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Institute names three research program managers


BLACKSBURG, Va., July 18, 2012 – Ashwin Amanna, Dennis Grove, and Matt Hull have joined the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech as research program managers.

Each person will manage two of the eight research thrusts the institute supports: Cognition and Communication, and National Security (Amanna); Sustainable Energy and Renewable Materials (Grove); and Nano-Bio Interface, and Nanoscale Science and Engineering (Hull). 

As research program managers, the three will work with research thrust leaders and their team members to develop, organize, and implement program objectives and goals aimed at increasing external research funding.

"We are pleased to welcome Amanna, Grove, and Hull to the institute," said Bob Moore,associate director for research and scholarship at the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. "They are proven problem solvers, have worked effectively with a wide range of principal investigators from multiple disciplines, and possess considerable experience coordinating large-scale collaborative research projects within a university environment. The institute fosters interdisciplinary transformative research for a sustainable future. We are confident they will help us achieve our goal for substantial growth in interdisciplinary research that has significant societal impact."

Ashwin Amanna

Amanna holds three degrees in electrical engineering, including a Ph.D. and a master's degree from Virginia Tech and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis. 

From 1995 to 2009, he was employed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Prior to joining the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, Amanna served as business development manager and senior research associate for Wireless@Virginia Tech.

"I am excited to be joining the institute's program management team,"said Amanna. "The institute's program managers understand that our research thrusts directly impact national security, as exemplified in the intersection between energy harvesting and the power needs of soldiers, electronic warfare's growing emphasis on cognitive communications, and multiscale decision-making theory applications to command and control on the battlefield. My goal will be to encourage researchers in my assigned thrusts to consider applications that they may not have previously considered, particularly those that support the mission needs of national security customers. These needs range from the basic science needs of the Office of Naval Research to the applied needs of the Department of Defense research labs."

Dennis Grove

Grove earned an M.B.A and a master's degree in organic chemistry from Iowa State University and a bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from Radford University. His resume includes managerial and administrative positions at Iowa State University, Yale University, and Ames National Laboratory. He also served as a research assistant at Radford University. 

"I am very happy to be at the institute," commented Grove, "where I can contribute to transformative, interdisciplinary research for a sustainable future. The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science is an organization aimed at not only furthering research to build knowledge, but is also aimed at commercializing technologies that will bring jobs to our area and improve the world. As a research program manager, I am able to use my educational background, both in science and business. I really enjoy meeting with top-notch researchers across the university, learning about their cutting-edge work, and helping them find interesting collaborators and exciting opportunities."

Matt Hull

Hull earned his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering and his master's degree in biology from Virginia Tech, and a bachelor's degree from Ferrum College. Hull's employment history includes serving as associate director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology; president, owner, and founder of NanoSafe Inc.; fellow for Virginia Tech's Exploring Interfaces through Graduate Education and Research; visiting researcher at Cerege in France; and senior research scientist with Luna Innovations Inc.

"Having been part of the institute's community for the past four years as a doctoral student, I am thrilled to become a member of its program management team," said Hull. "The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science supports transformative research that addresses society's greatest challenges, and I have always envisioned myself being part of an organization dedicated to such a critical mission. I look forward to contributing to the institute's continued success by working with faculty across Virginia Tech in areas like sustainable nanomanufacturing, nanomedicine, and integrated micro- and nanoscale devices."

The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science is a premier interdisciplinary research institute located at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The core mission of the institute is to promote, stimulate, and catalyze interdisciplinary and collaborative research at the confluence of engineering, the physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and medicine. The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science is realizing this mission by harnessing and leveraging the collective talents of Virginia Tech faculty, staff and students and nurturing them in the development and promotion of high-quality and internationally competitive research initiatives that are responsive to societal needs.   Strategic research initiatives in nanoscale science and engineering, molecular and cellular biology, sustainable development including energy, water and renewable materials, and cognition and communication have been identified in pursuit of this mission.

Melissa Wade wrote this story.