top of page

Advisory Board

Zbig Wasilewski - University of Waterloo

Dr. Zbig Wasilewski is Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, cross-appointed to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Professor Wasilewski also holds an Endowed Chair at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and an Associate Faculty position at the Institute for Quantum Computing.  He is internationally renowned for his contributions to the field of Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), quantum-dot and quantum-well photonic devices, as well as quantum structures and devices based on high mobility 2D electron gases, such as lateral few-electron quantum dot circuits – potential building blocks of quantum computers.


Professor Wasilewski is a co-author of almost 500 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings with some of the highest citation records in the field (over 8,000 citations to his work with an h-index of 45). In 2012, Professor Wasilewski was awarded the title of Professor of Physics by the President of Poland, in recognition of his exceptional track record in research and his role in developing the field of GaN-based optoelectronics in Poland.

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; WIN Endowed Chair

Charles Shook - Trestle Capital Partners

Prior to founding Trestle Capital Partners, Charles built and led the private equity group of Harbert Management Corporation (“HMC”).  HMC is a diversified alternative asset management firm based in Birmingham, AL that manages capital for a Forbes 400 family, as well as for third party institutional and high net worth investors.  In his role at HMC, Mr. Shook designed and implemented the private equity investment strategy, built the dedicated team of private equity professionals, and most importantly, sourced, executed and managed a diversified portfolio of private equity investments.  In addition to his private equity experience, Mr. Shook has worked as an investment banker with Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., a leading regional investment bank, where he ultimately rose to run its Financial Institutions investment banking practice.  Mr. Shook has also worked as a management consultant for FMI Corporation, the largest consulting firm in the country focused exclusively on construction and construction-related industries.  


Charles received a B.A. in economics from the University of North Carolina and an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Partner and Founder

Joshua Robinson - Penn State University

Dr. Robinson serves as the Director of User Programs for Penn State University's 2D Crystal Consortium - Materials Innovation Platform (2DCC-MIP), the Associate Director of the Penn State Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials (2DLM), and the Co-Director for the NSF-I/UCRC Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC).


Dr. Robinson began his career at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. as an NRC Post Doctorate Fellow where he developed highly carbon nanotube devices for detection of explosives and nerve agents. In 2007, Dr. Robinson joined the Penn State Electro-Optics Center as a research associate in the Materials Division and most recently (2012) joined the Penn State Materials Science and Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor. In 2013, he co-founded the Center for Two-Dimensional and Layered Materials, and currently serves as Associate Director of the Center. In July 2015, he became Co-Director of the NSF I/UCRC Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC). In 2016 he became the Director of User Programs for the Penn State 2D Crystal Consortium and in July 2016 was promoted to associate professor in MatSE. He has authored or co-authored over 120 peer reviewed journal publications with a significant focus on low dimensional electronic materials. He has patents on chemical and neutron detection, and three pending patents related to 2D materials.  His recent awards include the NSF-CAREER (2015), The G. Montgomery and Marion Hall Mitchell Award for Innovative Teaching (2015), Student Choice MatSE Faculty of the Year (2014), Penn State Miller Faculty Fellowship (2013), Oakridge Young Faculty Award (2013), Corning Faculty Fellowship (2013), Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Award (2012), Alan Berman Research Publication Award (2007), and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005).


Dr. Robinson obtained his B.S. degree in Physics with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics from Towson University in 2001. He received his doctorate degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Materials Science and Engineering in 2005. 

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Sylwester Porowski - Polish Academy of Sciences

Dr. Sylwester (Sylvek) Porowski is the Co-Director and Board Member of the Institute of High Pressure Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Sylvek founded the Institute, also known as Unipress, in 1972.

For more than 20 years, Sylvek and his fellow Unipress' scientists have worked intensively on the physics and technology of GaN and related semiconductors. This research led to the creation of a unique technology of high-pressure growth of GaN crystals with a dislocation density much lower than crystals grown at atmospheric pressure. This has paved the way to construction of blue/violet laser diodes by using crystals as substrates for growing epitaxial structures of (AlGaIn)N with exceptional structural and optical quality.


Both the MBE and MOCVD nitride technology has been developed at Unipress together with the laser-processing lab. The work on blue/violet laser diodes has been done within the Polish Government program titled "The development of the blue optoelectronics", which was coordinated by Unipress. In order to commercialize this technology, new hi-tech focused company was founded called TopGaN.

Sylvek has published over 400 scientific papers which have been cited over 7,000 times. He is the 2013 Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) Prize Laureate for his work in developing processes for fabrication of the highest structural quality GaN in the world.


In addition to advances in GaN technology, Sylvek and his fellow Unipress scientists have made many important advances in the understanding the high pressure physics of a number of other materials, including other semiconductors, ceramics, high Tc superconductors, biological materials, and metals.

Co-Director and Board Member of the Institute of High Pressure Physics

Kathleen Kash - Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Kathleen Kash is a Professor and Chair of the Physics Department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Her current research interests include the growth and study of advanced semiconductor materials including GaN and InN, heterovalent ternary nitrides such as ZnGeN2 and ZnSnN2, and heterostructures created from those materials.


Before joining Case Western, Kathy was on the Technical Staff of Bell Communications Research, Inc. (Bellcore) where she advanced the science of III-V InGaAsP-based semiconductor nanostructures. Before that she served as a Postdoctoral Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. She received a PhD in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.


Kathy has led several NSF funded programs for supporting and advancing undergraduate women in physics and also has been active supporting STEM programs in Cleveland area high schools.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics

J. Christopher Lynch - Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP

Chris's practice focuses on venture capital financings, private placements, mergers & acquisitions, and intellectual property protection and licensing, primarily for clients in the software, electronics, life sciences, and medical device industries. He joined the firm in 1992 and has worked extensively with technology-based companies in the Research Triangle Park. Prior to that time, Chris practiced at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, the largest law firm in Silicon Valley, where he worked with various technology-based companies.


He graduated from the University of Virginia, receiving his B.A., with honors, and from Harvard Law School, receiving his J.D., cum laude.


Hadis Morkoç - Virginia Commonwealth University

Hadis Morkoç is the Founders Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Professor Morkoç is a world-renowned authority on semiconductor materials, device physics and technology and was ranked 19th among more than 517,100 physicists world-wide in terms of citations and citation impact (number of citations per paper) from 1981 to 1997. Prof. Morkoç has been the recipient of many distinguished awards for his research and many publications in the areas of semiconductors and material science. He was the recipient of the 2002 Virginia Commonwealth University Distinguished Scholarship Award, and the 2005 Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award. He is author or co-author of ~1650 journal articles, 46 book chapters, 62 reviews and popular articles on semiconductor heterostructures and devices, author and/or editor of books on MODFETs and nanostructures, and Nitride Semiconductors and Devices, ZnO and devices – a 3-volume handbook on nitride semiconductors. Prof. Morkoç is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a Life Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Before he joined academia, Prof. Morkoç was a member of the Technical Staff for Varian Associates and at AT&T Bell Laboratories.


Prof. Morkoç received his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, respectively, and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

Founders Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Please reload

bottom of page