Industrial Advisory Board

Kemba Solomon


Application Engineering Administrator/Manager

American Honda Motor Co

Atlanta, GA



Muneer Chowdhury


Energy and Environmental Efficiency Manager

Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

Nashville, TN



Geoffrey Nwankwo, M.S., MBA

Geoffrey Nwankwo 

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

ALPHA Oilwell Technologies, LTD

Smyrna, TN

Biosketch: Mr. Nwankwo is renowned for his dynamic leadership and management career with diversified technical & management training and experience in global, billion-dollar organizations with a rich mix of project planning, scope management, risk analysis, project execution, forecasting, personnel management, marketing, and sales in enterprise operations. He is an expert in managing complex enterprise projects comprising multidisciplinary teams in a rapidly changing environment. Mr. Nwankwo has excellent interpersonal skills and cross-functional team interactions coupled with effective leadership and management abilities. He is an action-taker in respond to operational and technical challenges with confidence, determination, and focus. He lives and works in multiple countries therefore understand the importance and benefits of diversified team experiences.


Fred C. Higgs III, Ph.D. 

Fred Higgs

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and The John & Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Joint Professor with the Bioengineering Department, The Faculty Director of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL)

Rice  University

Houston, TX

Biosketch:  Dr. Higgs is the John & Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University, where he is also the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. He is also a Joint Professor with the Bioengineering Department, and the Faculty Director of the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL). Prior to Rice, he was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) from 2003-2016, where he was the thrust leader of powder mechanics in their Next Manufacturing Center. He is a member of the ASME Tribology Executive Committee and an Associate Editor for the STLE Tribology Transactions journal. His Particle Flow & Tribology Laboratory (PFTL) conducts coordinated high-performance computing and high-fidelity experimentation to predict the behavior of applications with particle media in sliding contacts (tribology), such as additive manufacturing. A Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), he is the past recipient of an NSF CAREER ‘Young Investigator’ award, and the ASME Burt L. Newkirk award (given annually to a single tribology innovator under age 40). Professor Higgs has published over 100 archival papers ranging from Nature Materials to the Journal of Tribology, while generating significant licensable IP in concert. Since 2004, he has been the research advisor to over 120 undergraduate, 30 Masters, 18 doctoral, and 5 postdoctoral research students. He has been married for 16 years, where he and his wife have three children ages 10 and under.