Engineering Commercialization Workshop

Sponsored by the University of Utah College of Engineering

Research is just half of the process of getting cutting-edge technology into the hands of people who need it. The next step is turning that discovery into a viable product through licensing the technology or launching a company to commercialize it. That’s no easy task, even for outstanding faculty members.

The University of Utah was named in the Milken Institute’s Best Universities for Technology Transfer as the top university in the nation for commercializing technology innovations. After the conclusion of the 2018 ASEE Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, the university’s College of Engineering is hosting a day-long workshop on Thursday, June 28, that will provide the strategies necessary to successfully commercialize university research. Launching a successful business based on research helps more than just those who benefit from the technology. High-tech startups also boost the local economy by creating new jobs and by giving a city the competitive edge it needs to grow as a tech hub.

In addition to a keynote presentation by Ross DeVol, former chief research officer for the Milken Institute, the workshop will cover building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, policies that support commercialization, the relationship between research and entrepreneurship, an engineering entrepreneurship curriculum, managing conflicts of interest, dangers and pitfalls of commercialization, and examples of successful commercialization ventures.  We warmly welcome your participation.


When: Thursday, June 28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building, Room 2650 (main auditorium), 36 S. Wasatch Drive, University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Meals: A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Registration Cost: $300, $225 for ASEE annual conference attendees, $300 for on-site registration.

Online Registration Deadline: June 24.


8:00 AM Breakfast, Welcome Eric Eddings
Concept to Commercialization Ross DeVol
Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Richard Brown
The Nuts and Bolts of University Tech Transfer Keith Marmer
Commercialization Panel Chris Tihansky
Paul Corson
Taylor Bench
Beth Drees
Eric Paulsen
Noon Working Lunch with Panelists
An Investor’s Perspective Matt Ireland
An Entrepreneurship Curriculum Florian Solzbacher
Richard Saouma
Sophia Gardner
Visit to Lassonde Entrepreneurial Dorm Kathy Hajeb
Engineering Commercialization Examples Steve Parker
Bruce Gale
5:00 PM Adjourn


Keynote Speaker

Ross DeVol, Walton Family Foundation, formerly at the Milken Institute

Additional Speakers

Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Richard Brown, Dean of the University of Utah’s College of Engineering

Commercialization Example

Bruce Gale, Chair of the University of Utah’s Conflict of Interest Committee, incoming chair of Department of Mechanical Engineering, serial entrepreneur

Harnessing Entrepreneurship Excitement to Teach Fundamental Business Principals

Richard Saouma, Associate Professor, Broad School, Michigan State University

An Investor’s Viewpoint

Matt Ireland, CEO, Cumming Investment Company

Leading the tour of the Lassonde Dorm

Kathy Hajeb, Assistant Professor (Lecturer) & Director at the University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

Commercialization Panel Members

Chris Tihansky, Director, Technology Management

Paul Corson, Director of Entrepreneurship

Taylor Bench, Director of Investments

Beth Drees, Intellectual Property

Eric Paulsen, Director, Contracts & Compliance