Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf is the Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. She has been involved in nanotechnology for over twenty-five years, with a particular interest in advancing technology commercialization through university-industry-government collaboration. She is a strong advocate for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and has over two decades of experience teaching at both the university and high school levels.
While at the NNCO, Lisa has focused on building community and enhancing communication in a variety of ways. With respect to coordinating research and development, her efforts have focused on the Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives in areas including nanoelectronics, nanomanufacturing, informatics, sensors, and water. A variety of mechanisms have been used to strengthen collaboration and communication among agency members, academic researchers, industry representatives, and other private sector entities, as appropriate, to advance the research goals in these important areas. Lisa has also led the establishment of a suite of education and outreach activities reaching millions of students, teachers, and the broader public. She continues to expand the use of targeted networks to bring people together in specific areas of interest, including the Nano and Emerging Technologies Student Network and the U.S.-EU Communities of Research focused on the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology entrepreneurship and nanomedicine are areas where new communities of interest are developing.
Prior to joining the NNCO, Lisa held a number of positions at the intersection of academia, industry, and government. At Lehigh University, Lisa served as the associate director of the Materials Research Center and director of the industry liaison program. In this role, she oversaw dozens of membership programs and was responsible for developing and coordinating multi-investigator interdisciplinary research programs including a multimillion-dollar public-private partnership in microelectronics. As director of the Virginia Nanotechnology Initiative, she led an alliance of academic institutions, industry, and government laboratories with an interest in nanotechnology across the Commonwealth of Virginia. At the University of Virginia, she served as managing director of the nanoSTAR Institute and led the development of pan-university initiatives as a program manager in the Office of the Vice President for Research. Additionally, Lisa has been active in the start-up ecosystem for many years assisting small companies with business development and access to resources, and vetting emerging technologies for investors.
Lisa earned her PhD and MSE in Materials Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida.