MNT-EC Partners

Kate Williams Alcott

Kate Williams Alcott

Associate Director, Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC)
SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Utica, NY

NEATEC’s mission is to attract and train a technician workforce for the semiconductor/advanced manufacturing industries. To that end, I work with three specific cohorts to build a pipeline of talent, transitioning soldiers from Fort Drum, high school students including those from the refugee community and college students. Activities to support this outreach include providing Advanced Manufacturing Technician training for soldiers, mentoring a refugee robotics team and co-hosting a Manufacturing Day Expo. Before joining NEATEC in 2013, I worked for an educational consulting firm as a trainer and curriculum developer.

Atilla Cakmak

Atilla Cakmak

Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Atilla Ozgur Cakmak got his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Microelectronics Engineering and Computer and Electronics Engineering from Sabanci University, Turkey in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Dr. Cakmak obtained his Ph.D. in the field of nanophononics from Bilkent University, Turkey in 2012 from Electrical and Electronics Engineering and he joined The Pennsylvania State University in 2013 as a postdoctoral researcher to work on solar cells. Dr. Cakmak has been a member of Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU) since 2018 as an Assistant Teaching Professor, where he teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in nanofabrication and various fields of nanotechnology.

Cait Cramer

Cait Cramer

Highline College, Des Moines, WA

Cait Cramer is Engineering faculty at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington. Cait earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering for Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2012 and moved to Phoenix, AZ to work at Intel as a Process Engineer in Chemical Vapor Deposition & Quality Engineer in Defect Metrology. In 2014, she returned to school to complete a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. Her research involved roll-to-roll printing of flexible solar cells, screen printing of metallic inks for semi-transparent electrodes and electrode grid optimization. For the last five years, Cait has taught Mechanical Engineering Technology in Indiana where she managed several research projects related to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) including MEMS packaging design and prototyping, strain gauge printing and optimization, and the development of hands-on kits for data acquisition of MEMS sensors. Having now returned to Washington state, she looks forward to bringing Micro and Nanotechnology research into her Engineering classroom.

Kendrick Davis

Kendrick Davis Ph.D.

Founder and CEO of KBD Consulting, LLC
Los Angeles, CA

Kendrick is the founder & CEO of KBD Consulting LLC.; an educational consulting firm focused on equity-minded research, professional development, and policy analysis. He most recently served as the Vice President of Policy Research at the Campaign for College Opportunity in Los Angeles, CA, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a research agenda around college access and completion for all Californians, particularly the most vulnerable subgroups. Before moving to Los Angeles, Kendrick served as an education policy advisor to US Senator Kamala D. Harris through a nationally recognized American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellowship.

Kendrick has served in local government as the director of STEM initiatives for two mayors of Philadelphia and has done international work in Egypt as a member of a $25 million United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant. Kendrick earned his Ph.D. in higher education and his master's degrees in both robotics engineering and law from the University of Pennsylvania; his bachelor's in mechanical engineering is from Temple University. His commitment to community engagement is demonstrated through his work on the Philadelphia Robotics Coalition (PRC) Board, and the National Girls' Collaborative Project Champions Board.

Robert Ehrmann

Robert K. Ehrmann

Education and Workforce Development Consultant

Bob is presently serving as an education and workforce development consultant. After 18
years of service, Bob retired in early 2022 from the position of Managing Director for the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU) at Penn State University (PSU). Among other initiatives, CNEU is the home to the NSF ATE National Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Support Center, which has a national mission to facilitate the development of and create infrastructure for nanotechnology workforce education across the nation. Bob earned a BS in Ceramic Engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA from West Virginia University and worked in industry for 23 years prior to joining PSU-CNEU in 2004.

Tanya Faltens

Tanya Faltens

Purdue University

Tanya is the Educational Content Creation Manager for the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN), which created and operates the open access cyber-platform. Her technical background is in Materials Science and Engineering (Ph.D. UCLA 2002). Dr. Faltens taught materials engineering courses for 6 years at Cal Poly Pomona and introduced nanoHUB simulation tools to her students during that time. Before that, she taught K-12 STEM classes and camps at the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley. Now at Purdue University, she works with faculty and students who create and use simulation tools for their teaching and learning and she manages the NCN Undergraduate Research Experience and Undergraduate Computational Education Experience summer programs.


Dr. Zachary Gray

Penn State University

Dr. Gray attended the Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology Capstone Semester at CNEU while a student at Reading Area Community College in 2007. After graduating there, he worked for a R&D solar cell company called Solarity while obtaining his B.S. in Materials Science at Penn State in 2011.  He worked for CNEU as a lab manager while completing his Ph.D. in Materials Science at Penn State in 2016. He then went to work for Nanoscience Instruments demonstrating and training others nationwide on the company’s various scientific instrumentation for six years before returning to CNEU as Managing Director in March of 2022.

Tiffany Kimoto

Tiffany Kimoto

Tiffany is the Executive Director at The Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech.

James Marti

James Marti Ph.D.

James is the Senior Scientist and Outreach Coordinator for the Minnesota Nano Center, an applied nanotechnology research center located at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Dr. Marti manages two research laboratories at the Center that focus on nanomaterials and the biological applications of nanotechnology. A physicist by training, Dr. Marti has carried out a broad range of research on the physics and chemistry of micron- and nanometer-scale particles, particle systems, and related materials. He has taught courses on nanotechnology, nanoelectronics, computer modeling, and advanced lab methods at Dakota County Technical College (Rosemount MN). Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Marti conducted research on nanoparticles for academic and government labs and served as the director of research and development for several small companies with a nanotechnology product focus.

Scot McLemore, MNT-EC BILT team lead

Scot McLemore

Executive in Residence for Columbus State Community College

Scot McLemore utilizes his immediate past experience as an advanced manufacturing workforce expert and higher education employer partner at American Honda Motor Company to cultivate relevant pathways of study to support growth of in-demand careers in Ohio. At Honda, McLemore’s career spanned more than 30 years, including both engineering and human resource functions, focusing on technical development and acquisition. Following the completion of his Bachelor of Science in Computer Integrated Manufacturing Technology from Purdue University, McLemore started working at Honda in 1990 as a manufacturing engineer, serially advancing to serve as the national manager of technical workforce development, talent acquisition and deployment, and workforce partnerships within government and industry relations. He has collaborated with Columbus State representing Honda for more than 14 years.

Abe Michelen

Abe Michelen

Managing Director & Co-PI of Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC),
& Co-PI of SEMI Cert

Abe is the original awardee and the Managing Director and Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) of the Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC). He is a Co-PI of the SEMI Certification (SEMI Cert) NSF grant awarded to SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) in 2019. He is a retired professor of Electrical Engineering at a local college in Troy, New York, where he taught courses on semiconductor manufacturing, nanotechnology, electromechanical systems and analog and digital electronics, among others. Since 2016 Abe is an Adjunct Professor at SUNY Poly teaching semiconductor and electronics courses. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Abe is the author of two textbooks and of many technical conference papers. He is a senior engineer at IEEE GlobalSpec, where he manages databases of semiconductor, photovoltaic and software products, and regularly publishes technical articles on IEEE publications.


Janet Pinhorn

Program Manager, MNT-CURN, J ATE, and Talking Technicians Podcast

Janet is the program manager for the Micro Nano Technology Collaborative Undergraduate Research Network (MNT-CURN). Working with undergraduates to help develop their research opportunities. She is also the program manager for the Journal of Advanced Technological Education (J ATE), providing a new platform for community college faculty and undergraduates to share their research information in a peer-reviewed journal. In addition, Janet engages with working technicians to share their academic and professional journeys in the monthly podcast Talking Technicians.

Janet became involved with the ATE community in 2013 when she worked with MATEC and has been committed to helping students meet their academic and professional goals ever since. In her spare time, Janet is a book nerd who loves nothing more than spending a day browsing bookstores and reveling in her finds when she comes home.

Matthias Pleil

Dr. Matthias W. Pleil

Principal Investigator – SCME, Research Professor and Lecturer
University of New Mexico, NM

Matthias Pleil, Ph.D. is the Principal Investigator for two NSF funded centers, the Southwest Center for Microsystems Education (2004-2018) and the Support Center for Microsystems Education (2017). He is a University of New Mexico Research Professor and Lecturer (Mechanical Engineering) and Cleanroom Manager (MTTC). He teaches several engineering courses and promotes micro and nanotechnology. He has been a faculty member at Central New Mexico Community College in both the Schools of Applied Technologies and Math, Science and Engineering (MSE). He has 12 years of experience in Semiconductor Manufacturing Engineering from Texas Instruments and Philips Semiconductors. Dr. Pleil received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1993 from Texas Tech University, where he completed original research on Time-Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

Pete Raynor

Pete Raynor

Professor – University of Minnesota

Dr. Peter C. Raynor, a Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research and teaching interests revolve around the assessment and control of environmental exposures, especially those occurring in workplace environments. Dr. Raynor directs the University of Minnesota Industrial Hygiene Program and serves as Principal Investigator for the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training.

Brandon Rodriguez

Brandon Rodriguez


Brandon presently works at NASA Jet Propulsion Lab as a STEM Education Specialist. After a rewarding career in research, Brandon wanted to share his love of science with the next generation. He became a high school science teacher, taught at the college and graduate level, and now designs activities and trainings in STEM for K-12 educators.

Vishal Saravade

Dr. Vishal Saravade

Pennsylvania State University

Vishal Saravade is an Assistant Teaching Professor at The Center for Nanotechnology
Education and Utilization at Pennsylvania State University. He completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2020 from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla with focus on wide bandgap semiconductors, nanotechnology, and microelectronics. He was a Visiting Scholar and Post-doc at Purdue University and Kennesaw State University with expertise on chemical vapor deposition, semiconductors, nanotechnology, and embedded systems. Vishal enjoys teaching microelectronics and nanotechnology as well as learning more about it. In free time, he likes to run, and practice rock-climbing and martial arts.

James Smith

Dr. James Smith

Princeton University

Jim is a materials science lecturer at the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM). He has years of experience developing educational experiences for students using cleanrooms and microscopy facilities. He developed the first nanotechnology and microscopy certificate programs in the state of Utah, a general engineering Associates degree at Salt Lake Community College, and 3 new award-winning courses at PRISM. Jim has been involved in entrepreneurial activities for the past 25 years including 4 technology start-up companies in areas ranging from technical ceramics, micro/nanotech, to biosensors. Nationally he serves on various committees developing nanotechnology educational and professional development efforts including the NSF Micro and Nanotechnology Education Center.

Rick Vaughn

Rick Vaughn

Faculty Chair, Rio Salado College

Dr. Rick Vaughn holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Davis where he specialized in Topology and Geometry. His dissertation in entitled "Planar Soap Bubbles". After 13 years as residential faculty at Paradise Valley Community College, he moved to Rio Salado College to be the Faculty Chair for STEM Initiatives. At Rio, he has spearheaded the approval, creation, and development of a unique, hybrid, two-year program in Nanotechnology. A regular contributor.

Lynn Zentner

Lynn K. Zentner, Ph.D.

Managing Director, Network for Computational Nanotechnology

Dr. Lynn K. Zentner joined the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) at Purdue University in August 2010, serving as NCN Technical Director until assuming her current role as Managing Director. She is a co-PI on the current NSF award that supports the operation of nanoHUB and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NCN team and is involved in outreach and engagement. She was previously a visiting professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department at Purdue where she focused on materials, fluid dynamics, and finite element analysis. Dr. Zentner received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1993 and has been involved in modeling and simulation research since 1986.