AU Press Releases
Watkins named deputy director of CACT
In his new position, Watkins will be building partnerships among Alfred University researchers, New York State companies, and governmental officials to promote technology transfer and economic development in the state.
He sees his initial role as “increasing the visibility of the CACT” and what it can do to assist the materials-based companies in New York State.
A native of Plymouth, England, Watkins studied mechanical engineering at Plymouth and Devonport Technical College. After five years’ service in the Royal Navy, he pursued a career in technical sales.
Prior to immigrating to the United States in 1986, he was president and founder of Industrial and Marine Acoustics, a leading distributor of noise control and monitoring equipment manufactured in the United States and Europe.
From 1986 to 2002, Watkins worked in industrial sales and sales management for a number of technology-related firms. In 2002, he joined the Center for Electronic Imaging Systems at the University of Rochester as associate director for business development.
Prior to leaving the Center for Electronic Imaging Systems (CEIS) to take his new position with Alfred University’s CACT, Watkins is credited with helping to generate over $4.6 million in sponsored research. He did extensive market research to identify needs of corporations with interests that matched the expertise of faculty researchers at the University of Rochester, building a database of more than 600 potential partners.
He coordinated the CEIS team that secured $2 million in funding from the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Research (NYSTAR) to expand programs and commercialize biomedical innovations in the surgical and medical laboratory fields. He was also a key contributor to the effort to secure $1 million in NYSTAR funding for CEIS projects focused on the design of computer circuits in the nano-electronics scale.
While with the University of Rochester, he worked closely with the Simons Business School at the University of Rochester to place master’s students with Fortune 500 companies for internships.
Watkins continues to serve in a volunteer capacity as the acting executive director of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, which is a public-private partnership that promotes statewide implementation of a “smart” electrical distribution grid. Members include electric utilities including Con-Ed and National Grid, as well as research institutions such as University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University and Alfred University.