UAF is Alaska’s preeminent research university. The mission of UAF's Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC) is to encourage broad practical application of UAF research for public benefit to support UAF's research, education, and outreach mission into the future through the following activities:
- Supporting the education and research mission of UAF by fostering creativity and innovation
- Encouraging and assisting individuals associated with UAF in the protection, licensing, and commercialization of their discoveries
- Initiating and sustaining cooperation and collaboration between UAF and businesses and industry, especially those based in Alaska
- Ensuring the equitable distribution of royalties and other monetary benefits derived from commercial application of intellectual property
- Advancing economic development objectives for Alaska and the nation
The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) Office is interested in your comments, concerns and suggestions regarding its units. All submissions will be sent directly to the acting VCR Assistant, ensuring that your comment is handled appropriately and promptly. Participation is voluntary and you may remain anonymous. Click here to share your thoughts and concerns.
Gwen is the Director of OIPC, and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP). Prior to joining the University of Alaska, Gwen served as the Vice President of New Development at Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks. While at Chena, Gwen oversaw the construction of the first geothermal power plant in the state, in addition to numerous other innovative energy projects ranging from hydrogen production to cooling a 10,000ft2 ice museum year-round using 150°F hot water.
Gwen moved to Alaska in 1994, shortly after graduating from Bradley University with a degree in Physics and Mechanical Engineering. Gwen is the mother of three children – Leif, Marais, and Lael. She is married to Iditarod and Yukon Quest musher Ken Anderson, and the couple maintain a kennel of about 50 dogs outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. They live off grid in a house they built themselves, and generate their own power through a combination of solar PV, wind, and diesel generator.
Gwen has been the recipient of several awards throughout her career, including an R&D 100 award, Project of the Year from Power Engineering Magazine, the Alaska Top 40 Under 40 Award.
Mark BillingsleyIntellectual Property and Contracts Director
Mark Billingsley has worked in Alaska as an engineer and an attorney. His current position combines both backgrounds to advance UA research and commercialization efforts. Mark also is a registered patent attorney and a member of the Alaska Bar Association.
Sargent ShriverTechnology Transfer Specialist
Amanda ByrdOutreach Coordinator
Amanda Byrd is the Outreach Coordinator for OIPC. Before working with OIPC, Amanda was the managing editor of Mushing Magazine for three years. In addition to her current role, she is the part-time marketing manager at Goldstream Sports. Her professional education includes a MS in Renewable Energy from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a BS Natural Resources Management from University of New England, Australia.
Originally hailing from Australia, Amanda grew up in Sydney where prior to her college experience she trained race horses there and in Japan. After falling in love with the North American forests through a year-long exchange program to Colorado State University and a summer experience as a Park Ranger in Grant Teton National Park, she moved to Alaska in search of adventure. She is currently a reformed sprint dog musher who enjoys running (but don’t call her a runner) and has participated in Fairbanks' Equinox Marathon several times. Other favorite past times include mountain and road cycling, floating rivers, baking, cooking, and writing.
Robert "Trey" CokerFaculty Ambassador
Dr. Robert "Trey" Coker is an Associate Professor affiliated with the Department of Biology and Wildlife and the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Trey’s research interests are focused on the development of condition-specific clinical nutrition to improve health and longevity, especially in the elderly. He is also interested in nutritional provisions that will extend the limits of physiological resilience during physical and environmental stress.
Trey formed Essential Blends, LLC in 2013, that is headquartered in Alaska. His company leads the state of Alaska in Small Business Innovations in Research/Technology Transfer funding from the National Institutes of Health, and has filed three patent applications on products formulated for use in congestive heart failure, substance abuse and aging. He is a firm believer that scientists should work to transfer knowledge so that vital innovations can solve "real world" problems.
Trey received his PhD in Exercise Science from the University of Mississippi and completed research fellowships at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center. Prior to accepting his position at UAF, he was an Associate Professor of Geriatrics and the Co-Director of the Center for Translational Research in Health and Longevity at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for over a decade.
Dr. Peter Webley is a Research Associate Professor of Remote Sensing in the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, as well as the Associate Director of Research at the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI). His research focuses on natural hazards, especially volcanic eruptions, and the use of remote sensing data from the ground to space and back to map their extent and develop change detection algorithms.
Peter is the Vice-President of UAF’s first start-up, V-ADAPT, Inc., formed in 2013 and has successfully licensed intellectual property, been awarded small business innovation research projects and a US patent as well as been inducted into the State of Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame 2016 – 2017 class. He is a scientist, innovator, and entrepreneur.
Before coming to UAF, Peter was a postdoctoral researcher at Kings College London and developed a remote sensing monitoring system for the volcanoes of Central America. Peter has a BSc in Geophysics and an MSc in Atmospheric Sciences, both from the University of East Anglia, UK and a PhD in Remote Sensing from the University of Reading, UK.
As a research faculty member and the co-founder of UAF’s first startup company Peter works hard to support and advise faculty, staff, and students to develop their ideas, protect their intellectual property, and commercialize their work as they develop into our next generation of UAF entrepreneurs and solve tomorrow’s issues today.
Dr. Rajive Ganguli is a Professor of Mining Engineering, and Director, Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has three degrees in mining engineering, bachelor’s from Osmania University, India (1991), master’s from Virginia Tech (1995) and doctoral from the University of Kentucky (1999). He has worked as a mining engineer in two countries, in a surface copper mine in India (Hindustan Copper Limited), and an underground coal mine (Jim Walter Resources), in Alabama, USA. He is also a registered mine foreman (Alabama), and a registered professional engineer (mining; Alaska). Dr. Ganguli also consults with the mining industry through his company Opti-mine.
Dr. Ganguli is currently leading multiple projects including assisting Teck Red Dog mine, Alaska, with mineral processing and water related issues, developing training opportunities for mining industry workforce (a $8.1 million US Department of Labor grant), and developing computational techniques for mine monitoring (Sumitomo Metal Mining). His previous research projects involved Erdenet copper mine (Mongolia), Peabody Coal (Colorado) and Ucore’s Bokan Mountain rare earth mine (Alaska).
Dr. Ganguli is the lead architect of the Mining Engineering Research Endowment, a fund created in 2010 by Kinross Corporation to support graduate students in mining engineering. The fund, supported substantially by Sumitomo Metal Mining and Kinross, now stands at over $4M, and supports several students annually. Through Opti-mine, he has assisted the industry in various projects including production simulation, reporting tools, mine design, and algorithm development.
Dr. Ganguli is a member of the editorial board of “Mining Engineering”, the flagship journal of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Inc (SME). He has authored two chapters in the 2011 edition of the SME Mining Engineering Handbook (“Systems Engineering”, “Mine Monitoring, Communications and Control”), a massive tome that is published about once every 20-25 years.
Dr. Ganguli was inducted into the Alaska Innovator’s Hall of Fame in 2017 for the development of the mill simulator. His other awards include the 2005 Flame Safety Lamp award (awarded in the State of Alabama to the top mine foreman), 2004 Robert Peele from SME award for his paper and “Rock Star of Alaska Mining” award by Alaska Miners Association (2014).