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Leadership

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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

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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Kay Tindle, PhD 

Innovation Ecosystem Director

Dr. Tindle currently serves as the Interim Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Innovation and the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Development in the Office of Research & Innovation. 

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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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