Meet the Leadership Team
Gerry McCartney, Purdue's chief information officer, vice president for Information Technology, and Olga Oesterle England Professor of Information Technology, serves as the center's inaugural director. McCartney has significant experience in licensing software applications to industry, starting first with the WRDS product, a business intelligence tool, while at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, continuing through the SIFT project at Purdue's Krannert School of Management.
Most recently, McCartney led the commercial release of Signals, an application that tracks student course activity and warns students if they're getting into academic difficulty. Signals, branded as Course Signals, is commercially available through a Purdue partnership with SunGard Higher Education.
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Diana Hancock is the center's business development director. Hancock's role is to assist entrepreneurs as they advance their ideas from concept stage, and subsequent licensing, through to the launch of a commercial venture. She brings experience in marketing strategy and operational planning and execution as she spent the first part of her career in sales and marketing management in the automotive seating industry. At Purdue, she has nurtured key partnership opportunities, leveraging Purdue's information technology resources in a commercial environment. She has also directed the operational plans for the online course platform, nanoHUB-U.
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Melissa Dark, W.C. Furnas Professor of Technology, serves as the center's faculty director. Dark's role is to create effective and sustainable practices to convert good ideas and partially developed ideas into prototypes and finished, commercializable products. She has extensive experience in leading applied research and development initiatives within the University. As the inaugural associate dean for research in the College of Technology, Dark took the college from less than a half million dollars in sponsored funding for applied research and development in FY 2002-03 to nearly $12 million in FY 2010-11.
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Judy Galido Nohadani
Judy Galido Nohadani is currently the managing director of Engineering Entrepreneurship as well as the Purdue Enterprise Company; starting in June, she joined the Innovation and Commercialization Center's leadership team. She is a member of the California and Massachusetts State bars as well the American Bar Association Science & Technology Group. Prior to Purdue, she was a senior associate in Boston at BDO Seidman, LLP working to optimize high-wealth trusts, partnerships and private foundation tax structures. In addition to working several years as a trial attorney in corporate defense and reorganizations in Los Angeles, she has worked pro bono for various governmental and charitable organizations.
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Michael Zentner, a senior research scientist for Information Technology at Purdue, serves as the Innovation and Commercialization Center's mentor in residence. Zentner's role is to work at the intersection of innovators, entrepreneurs, customers and investors. He's been a founder and senior team member of several entrepreneurial ventures in the West Lafayette and Denver communities, both self-and venture capital-funded, and has consulted extensively with Fortune 500 companies on strategic initiatives. Based on these experiences and having been a primary creator of intellectual property, Zentner is enthusiastic about helping innovators position for customer opportunities and helping customers and investors recognize novel value in emerging innovations. He also helps entrepreneurs work through startup issues as their ventures form and grow.
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