Published February 12, 2019
Alan Rae has been named director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI). Rae replaces Mark T. Swihart, UB Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, who previously served as executive director of CMI, and went on to chair the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
The CMI connects companies to materials innovation to address materials challenges by developing breakthrough technologies, enhancing current research and development activities to discover new materials and processing methods, and providing access to state-of-the-art equipment that encourages commercialization success, innovation and continued growth.
Rae has been a leader in the corporate world, working with small businesses and in economic development agencies. Serving as CMI’s technical and strategy lead for the past 18 months, he led the team to develop the CMI roadmap and started its implementation in 2018.
No stranger to industry collaboration and commercially viable innovation, Rae is co-executive director of IncubatorWorks and served from 2017-18 as interim director for the New York State Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology at Alfred University. During this time, he led the successful 10-year, $9.23 million reauthorization of the center, supporting ceramic businesses statewide.
“As consultant to CMI since 2017 and in his new role as director, Dr. Rae is committed to the CMI mission to propel innovation in materials science and advanced manufacturing through collaboration among academia, industry and the public sector to drive economic development,” says Venu Govindaraju, UB vice president for research and economic development.
Adds Christina Orsi, associate vice president for economic development in UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships unit: “Alan is well-positioned to advance collaborations that rely on cutting-edge materials science, big data analytics and advanced manufacturing expertise that drive innovation and industry partnerships in New York State. He is a well-regarded within the local manufacturing industry; we are excited to have him at the helm.”
Rae will work in concert with an established team to cultivate industry collaboration while further growing UB’s expertise and reputation in the fast-moving field of materials informatics.
The CMI’s partnership with UB’s Department of Materials Design and Innovation — a leading academic center in materials informatics — and the Buffalo Manufacturing Works represents a unique resource center for advanced manufacturing.