Governor appoints aerospace center panel

Gov. Chris Gregoire has appointed board members for a recently created center that will work with universities and industry to develop new aerospace technologies.

The Legislature passed a bill this year creating the Joint Center for Aerospace Innovation Technology. The establishment of a research center was a recommendation that came out of a recent competitiveness study that was part of Washington’s effort to land work on Boeing’s 737 MAX jet.

“Our ability to continuously innovate has been one of the keys to establishing Washington state as one of the centers of aerospace around the world,” Gregoire said in a statement Thursday.

The center will be jointly managed by the University of Washington and Washington State University. Ultimately, lawmakers hope, the center will strengthen engineering education, will work with industry to identify research needs and will pursue research in computing, manufacturing efficiency, materials innovation and other new technologies.

“As we face increased competition from other states and other nations, it will be imperative that new technologies are developed and commercialized here,” Gregoire said.

Board appointees include:

•Timothy Stevens, president, Triumph Composite Systems of Spokane, will serve as chairman.

David Bender, president of the aerospace group at Lynnwood’s Crane Aerospace &Electronics.

Margaret McCormick, CEO, Matrix Genetics in Seattle.

Roger Myers, executive director of electric propulsion and integrated systems capture for Redmond’s Aerojet.

Tom McCarty, president of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace in Seattle.

Kenishi Yoshioko, director of the technical resource center for Toray Composites America in Frederickson.

Tad McGeer, president of Aerovel Corp. in White Salmon.

Matthew O’Donnell, dean of the University of Washington College of Engineering in Seattle.

Candis Claiborn, dean of Washington State University College of Engineering and Architecture in Pullman.

The board of directors is expected to have its first meeting next month when it will begin developing a business plan for the center.

Michelle Dunlop: 425-339-3454; mdunlop@heraldnet.com.

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