Tom Erickson Named Interim Director Of UND Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC)

Tom Erickson, Associate Director for Business, Operations, and Intellectual Property, has been named Interim Director of the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC).  Erickson has been serving as acting director of the EERC.  The announcement was made by UND Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo.

“I am proud to be able to help serve the staff of the EERC, working alongside the leadership team in place,” Erickson said. “This group has been working together for the better part of two decades.  It is my honor to continue work with them to continue leading the EERC through this transition period.”

Erickson’s long career at the EERC began in 1988, when he was first hired as a Research Specialist for the UND Energy and Mineral Research Center. Over the years, he has held many different positions, including Research Engineer, Supervisor for Analytical Research, Research Manager, and Senior Research Manager. From 1999 to 2011, he served the EERC as an Associate Director for Research, where he focused on the development of advanced power and fuel systems from fossil and renewable energy sources.

Since 2011, Erickson has served as Associate Director for Business, Operations, and Intellectual Property, where he oversees activities related to safety, facilities, business functions, and protection and commercialization of intellectual property. The duties and responsibilities of this position are focused on providing facilities, engineering and construction support, accounting services, contracting services, business policies and practices, safe operations, and intellectual property protection and development to enable and enhance the cutting-edge research of the EERC.

“Tom has served in many capacities throughout his career and is highly qualified to lead as Interim Director,” said DiLorenzo. “Under his leadership, the EERC will continue to pursue collaborative opportunities that contribute to the continued success of clients, the EERC, and the University.”

Erickson and the team are committed to developing and enhancing strategic collaborative partnerships, protecting relevant intellectual property, and advancing EERC-developed technologies into the commercial marketplace.

In addition to Erickson, the EERC’s current leadership team consists of John Harju, Associate Director for Research; Deb Haley, Associate Director for Marketing, Outreach, and Administrative Resources; and Erin O’Leary, Interim Associate Director for Business and Operations; along with Deputy Associate Directors for Research Michael Holmes, Ed Steadman, and Chris Zygarlicke; and Deputy Associate Director for Marketing, Outreach, and Administrative Resources Anne Fiala.

“Our leadership team is more committed than ever to exceeding the expectations of our clients and building on the EERC’s nearly $200 million contract research portfolio,” Erickson said. “We will also be very focused on investing in our employees, giving them the necessary support and tools to pursue and grow future research programs.”

Erickson earned both his B.S. and M.S degrees in Chemical Engineering from UND.

The EERC is a high-tech, nonprofit research center at UND. It pursues an entrepreneurial, market-driven approach to research and development in order to successfully demonstrate and commercialize innovative technologies. The EERC currently employs 235 people.


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