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National Nanotechnology Coordination Office Welcomes New Director

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Dr. Robert Pohanka Joins the NNCO

Dr. Robert Pohanka
Dr. Robert Pohanka

The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert Pohanka as the Director of the NNCO. Dr. Pohanka joins the NNCO after serving as the Director of the Defense Venture Catalyst Initiative (DeVenCI), where he led and directed the strategy for finding private sector technologies, developed independently of DoD, and transitioned them to DoD Research, Development and Acquisition.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Pohanka will be joining our team here at the NNCO,” said Dr. Sally Tinkle, Deputy Director of the NNCO and EHS Research Coordinator. “Dr. Pohanka’s proven success in technology transfer and commercialization will serve the NNI well and better position the NNI to capitalize on the tremendous promise of nanotechnology.”

Prior to leading the DeVenCI program, Dr. Pohanka served as the Head of the Materials and Physical Sciences Department at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). In this capacity, he was responsible for leading and directing the strategy for planning and executing a broad range of Science and Technology investments from basic Physics and Chemistry at the nanometer scale to engineering solutions for aircraft carriers. During this period, Dr. Pohanka also served as Director for the Materials Science and Technology Division and as Director for the Ship, Hull, Mechanical and Electrical Division.

Dr. Pohanka’s prior ONR assignments include: Director, Materials Science and Technology Division; Program Manager; and Scientific Officer. Prior to his assignments at ONR, Dr. Pohanka served as a Research Engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory and as Head, Piezoelectric Materials Section.

Dr. Pohanka is a recipient of the US-Japan Electroceramic Bridge Building Award (2005), presented the E.F. Osborn Memorial Lecture (2001), and was selected as a Senior Executive Service Meritorious Executive (2000) and Centennial Fellow of The Pennsylvania State University (1996). He is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and a Life member of the American Physical Society. He has chaired international symposia for the American Ceramic Society, IEEE, SPIE, and the Materials Research Society.

Marlowe Epstein, Communications Director