Leadership & Staff

Venu Govindaraju, PhD

Vice President for Research and Economic Development, University at Buffalo

Venu Govindaraju is the Vice President for Research & Economic Development and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (UB). As Vice President he is responsible for the overall management of UB's research enterprise, including research funding, research administration and compliance, research communications, research support, university/industry relations and economic development. Read more about Venu Govindaraju, PhD.

Portrait of Alan Rae.

Alan Rae, PhD, MBA

Director, NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

Dr. Rae has worked in the electronics, ceramics, nanotechnology and “clean tech” industries for over 35 years in the USA and UK, managing global businesses and technology development at startup, operating company and corporate levels.

He currently holds two part-time positions. In addition to being Director of the Center for Materials Informatics (University at Buffalo, Buffalo NY) he holds a part-time position as Co-Executive Director of IncubatorWorks (Painted Post, NY). He was formerly the Interim Director at the Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology at Alfred University (Alfred NY) where he led the successful center reauthorization application for 10 year, $9.21M New York State funding.

He has held Board, Director and VP positions with 6 new companies, started his own business, mentors and consults with startup companies and investors in the nanotechnology, solar and electronics industries throughout the USA. Voluntary membership positions include the Technical Committee of iNEMI and the Advisory Committee for the New York State Venture Fund. Alan also holds well-attended sustainability seminars for the Materials Research Society meetings in Phoenix AZ and Boston MA each year.

Alan hold a B.Sc. Honors Chemistry from Aberdeen University (UK) together with a Ph.D. In Metallurgy and Engineering materials and M.B.A in Business Administration from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). He is a Chartered Chemist and Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Quanxi Jia, PhD

Empire Innovation Professor, and National Grid Professor of Materials Research; Scientific Director, NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

Jia received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Xian Jiaotong University, China, and a PhD in the same field from UB in 1991. His research areas include the synthesis and study of structure-property relationships of nanostructured materials, multifunctional materials, and thin films; the development of innovative deposition techniques for the growth of electronic materials; and the development and fabrication of novel solid-state microelectronic and electro-optic devices. He has authored or co-authored more than 450 peer-reviewed journal articles, delivered more than 100 invited lectures, and holds 48 U.S. patents. He serves as the co-editor-in-chief of Materials Research Letters, and sits on the editorial board of several academic and professional journals. Read more about Quanxi Jia, PhD. 

Christopher Janson

Business Development Executive, NYS Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

Christopher Janson serves as the Business Development Executive at the UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI). Leveraging university-based resources to support continued growth of business opportunities in Materials Informatics and supporting the UB CAT program, he is responsible for creating partnerships and commercialization links that facilitate new initiatives in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and clean technologies. Mr. Janson holds a BSET with a double major in Electronics and Power & Machines Engineering Technology from Buffalo State College and an AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from ECC and has over fifteen years of business development experience with industry in the WNY region.


Kate Helfer.

Kate Helfer

Finance & Operations Manager

CBLS, 701 Ellicott St, Downtown Campus

Phone: (716) 881-8938

Email: kehelfer@buffalo.edu