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Botte Portrait 2023.JPG

Gerardine (Gerri) G. Botte, PhD 

Center Director

Dr. Botte is a visionary and a recognized leader in electrochemical science and technology with expertise in electrocatalysis of nitrogen compounds.

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Tracie McClaran, MBA 

Executive and Administrative Director

McClaran has 13 years of grant management experience with private, state, and federally funded grant projects. 

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Cele Stone, PhD

Director of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation

 Stone is responsible for the core activities of the innovation ecosystem and industry relations. 

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Roger French, PhD

Thrust 1 Lead

Dr. French's research focuses on optical properties and electronic structure of optical materials, polymers, and ceramics. 

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Marta Hatzell, PhD 

Thrust 2 Lead

Dr. Hatzell's research focuses on exploring the role photochemistry and electrochemistry may play in future sustainable systems. 

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Yuriy Román, PhD 

Thrust 3 Lead 

Dr. Román's research interests lie at the interface of heterogeneous catalysis and materials design.

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Odemari Mbuya, PhD 

Testbeds Lead

Dr. Mbuya's research interests include water resources, watersheds, nutrient and water management, phytoremediation, and crop and watershed modeling. 

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Katie Lewis, PhD 

Testbeds Lead

Dr. Lewis's research interests include soil fertility, biogeochemical cycling, sustainable crop production, soil microbiology, environmental reclamation, and organic soil amendments. 

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Lauren Biddlecombe

Diversity & Culture of Inclusion Co-Director 

Biddlecombe has more than 15 years of experience in innovating new programs and initiatives and works across sectors with partners in nonprofit, for-profit, and government organizations. 

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Jessica Spott, PhD 

Engineering Workforce Development Co-Director; Diversity & Culture of Inclusion Co-Director 

Dr. Spott's background is in educational psychology, Spanish and communications. She is deeply involved in hosting programs that integrate and support women and minorities within STEM disciplines. 

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Lizanne DeStefano, PhD 

Engineering Workforce Development Co-Director; Diversity & Culture of Inclusion Co-Director 

Dr. DeStefano is engaged in efforts that improve the quality of teaching and the student experience, such as the Commission on Creating the Next in Education. She is a former special education teacher and a clinical and school psychologist. 

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Daniel Solís, PhD 

Engineering Workforce Development Co-Director

Dr. Solís has served as a consultant to various organizations including the Inter-American Development Bank, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the US Department of Agriculture. 

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Werner Kuhr, PhD 

Innovation Ecosystem Director

Dr. Werner G. Kuhr serves as Associate Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; He will oversee and enhance TTU’s robust innovation ecosystem 

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Cameron Smith, MEng, JD, CLP 

Intellectual Property Director

Smith is a licensed Patent Attorney with experience in intellectual property asset protection and management and is a Certified Licensing Professional with technology transfer and licensing expertise.

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Christian E. Alvarez-Pugliese, PhD

Research and Team Science Coordinator

Dr. Alvarez-Pugliese is a Senior Research Associate working in the Chemical Engineering Department at Texas Tech University. He is CASFER’s Research and Team Science Coordinator.

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Ozhan Gecgel, PhD

Senior Project and Development Engineer

Dr. Ozhan Gecgel is a Senior Project and Development Engineer working at CASFER at Texas Tech University responsible for testbed design and manufacturing.

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Zaida Gracia, MS

Senior Director for Inclusive Workforce Development and Education

Zaida Gracia serves as CASFER's Senior Director for Inclusive Workforce Development and Education and has been with Texas Tech since 2013.

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Maria Castro, MEd

Associate Director of Finance

Castro now serves as the Associate Director of Finance for the center, providing support in finance and Human Resources.

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Nathan Caballero, MA

Media Relations Coordinator

Nathan Caballero provides support for the creation and maintenance of all digital media, including presentations, graphics, videos

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