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JVIC director steps down

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Ryan Giedd, executive director of Jordan Valley Innovation Center since it opened in May 2007, is walking away from his leadership role to focus on research.

Effective June 1, Giedd will begin a six-month, “in-house” sabbatical, concentrating on research for JVIC-based companies such as U.S. Photonics Inc. and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., he said. After six months, he will return to MSU’s physics, astronomy and materials science department.

Allen Kunkel, MSU’s associate vice president for economic development, will take on the added responsibilities of director.

“Since I don’t have science background, my job will be more as administrative and operations director,” Kunkel said. “We have plans to make some adjustments internally to fulfill the science leadership role.”

The specifics as to how that science leadership role will be filled have yet to be determined, Kunkel said, but initially, it’s being envisioned more as a collaborative effort. The additional responsibilities Kunkel is assuming is expected to be permanent, he said.

Giedd said he’s looking forward to spending the next six months in research, noting some of his current projects include work on carbon-based memory for computers, the making of lighter, flexible and smaller batteries, and printing electronic circuits on the structural areas of airplanes, such as wings, to make for lighter planes.

“The funny thing is, I’ve done so many grants since I’ve been executive director, that a lot of times, I didn’t have time to investigate clues to find better technology,” Giedd said. “Now, I can go back and look at the data and figure out what’s the next step, what’s the next great thing to do.”

Giedd also is working on a book on the history of JVIC and the relationship between academic and commercial research, he said.[[In-content Ad]]

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