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Industry Advisors PDF Print E-mail

The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology's Industry Advisors are leaders within their industries through their involvement in industrial associations, as members of government panels related to their sectors, and in education initiatives related to their expertise.

Keith Blakely PDF Print E-mail

keith blakelyThe InVentures Group is led by founder and CEO Keith Blakely. Keith brings over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience to the company having started his first company, Advanced Refractory Technologies at the age of 24. Since then, Keith has started, or led as CEO, nine additional companies including NanoDynamics, First Wave Technologies and The InVentures Group.

Keith's experience has spanned the region and the globe in companies of all sizes, from small start-ups to large corporations in the high-technology and advanced materials industries. His expertise includes business plan and strategy development, manufacturing process development, cultivating funding sources, and marketing strategy development. With The InVentures Group, Keith has developed a team to provide technology-rich, but inexperienced, start- up companies with highly experienced managers on an as-needed basis, along with the necessary capital, Board-level guidance, and connections to accelerate the path to success.

Keith, a life-long Buffalonian, takes pride in assisting and mentoring small businesses and young entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to fruition in the Western New York market. He has participated in several young entrepreneur events and competitions including the Panasci competition, 43North, the UB Elevator Pitch competition, and Buffalo Startup Weekend. He is also an active member of the WNY Venture Association and Buffalo Angels. 

Max Christie PDF Print E-mail

max christieAfter graduating from University, Max joined the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN) in January 1994. From 1994 – 2000 he worked for ECN in Holland on several European Government funded Solid Oxide Fuel Cell development projects which aimed to develop, manufacture and supply active ceramic components used in small scale combined heat and power systems to several European Power Companies. The developed technology was used as the basis to start a new company, Innovative Dutch Electronic Ceramics (InDEC b.v.) as a spin off to the Dutch National Lab.

Max joined Praxair, Inc. as a Development Associate at the technology center in Tonawanda, NY in June 2000 and assumed the role of R&D Manager for the ceramic membranes group in 2004. Since that time he has led teams that have developed and commercialized a point of use, high purity oxygen generator based on dense zirconia membranes trademarked as StarGenTM. The team has also prototyped inert gas purification systems using zirconia membranes as well as commercialized rotatable ceramic sputtering targets used in the fabrication of photovoltaic cells.

Over several years Praxair and the US Department of Energy have invested tens of millions of dollars in mixed conducting, ceramic membrane technology that facilitates a step change in the cost associated with the conversion of natural gas to syngas. Praxair has developed a world class capability in ceramic materials and manufacturing, reactor engineering and systems integration for various applications. Since 2012, in his current position as Praxair’s R&D Director for Ceramic Membranes, Max is responsible for the materials development and ceramic module manufacturing associated with the scale-up and commercialization of the technology.

Max has a B.Eng in Ceramic Science and Engineering from the University of Leeds, 1990 and a Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering from Imperial College, London, 1994. He has 14 issued US Patents and several pending.

Denis Cormier PDF Print E-mail

cormier photoDr. Denis Cormier is the Earl W. Brinkman Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he also serves as director of the Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center.

He has worked in the area of additive manufacturing for 20 years with a specific focus on aerospace materials and applications of metal additive manufacturing. Most recently, his research has focused on multi-material functional printing processes and materials.

Prior to joining RIT in 2009, he was a professor at North Carolina State University for 15 years where he founded NC State's Rapid Prototyping Lab in 1996. He is a founding member of ASTM’s F-42 additive manufacturing standards group, and he is a long-time organizing committee member for SME’s RAPID conference and exhibition. He serves on the editorial advisory boards for several journals including the Rapid Prototyping Journal, the International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing, and Additive Manufacturing.




Christine Heckle PDF Print E-mail

christine heckle

Christine E. Heckle, Ph.D., was named Research Director, Inorganic Materials Research, effective 9/1/2015. In this role, Heckle is responsible for setting the materials research strategy and vision to deliver new materials to support next-generation products in glass and ceramics.

Previously, she was Research Director, Crystalline Materials Research, where she lead the development of new ceramic products to support the Environmental Technologies and Specialty Materials segments, as well as new business and exploratory arenas.

Heckle joined Corning in 1997 in Corning Specialty Materials development. She then moved to Environmental Technologies to lead a variety of programs that introduced new products into the marketplace. Under her leadership, DuraTrap® AT was expanded into the heavy duty market, and two new product offerings were launched for the light duty market.

In August 2012 she won the inaugural R, D & E Leadership Award from NOBCChE for her proven track record of producing results with an excellent use of emotional intelligence and people skills, as well as for being a key advocate and champion of diversity initiatives.

Heckle is a member of SPECTRA, Corning’s LGBT employee resource group, and ADAPT, Corning’s employee resource group for people with disabilities and those who care for people with disabilities. She mentors and coaches members of EDGE (Ethnically Diverse Group of Employees) and SBP (Society of Black Professionals). She holds a Ph.D. in Glass Science from Alfred University.

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Industry Advisors

As a complement, the Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) is building a "Team" of Industry Advisors from a broad spectrum of industries experienced in a wide range of industries such as Energy, Healthcare, and Environment.

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The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology is sponsored by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation.

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Short Courses

For those interested in increasing their expertise in the field of ceramics and glasses, or those just being introduced, Short Courses are a good option. Designed for professionals in the ceramics and glass industry, these intensive courses offer a chance to update knowledge of the field in a short period of time.  Courses range from detailed, in-depth examinations of very specific topics to broader introductory classes.

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