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Gov. Gregoire appoints board to lead aerospace innovation center

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2012

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced her appointments to the board of directors for the Joint Center for Aerospace Innovation Technology. Representing a broad spectrum of Washington aerospace industry—from commercial airplanes to unmanned aerial vehicles, aviation biofuels, and space exploration—the board will help guide the center as it works with the University of Washington and Washington State University and private industry to develop new aerospace technologies.

“Our ability to continuously innovate has been one of the keys to establishing Washington state as one of the centers of aerospace around the world,” said Gregoire. “As we face increased competition from other states and other nations, it will be imperative that new technologies are developed and commercialized here.”

Creation of the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation was a recommendation of Project Pegasus, the 2011 effort led by the Washington Aerospace Partnership to ensure that Washington was selected as the place in which The Boeing Company built its 737 MAX. Gregoire took the recommendation to the Legislature as part of her 2011-12 aerospace legislative package. The Legislature adopted the legislation in the 2012 session.

The board of directors will provide leadership and direction for the center, which will be jointly managed by the two state research universities, in its efforts to:
1) Pursue joint industry-university research in computing, manufacturing efficiency, materials/structures innovation, and other new technologies that can be used by aerospace firms;
2) Enhance the education of students in the engineering departments of the UW, WSU, and other participating institutions through industry-focused research; and
3) Work directly with existing small, medium-sized, and large aerospace firms and aerospace industry associations to identify research needs and opportunities to transfer off-the-shelf technologies that would benefit such firms.
Appointees to the nine-member Board include:
• Timothy Stevens, President, Triumph Composite Systems, Spokane, will serve as its Chair;
• Dr. Margaret McCormick, CEO, Matrix Genetics, Seattle;
• Dr. Roger Myers, Executive Director, Electric Propulsion and Integrated Systems Capture, Aerojet, Redmond, WA;
• David Bender, President, Aerospace Group, Crane Aerospace & Electronics, Lynnwood, WA;
• Thomas McCarty, President, Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, Seattle;
• Dr. Kenishi Yoshioko, Director, Technical Resource Center, Toray Composites America, Frederickson, WA;
• Tad McGeer, Founder and President, Aerovel Corporation, White Salmon, WA;
• Dr. Matthew O’Donnell, Dean, University of Washington College of Engineering, Seattle; and
• Dr. Candis Claiborn, Dean, Washington State University College of Engineering and Architecture, Pullman, WA.
The board of directors is expected to have its first meeting next month when it will begin developing a business plan for the center.