29 FDA product clearances and numerous foreign patents.

Douglas earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. in Computer and Information Science from the University of New Haven. He was honored by the UConn School of Engineering in 2005, when he was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers. Early in his career, Douglas held various positions at LifeScan, Komag, General Dynamics, and United Nuclear.

evans, anne

Anne Evans
District Director of the US Department of Commerce
District Office
Middletown, Connecticut

Connecticut native Anne Evans was appointed in January 2008 as the District Director of the US Department of Commerce District Office in Middletown, Connecticut. She is a successful business leader and entrepreneur with 30 years experience in international trade. Prior to her appointment she grew a family tire business in to an international tire recycling company developing recycling facilities and renewal energy facilities in Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East. As director of the Department of Commerce Connecticut office she leads a team of business and trade professionals in assisting over 2,500 Connecticut companies grow their businesses and attract overseas customers. Since her appointment as Director she has led numerous statewide training projects, business development initiatives and trade missions to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

John Forster
Vice President, Corporate Development

Mr. Forster joined FLEXcon in 2004 as Vice President, Corporate Development. The corporate development group is responsible for evaluating new markets and technology platforms, especially in determining if significant opportunities exist for FLEXcon. His projects also include overseeing sponsored research at UCONN, and mentoring FLEXcon’s new employees in the rotational, development program. Mr. Forster also has prior experience as an executive officer: a release liner supplier to FLEXcon; a printer customer of FLEXcon; and at a publicly held environmental company. Mr. Forster received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

FLEXcon Overview: FLEXcon is a worldwide manufacturer of pressure-sensitive film products for applications that include indoor and outdoor advertising; product identification and safety/hazard labels; bar coded labels; primary labels; and bonding/mounting. FLEXcon also develops custom solutions to meet unique converting or application needs. The company is headquartered in Spencer, Massachusetts, and has operations throughout North America and Europe, with distribution worldwide.

Chris Fuselier
Fuselier Associates

Christopher S. Fuselier is a graduate of Michigan State University and Renssalear Polytechnic Institute with Masters Degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. Mr. Fuselier retired from General Electric in 2007, where he held a variety of engineering, marketing and sourcing positions in GE’s aerospace, corporate, factory automation and industrial systems operations. He was Engineering Leader of the GE Industrial division and the GE Executive for the University of Connecticut. Mr. Fuselier is the Principal of Fuselier Associates, an engineering consulting business. He is on the Board of Ensign-Bickford, an international aerospace, pet food and biotech company. In addition to the University of Connecticut Engineering Advisory Board, Mr. Fuselier is on the Chairman Emeritus Board of Junior Achievement of Southwest New England.

Bryan Garcia
President and CEO
Connecticut Green Bank

Bryan Garcia is the president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank – the nation’s first state-level green bank. The “green bank model” is demonstrating how smarter use of public resources can attract more private investment in the clean energy economy – reducing the energy burden on households and businesses, creating jobs in local communities, increasing the deployment of clean energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change.

Before joining the Green Bank, Garcia was program director for the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. At Yale, Garcia led efforts to develop a leading global program responsible for preparing environmental leaders for business and society. There he was co-editor of two publications – “Carbon Finance: Environmental Market Solutions to Climate Change” and “Carbon Finance II: Investing in Forests for Climate Protection”. Prior to Yale, he served as Connecticut’s Climate Change Coordinator where he supported the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change. Early in his career, he was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer specializing in NGO capacity building and environmental education in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Bryan is the Co-Chair of the Financing Solutions Working Group of the State Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEEAction Network), on the advisory boards of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut School of Engineering, and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, and recently joined the Board of Directors of the Institute for Sustainable Communities.

He holds a B.S. degree in political economy of natural resources from U.C. Berkeley, M.P.A. in public and non-profit administration and an M.B.A. in finance from New York University, and an M.E.M. degree from Yale University.

Joseph J. Helble
Dean and Professor of Engineering

Joseph J. Helble is Dean of Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and Professor of Engineering, positions he has held since 2005.

Dean Helble is the author of more than 100 publications in the areas of air pollution and nanoscale materials production, and holds three U.S. patents. He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Career Award, a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and for his work at Dartmouth, was named co-recipient of the National Academy of Engineering’s Gordon Prize in 2014. As the 2004–2005 AAAS Roger Revelle Fellow, he supported technology and environmental policy initiatives in the office of U.S. Senator J. Lieberman. He has served on numerous EPA science advisory boards, is on the editorial boards of two scientific journals, and currently chairs the Public Policy Committee of the American Society for Engineering Education Engineering Deans Council.

Dean Helble received his bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and his Ph.D. from MIT, both in chemical engineering. He was a research scientist at Physical Sciences, Inc. from 1987 to 1995, and a faculty member in chemical engineering and environmental engineering at the University of Connecticut from 1995 to 2005.

Hesch, Kurt

Kurt A. Hesch
Chief Operating Officer
Electric Boat

Kurt A. Hesch became Chief Operating Officer in August 2016. This follows his role as Vice President – Engineering and his prior assignment as Vice President and Virginia Class Program Manager. As Chief Operating Officer, Hesch is responsible for key functions including the Quonset Point, Rhode Island Manufacturing and Module Production Facility, and the Groton, Connecticut facility final assembly and test functions focused primarily on Virginia Class submarines. His deep knowledge of U.S. Navy requirements helps ensure the company’s continued success. Hesch received his Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1980 and his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1992. He is married with three children, all Universityof Connecticut graduates (along with two of their spouses).

Carol Juel
Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Synchrony Financial

As the Chief Information Officer of Synchrony Financial, Carol drives our overall Information Technology strategy and vision, with a continuous focus on payments innovation. As CIO, Carol leads growth for our company, our clients and customers by delivering innovative solutions, driving the company’s digital transformation, and developing strong technology partnerships.

Prior to Synchrony Financial, Carol served as CIO of GE Capital Retail Finance. In her ten year tenure with GE, she held a variety of senior leadership roles, focused on IT Governance, Security, Business Development, Digital and Marketing. Before joining GE, Carol spent nearly a decade in technology consulting at Accenture. She focused on the financial services sector, delivering strategic and complex technology initiatives to drive growth and operational excellence for clients.

Carol is committed to diversity in the workplace and mentoring women in technology, serving as the executive sponsor of Synchrony Financial’s Women’s Network and our Summer Immersion Program with Girls Who Code. She chairs the Technology Working Group and co-chairs the Innovation Steering Committee at Synchrony Financial. Named one of the Most Influential Women in Payments for 2016, Carol is passionate about driving a culture of innovation at Synchrony Financial.

Throughout her more than 20 years in Information Technology, Carol has leveraged her deep technology and financial services background to develop creative technology solutions to meet the needs of customers and clients.

Robert Klee
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)

Rob Klee is the Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Commissioner Klee was appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in January 2014.
DEEP is the state agency charged with conserving, improving and protecting the state’s natural resources and environment, providing first-rate outdoor recreation opportunities, and bringing cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy to Connecticut’s residents and businesses. DEEP is focused on integrating energy and environmental policies and helping Connecticut to build a sustainable and prosperous 21st-century economy.

Commissioner Klee joined DEEP in April 2011 as Chief of Staff. In that role he oversaw the work of the agency, supported the efforts of the Commissioner, and advised the Commissioner and senior staff on a wide range of environmental and energy policy issues.

Prior to joining state service, Commissioner Klee was an attorney with Wiggin and Dana LLP, in New Haven, where he specialized in appellate work and energy and environmental law.

From 2004 to 2005, Commissioner Klee worked as a Law Clerk for the U.S. District Court in Connecticut and from 2005 to 2006 as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He served as a Research Affiliate in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies from 2006 to 2008.

Commissioner Klee serves on the governing bodies of several organizations focused on critical environmental and energy issues. His involvement includes:

  • Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) – Chairman
  • Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), Co-Chair, Executive Steering Committee
  • Connecticut Green Bank – Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
  • Connecticut Blue Plan Advisory Committee – Chairman
  • RecycleCT Foundation – Council Chairman
  • Environmental Council of the States – Region One Representative to the Executive Board

Commissioner Klee holds a Ph.D. from Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in industrial ecology, a law degree from Yale, and an undergraduate degree from Princeton in geology and environmental science.

Edison T. Liu, M.D.
President and CEO
The Jackson Laboratory
Dr. Liu is the President and CEO of The Jackson Laboratory, an independent, not-for-profit organization focusing on mammalian genetics research, in order to advance human health. Dr. Liu, who was the Past President of the Human Genome Organisation, was the founding Executive Director of the Genome Institute of Singapore between 2001-2012, a major research institute of 27 laboratory groups and a staff of 270, with faculty in functional genomics, computational biology, population genetics and genome-to-systems biology. Before moving to Singapore in 2001, Dr. Liu was the scientific director of the National Cancer Institute’s then Division of Clinical Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Liu’s research has focused on the functional genomics of human cancers, particularly breast cancer, uncovering new oncogenes and deciphering the dynamics of gene regulation on a genomic scale. His current work focuses on the genomic dynamics of triple negative breast cancer that has an impact on drug sensitivity and resistance. He has authored over 300 scientific papers and reviews and co-authored two books.

Dr. Liu obtained his B.S. in chemistry and psychology and his M.D. at Stanford University.

Robert Madonna
Savant Systems LLC
Biomedical Engineering, Robert Madonna explored engineering and sciences until 1988, w h e n he founded Excel Switching Corporation. Spurred by de-regulation in the telecommunications industry, Excel introduced an open-based switching platform that enabled rapid deployment of new features. Excel became a leading provider of open-programmable switches, leading to a successful IPO in 1997. Two years later, Excel was purchased by Lucent Technologies for $1.7B. Madonna founded Savant Systems LLC in 2005, changing the smart home

marketplace with a revolutionary configuration software solution called RacePoint BlueprintTM. Delivering vastly superior efficiency and scalability, Savant is sold globally through qualified integrators and specialty retailers.

Most recently, Madonna founded RacePoint Energy, a new venture specializing in groundbreaking alternative energy solutions.

Tom Martin, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, President & Chairman of the Board
Phonon Corporation

Tom A. Martin was born in Great Bend, KS. He received his B.S. (Engineering Science ’63) from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ; M.S. (Math ’69) from Trinity College, Hartford, CT; and M.S. (EE ’71), Ph.D. (EE ’74) and MBA (’81) degrees from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the application of microwave network theory to the analysis of acoustic devices.

From ’64 to ’65, he was a systems analyst with IBM’s Advanced Systems Development Division, Yorktown Heights, NY. He then joined Andersen Laboratories, Bloomfield, CT (’65-’80), where he was Vice President and Technical Director.

In 1982, Dr. Martin co-founded Phonon Corporation, where he is President and Chairman of the Board. Phonon is a leading manufacturer of custom high performance SAW microelectronic devices and subsystems for the military and space electronics markets. His primary responsibilities are strategic direction and business development, and he remains deeply involved in R&D, engineering and marketing work.

Dr. Martin is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and the IEEE.

Photo Date: June 18, 2013Location: Building 8, Room 183 - Photo StudioSubject: Individual Astronaut Photo for Rick Mastracchio  Photographer: Robert Markowitz

Rick Mastracchio,
Orbital ATK – Senior Director Program Management
Former NASA Astronaut

Rick Mastracchio is a Senior Director in Program Management at Orbital ATK. He is serving as Director of Operations for the International Space Station (ISS) Cargo Resupply Services Contract which delivers cargo and supplies to the ISS on commercially operated spacecraft.

Rick is a former NASA Astronaut, Mission Specialist, Flight Engineer and EVA Spacewalk Lead. He has nearly 20 years of experience as an Astronaut and extensive experience in project management, systems design, engineering and technical operations. He has served as a crew member on the Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavor, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and ISS.

A native of Connecticut, Rick earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from the University of Connecticut, and master’s degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Houston.

Rick is an experienced public speaker who uses his space mission experiences to develop topics for industry and uses NASA’s missions to excite and educate students of all ages.

Matthew McCooe
Chief Executive Officer
Connecticut Innovations

Matt manages CI’s full array of business startup and growth initiatives, which include venture and equity investment funds, loans and loan guarantees, and programs to support innovation, entrepreneurship, collaboration and commercialization. A veteran business executive, Matt has more than 20 years of experience in venture capital, sales, marketing and product management.

Matt comes to CI from Chart Venture Partners (CVP), a New York City-based technology venture capital firm. While at CVP, Matt led investments and played an operating role in turnarounds for several successful portfolio companies. Prior to CVP, Matt was a director at Columbia University Science and Technology Ventures (STV), where he helped launch and manage a portfolio of spinout companies, as well as the deployment of STV’s profitable seed fund. During his tenure, 11 portfolio companies went public or were acquired by publicly traded companies.

Prior to Columbia, Matt co-founded Eureka Networks, a communications and application software organization. Eureka was eventually sold for more than $100 million. Prior to that, Matt managed product development, new product roll-outs, and sales and marketing for two Fortune 500 companies, Becton Dickinson and MCI.

Matt has also served as a business and technology reviewer for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Energy and various other agencies in the U.S. government. Matt received his B.A. from Boston College and his M.B.A. from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.


Frank McDermott
Vice President Engineering Solution and Product Development
Pitney Bowes Inc.

As VP Engineering, Solution & Product Development for Pitney Bowes’ Worldwide Engineering Organization, Frank McDermott oversees a global set of Engineering & New Product Development teams supporting a broad range of PB’s Hardware & Software based products & solutions across the Mailing & Business Communications industries.

Frank’s organization is accountable for engineering & product design, development, qualification, global release and maintenance. Frank manages an annual Engineering budget of approximately $70M and oversees 400 employees worldwide.

Frank has been with Pitney Bowes for 30 years and holds several patents in the areas of Motion Control & Paper Handling. Frank holds a Computer Science degree from UConn’s School of Engineering, class of 1983.

Portrait of Michael McQuade
J. Michael McQuade, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Science and Technology
United Technologies Corporation

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, focused on a broad range of high-technology products and services to the global aerospace and building systems industries.

Dr. McQuade 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. 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 technology development and the conversion of early stage research into business growth.

Dr. McQuade holds Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. degrees in physics from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. in experimental high-energy physics for research on charm quark production performed at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Dr. McQuade currently serves as a member of the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, and previously served on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Dr. McQuade is a member of the Board of Trustees for Carnegie Mellon University and for Miss Porter’s School.

Kristin (Kris) Morico. P.E., BCEE, CSP, D. WRE, ENV SP, F.ASCE
Global Leader- Environmental Programs
GE Corporate

Kris is the leader of environmental programs for GE. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of associated programs globally. Previously, Kris was the global leader of water programs in the GE corporate EHS group for nearly 8 years.

Kris began her career working in the municipal water sector as a process engineer for the Regional Water Authority in New Haven, CT and over the past 33 years, 14 in an executive capacity, she has assumed leadership positions of increasing responsibility. Kris has assumed a variety of positions across several Fortune 500 companies including Clairol, Inc., Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. environmental consultants, Environmental Compliance Officer for ABB/Combustion Engineering, Director of Global Environmental Programs and EHS Governance at Pratt and Whitney (Division of UTC), and most recently (prior to her present role with GE), she was the Director of Environmental Programs at Tyco International located in Princeton, NJ.

Kris possesses a BS in Biology from Fairfield University, MS Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut, MEM Environmental Management from Yale University, and an EMBA from the University of Connecticut. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in 9 states, Board Certified Environmental Engineer in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Certified Safety Professional, Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer, and an ENVISIONTM Sustainability Professional . She also possesses a Class IV Water Treatment Plant Operators License issued by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health and is an Environmental Laboratory Director through the same agency. Kris is an active member in several professional EHS organizations and was elected to the status of Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers and serves on the advisory board for the University of Connecticut School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, President of the National Association of Environmental Managers, NAEM, as well as Vice President/President-elect of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. For the past 6 years, Kris was a visiting lecturer at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers at the University of Connecticut School of Engineering in 2011.

Sharon Nunes, Ph.D.
IBM (retired)

Dr. Sharon Nunes recently retired from IBM, where she spent 28 years in several areas of IBM’s businesses: Research, Development, Manufacturing, CHQ, Business Development and Sales. During her career, Sharon helped to launch two global businesses for IBM: Life Sciences (2001), and Big Green Innovations (2006) which became one of the cornerstones of IBM’s Smarter Planet program. Sharon merged her background in Materials Science and Engineering, with her knowledge of Information Technology to anticipate new business needs and convince her superiors to invest in new growth areas for the business. Together with clients and partners, Sharon’s mission at IBM was to demonstrate how information technology played a critical role in helping to solve the world’s problems.

Dr. Nunes held numerous executive positions at IBM, but is most proud of the recognition she received for mentoring women and early-career employees. In 2004, she was awarded IBM’s Fran Allen Mentoring Award and in 2006 was named a National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) “Women of Excellence” national award winner for her impact in mentoring technical women. In 2009, Sharon was recognized as a Women’s History Month Honoree as one of the “Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet” and was inducted into the WITI (Women in Technology International) Hall of Fame. While at IBM, Sharon was a leader in the IBM Global Women’s Council and co-chair of the global “Women in Technology” committee at IBM.

Dr. Nunes received her Ph.D. in Materials Science in 1983 from the University of Connecticut. She has held numerous board positions over the past fifteen years. She is currently an emeritus member of the Board of Directors for the University of Connecticut Foundation, a member of the Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Connecticut and a member of the Project Advisory Board for Idaho’s “Managing Idaho’s Landscapes for Ecosystem Services” NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement award. Dr. Nunes was a National Academy of Engineering “Frontiers of Engineering” fellow and was a member of the National Academy of Engineering “Engineer of 2020″ advisory board. In 2006, she was inducted into the University of Connecticut Academy of Engineering for Distinguished Engineers.

Portrait of Tom Prete

Thomas Prete
VP, Engineering – Military Engines
Pratt & Whitney

Tom Prete is vice president of Engineering, Military Engines at Pratt & Whitney. Tom provides overall strategic leadership for technical activities related to all military engine programs, ensuring Engineering’s timely delivery to critical internal and external customer requirements, including product cost, reliability, production and flight test support. Tom brings nearly 28 years of technical experience to this role.
Since joining Pratt & Whitney in 1988, Tom has held positions of increasing responsibility in Engineering and Customer Service, serving most recently as vice president, Engineering. Among his many contributions, Tom successfully led the development, testing and certification of the PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ family of engines – the largest commercial engine development program in recent history.
Tom’s additional leadership roles include chief engineer for Operational Military Engines, director for Global Services Engineering and chief engineer of Hot Section Engineering. While supporting the Military Engines business unit, Tom lead the technical effort to achieve F119 Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on the F-22. In addition, he received the William G. Chamberlain Award for outstanding military customer service in leading the F100 and J52 engineering organizations.
Tom was inducted into the University of Connecticut School of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineers in 2008, a distinction reserved for alumni who have consistently demonstrated professional achievements and advanced the quality and reputation of the School of Engineering. He also serves on UConn’s School of Engineering Senior Advisory Board and Georgia Tech’s Aerospace Engineering School Advisory Council and is an inducted member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UConn, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer at Hartford and an MBA from UConn.
Mark D. Raymond
Chief Information Officer
State of Connecticut

CIO Mark Raymond has been a member of the State of Connecticut leadership team since 2011. As CIO, Mark Raymond oversees the Department of Administrative Services’ Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology as well as the operational responsibilities for the state’s technology infrastructure.

During his tenure with the State, Mr. Raymond championed several critical initiatives to make government more effective and efficient. His contributions included relocating and modernizing the State’s data center facilities to reduce costs and add resiliency; advancing shared services in both human services and criminal justice industries; growing and diversifying the state’s fiber-optic network to include municipalities and public safety entities; publishing the first statewide cybersecurity strategy; and, upgrading the state’s online government portal to a modern, mobile friendly platform.

Additionally, Mr. Raymond served as the President of the National Association of State Information Officers from 2016 – 2017 and as a member of the executive board from 2014-2018.

Prior to joining state service as the CIO, Mr. Raymond worked in the consulting industry. During this time, Mr. Raymond performed technology and business consulting for state, local and federal clients specializing in the areas of large project implementation, technical architectures, shared services, finance, payroll, human resources, budgeting, procurement, human services, revenue, and transportation.

A native of Connecticut, Mr. Raymond graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

Redeker, james

James P. Redeker
Connecticut Department of Transportation

James Redeker was named Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on August 25, 2011. He is responsible for overseeing the statewide system of highway operations and maintenance, capital project design and construction and public transportation.

Mr. Redeker serves on the board of the Connecticut Airport Authority, which is responsible for Bradley International Airport and the five general aviation airports. He also serves on the boards of the Connecticut Port Authority and the Capital Region Development Authority. Mr. Redeker represents Connecticut on the Northeast Corridor Commission that has responsibility for the creation and implementation of a short-term and long-term, regional investment strategy for the Northeast Corridor. Mr. Redeker is Chair of the Rail Council of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. He is also a member of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee.

Mr. Redeker joined CTDOT in 2009 after a 30-year career with NJ TRANSIT.

Mr. Redeker received a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Science in 1977 and a Master’s in Civil Engineering in 1980 from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

scire, jean
Jean Scire
SVP & Chief Information Officer
Philips Healthcare
Jean Scire (B.S. Chemical Engineering, ’84 UConn) is a SVP and Head of IT, Business Groups and North Ameriac, at Philips, leading the IT organizations supporting Philips’ global Health Tech-focused businesses. A member of the Philips information leadership team, Jean contributes strategic direction and is accountable for a critical order-to-cash processes. Her 30-year career has spanned leading business & company culture transformations, implementing lean practices, deploying complex global programs and championing inclusion & diversity focusing on gender parity.
She is a member of the UConn Academy of Distinguished Engineers.
Sepehrrad, ramesh

Ramesh Sepehrrad
VP of National Governance, Risk and Compliance

Ramesh Sepehrrad is the VP of National Governance, Risk and Compliance at Comcast. Dr. Sepehrrad is responsible for overall governance, technology risk and compliance as it relates to information and infrastructure strategy. Dr. Sepehrrad oversees the several security teams focusing on the protection of customer data, the security of Comcast’s Enterprise and Delivery infrastructure as well as all technology compliance related activities. Focus areas for her and her team include: data security, network security, application security, technology risk management, policy compliance, regulatory compliance, as well as customer privacy. Dr. Sepehrrad joined Comcast in April of 2007 and brings over 20 years of focused information technology, engineering, and security experience from a variety of industries. These industries include telecommunication, ISP’s, and manufacturing sectors.

Prior to joining Comcast, Dr. Sepehrrad served as Director of Technology for Sprint Nextel. She was responsible for technology delivery for order management systems, quality governance and assurance and life cycle management for other areas. She has previously held senior leadership positions with Xerox Corporation with international assignments in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Dr. Sepehrrad holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNYAB) as well as Master of Science in Political Science and Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Dr. Sepehrrad is an active member of the Iranian-American community and has been outspoken on the issue of democracy and women’s rights in her native country.

Douglas Shidler
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (retired)

Douglas Shidler was named Vice President Army Programs for Sikorsky Aircraft in 2008. He joined Sikorsky Aircraft as an engineer in 1984. He supported the development of the MH-60K Special Operations aircraft program in several capacities and then assumed the engineering manager role. He became the UH-60Q chief engineer for the development of the MEDEVAC BLACK HAWK derivative aircraft, and then moved on to become the Chief Engineer for the BLACK HAWK Product Line. Mr. Shidler became Director, Air Vehicle Design in 2000. He was promoted to the position of BLACK HAWK Program Manager, responsible for all BLACK HAWK core programs in 2002. In 2006, Mr. Shidler was assigned Vice President Marine Corps Programs, which included the VH Fleet, support of the CH-53D/E aircraft and the new CH-53K Development Programs. In February 2008, Mr. Shidler was assigned Vice President Army Programs, which included U.S. Army Programs and International BLACK HAWK Programs.

Mr. Shidler received a B.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1984. He was recently inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers at UConn. He received his M.B.A. from the University of Bridgeport in 1989. He is the Connecticut Chapter President for Army Aviation Association of America and is a member of the American Helicopter Society and the Association of the United States Army. In addition, he co-founded and mentors a local high school FIRST Robotics program for students.

Paul Singer
General Manager, Engineering
General Electric Company

Paul Singer is currently the Technology General Manager for GE Industrial Systems, where he leads the global engineering teams for GE’s electrical distribution businesses. GE Industrial Systems is a world-leading provider of power distribution, monitoring, and control equipment with $2 billion in revenues and operations in over 50 countries. GE Industrial’s products distribute and control electrical power for cities, factories, commercial facilities, and homes.

Mr. Singer started his career as an aerospace design engineer at Chandler Evans Control Systems Co., developing fuel control and flight avionics systems. In 1993, he joined GE’s Electrical Distribution & Control division as a New Product Introduction Program Manager where he went on to develop a series of products for the electrical industry. Over the next 10 years, he progressed through several technology leadership roles, including assignments in Product Quality, NPI leadership, and Six Sigma. In 2003, he was named the Technology Manager for GE Power Delivery & Control in Chicago, IL. There, he managed the engineering teams for GE Zenith Controls, Transmission & Distribution, and Electrical Equipment. In 2005, he was promoted to Technology Manager, Industrial Electronics & Systems based in Louisville, KY, where he led the engineering teams for GE Multilin, Electrical Equipment, & GE Digital Energy. In this role, he was instrumental in creating global design Centers of Excellence for GE’s critical power business and driving a four-fold increase in new product introductions for this high growth segment.

In 2007, he was promoted to his current position as General Manager and returned to Connecticut, where he leads GE Industrial’s engineers in developing and supporting electrical infrastructure products and projects around the world.

Mr. Singer earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and an M.B.A from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He serves as the GE Executive for the University of Connecticut and is active in several electrical industry associations.

smith, catherine

Catherine Smith
CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD)

Catherine Smith, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), was appointed in April 2011 to lead the state agency responsible for attracting and retaining businesses and jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, and fostering appropriate development in Connecticut’s towns and cities.

Commissioner Smith’s top economic development priorities are to strengthen the state’s efforts to nurture and drive innovation; effectively promote and market the state’s many business advantages within Connecticut and beyond its borders; and place a renewed emphasis on all aspects of customer service in order to make the state more business-friendly and attractive for investment.

Joseph Triompo
Belcan Corporation Engineering Services

Joe Triompo, President of Belcan Corporation Engineering Services Business Segment is responsible for leading the Engineering Services operations, which includes planning and executing strategy and high-level initiatives, governing activities of major customer accounts, analyzing and enabling acquisitions, and optimizing segment P&L.

Prior to this position, Mr. Triompo has held numerous senior level executive positions such as;

  • Vice President Customer Support at Sikorsky Aircraft, responsible for aftermarket policy and process, leveraging advanced intelligence technologies and delivering centralized execution of parts management and technical support services,
  • Chief Operation Officer at ClearEdge Power responsible for Engineering, Operations, Field Performance of Stationary Fuel Cells,
  • President of Aerospace Power Systems at Hamilton Sundstrand, responsible for the Electric Systems, Air Management Systems, HS-Nauka, Nord-Micro, Page Aerospace Limited businesses.

In addition to serving on the Board of the University of Connecticut School of Engineering, he is a member of the CT Science Center Board of Trustees.

Mr. Triompo holds a B. S. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Connecticut. He completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan Fellows Program, receiving a master’s degree in business management.

Mark Vergnano
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Chemours Company

Mark Vergnano was named the first CEO of The Chemours Company prior to its spinoff from DuPont in July 2015.

Under Mark’s leadership and with an ambitious five-point transformation plan, the company addressed the challenges associated with building a new company. This transformation complete, he is now leading a company poised for growth.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Vergnano received his BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Connecticut and an MBA degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a member of the University of Connecticut School of Engineering Academy of Distinguished Engineers and Hall of Fame.

Mark serves on the advisory board for the University of Connecticut School of Engineering as well as several other boards within the chemical industry.