In an effort to build connections between WSU researchers and industry partners, the Innovation and Research Engagement Office (IREO) will host a series of industry seminars across campus throughout the fall semester.

The seminars, which kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 26, feature nine individuals from nine different companies. The seminars provide faculty with opportunities to meet with industry scientists and gain insight into current and emerging research trends.

Each seminar will be associated with a series of meetings between faculty and the industry speaker. The introductions will provide researchers with an understanding of the industry research intake process, their business development structure, and potential market needs and opportunities that may be addressed by a WSU faculty member’s research.

Additionally, IREO is partnering with the Professional Development Initiative (PDI), organized by the Graduate School and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) to host two alumni panel discussions for graduate students focused on preparing to work with industry. The PDI provides a range of programs, training opportunities, and resources to graduate and professional students that will help prepare them for academic and career success.

“We are excited to host these seminars across campus as a way to help build industry connectivity for and open collaborative opportunities for our faculty. These seminars are designed to create a connection between WSU faculty and industry partners for future interaction,” said Brian Kraft, assistant vice president for IREO.

The seminar series kicked off with Alex Mellnik, senior software engineer, from Rigetti Computing on Thursday, Sept. 26. The second seminar features Hamedf Faridi, chief scientific officer at McCormick.

A renowned food industry leader, Faridi heads a global team of more than 500 scientists responsible for thought leadership, scientific research, product development, health and wellness, and sustainability to support the global businesses of the world’s largest flavor company. In 2013, in partnership with IBM, Faridi initiated the creation of an AI platform for food and flavor product development. The AI platform could potentially change the course of the industry and enhance the universal eating experiences of consumers around the world by tapping into 40 years of sensory, culinary, chemistry and scientific data collected by McCormick research and development scientists in 14 countries.

IREO is currently planning the series for Spring 2020 and is searching for departments that are interested to invite speakers from industry to WSU. If your department is interested please contact:

Industry Research Seminar Schedule

Thursday, Oct. 10

Department of Biosystems Engineering Seminar
McCormick and Company, Inc.
Hamed Faridi, Chief Scientific Officer
3:10 p.m. in L.J. Smith Hall 259

Monday, Oct. 21

School of Chemical Engineering Seminar
Phillips 66
Aolo Gupta, Director of Future and Renewable Fuels
4:10 p.m. in Spark 335

Tuesday, Oct. 22

School of Molecular Biosciences Seminar
Janssen Pharmaceutical
Andressa Smith, associate director for clinical research scientist
12:10 p.m. in BLS 402

Thursday, Nov. 7

School of Materials and Mechanical Engineering Seminar
Gaurang Choksi, program manager
11 a.m. in ERTL 101

Thursday, Nov. 7

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Seminar
Sumeet Dhawan, research and development specialist
4 p.m. in L.J. Smith Hall 259

Monday, Dec. 2

School of Molecular Biosciences Seminar
Christopher Wilson, lead discovery
Noon at BLS 402

Tuesday, Dec. 3

School of Biomedical Sciences Seminar
Jazz Pharmaceuticals
Danielle Hyman, director of medical affairs and sleep medicine
Location and time TBD

Thursday, Dec. 5

Department of Chemistry Seminar
Merck and Co.
Robert Hayes, senior scientist
4 p.m. in Fulmer 201

Alumni Panel Discussions

Monday, Oct. 21

Alumni Panel Discussion Session I: “A View of Work in Industry”

Panelists include:

  • Andressa Smith, associate director for clinical research scientist at Janssen Pharmaceutical
  • Andrey Zaiken, data scientist at Boeing
  • Dipreet Riar, plant physiologist for Dow AgroSciences
  • Grant Poole, technical product commercial manager for Bayer

3–5:30 p.m. in the CUB Junior Ballroom East

Thursday, Nov. 7

Alumni Panel Discussion II: “A View of Work in Industry”

Panelists include:

  • Craig Owen, battery scientist and engineer for Google
  • Linmin Yang, software engineer for Google
  • Sumeet Dhawan, research and development specialist for Nestle

Noon–2:30 p.m. in the CUB L60 (Butch’s Den)