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About NextFlex

Building the Next Big Thing In FHE

The formation of NextFlex has been a benefit to the rapidly expanding field of Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE).

Formed in 2015 through a cooperative agreement between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and FlexTech Alliance, NextFlex is a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profits and state, local and federal governments with a shared goal of advancing U.S. Manufacturing of FHE. By adding electronics to new and unique materials that are part of our everyday lives in conjunction with the power of silicon ICs to create conformable and stretchable smart products, FHE is ushering in an era of “electronics on everything” and advancing the efficiency of our world.

Meet the NextFlex Leadership Team

Malcolm Thompson, Ph.D.

Executive Director

NextFlex

Dr. Thompson brings over 30 years of executive experience in the display, semiconductor, and telecom industries to his current role as Executive Director of NextFlex. He served as the Founder and Chairman of the US Display Consortium and was CTO at Xerox PARC. Dr. Thompson was also CEO of four startups during his career, raising over $300M: dpiX, makers of digital x-ray imaging systems; Novalux, providers of high power vertical cavity lasers; Vitex, makers of encapsulants for OLEDs; and RPC, manufacturers of touch systems for mobile products. Recent advisory roles include advisor to the National Academy of Sciences for flexible electronics, the Pentagon, and White House Economic Advisory Council; he was also appointed Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum in 2000 and 2001. Dr. Thompson received a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Brighton.

Wilfried Bair

Vice President of Engineering

NextFlex

Wilfried Bair leads the system level project team for NextFlex for Medical, Industrial, Automotive and Aerospace/Defense applications, from system hardware and software design, to prototyping, creating pathways for production ramp and transfer to high volume contract manufacturers.

Prior to joining NextFlex, Wilfried worked on leading edge process development for specialty semiconductors, including: development of the first volume production equipment and process for 50g MEMS sensors (1992), the first SOI bond process and equipment (1996), the smallest non-contact hall effect sensor on chip (2002) , the first digital X-ray imaging ASIC (2004), the first high density TSV based CMOS image sensor (2007), the first high volume ultrathin wafer carrier process and equipment (2009), and the first panel level fan-out process (2015).

Wilfried holds advanced degrees in Manufacturing and Production Planning Systems, Organizational Development, and International Marketing from the University of Linz in Austria.

Eric Forsythe, Ph.D.

Government Program Manager

NextFlex

Eric W. Forsythe is a staff physicist at the Army Research Laboratory. Dr Forsythe is the Team Leader for Display Technologies and is an Associate Program Manager for the Army’s Flexible Display Center. Prior to joining the Army Research Laboratory, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester, in both the Physics Department and the Chemistry Department, where he worked on electronic interfaces and carrier transport in organic light emitting devices in collaboration with the Eastman Kodak Company. Dr. Forsythe received his Ph.D. in Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ in 1996, where he studied Si nanocrystalline based light emitting devices. Currently, Dr. Forsythe’s research activities include, organic based light emitting device for flexible displays, organic based thin film transistors and organic based photovoltaics. He has authored/coauthored more than 45 papers and has given more than 20 invited talks and seminars.

NextFlex Director of Business Development Ed Hendricks

Ed Hendricks

Director of Business Development

NextFlex

Ed has over 20 years of experience in Business Development and managing P&L’s in emerging and diverse markets and technologies for the EMS market. Ed served in a variety of business management positions at Jabil, supporting diverse markets such as distributed energy, solar, water treatment, networking-telecom, data storage, medical electronics, and emerging technologies in advanced interconnect and aerospace. Prior to Jabil, Ed served 10 years in the United States Army in various leadership positions in Military Intelligence, specializing in Counter-Espionage. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Human Factors Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Benjamin Leever, Ph.D.

Government CTO

NextFlex

Benjamin Leever is currently the Acting Technical Director in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Manufacturing & Industrial Technology Division. As Tech Director, Dr. Leever is the principal advisor on internal & external technical programs for the division, and he functions as senior leader for the division addressing strategic planning & execution, definition of organizational & program policy, support for transition of technology, & establishment of appropriate partnerships with industrial customers. He also serves as Government Chief Technology Officer for NextFlex, a $170M public-private partnership established to create a domestic manufacturing ecosystem in flexible hybrid electronics.

Prior to assuming his current duties, Dr. Leever served as the Advanced Development Leader for AFRL’s Soft Materials Branch, leading an external portfolio focused on flexible electronics and biomaterials. He has also previously led a research team focused on the development and modeling of multifunctional materials for structural power applications. Dr. Leever earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Northwestern University.

Dennis Mahoney

Director of Strategic Operations

NextFlex

Dennis Mahoney is responsible for ensuring NextFlex’s successful operation, managing the USG Cooperative Agreement and Federal relationships, creating and executing a comprehensive financial plan and overseeing manufacturing operations, IT, facilities and HR. Dennis brings over 30 years’ experience as a financial executive in life science and technology companies. He has served for 15 years as President and Founder of SequoiaCFO, a financial consulting firm, and as CFO for numerous public and private companies. A CPA, Dennis hold BS and MBA degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

Scott Miller, Ph.D.

Director of Strategic Programs

NextFlex

As the director of strategic programs, Scott is responsible for overseeing US government projects, building relationships with DARPA and the National Science Foundation and building and managing critical relationships with the medical, avionics and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, he was the manager of GE Global Research’s Material System Lab where he led a multidisciplinary team developing and delivering material technologies and processes for GE products and services. Prior, he led GE’s Nanostructures & Surfaces Lab where he oversaw a  multidisciplinary team of researchers in the field of nano-enabled materials, serving GE’s Healthcare, Aviation, Power, and Oil & Gas Businesses. Scott holds eight patents, was the Founding Board Chair of the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC), and is a member of the American Chemical Society. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

Brynt Parmeter

Director of Workforce Development

NextFlex

Brynt Parmeter, a retired US Army Colonel, leads NextFlex’s Workforce Development, Education, and Training programs. Concurrently, Brynt also serves as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for California representing Silicon Valley, and is a member of the Board of Directors for work2future, Silicon Valley’s workforce investment board. He has served in a wide variety of roles in operations, training, and human resources in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, both in peacetime and combat. This experience gave Brynt a deep appreciation for evolving workforce needs, and is a champion for youth and veterans programs that prepare tomorrow’s workforce with 21st century skills in technology and entrepreneurship.

Erica Roman

General Counsel

NextFlex

Erica Roman, NextFlex’s General Counsel, brings over 20 years of experience to this role. Her practice has spanned a variety of environments, from law firms to the U.S. Government, from litigation to transactional law. Her experience is firmly rooted in technology, having practiced with large and boutique law firms in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, including being a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing Group at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper).

Ms. Roman suspended her private practice for several years when she was selected to serve in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. Her duties included addressing multi-agency intellectual property policy matters and amicus curiaebrief positions on behalf of the U.S. Government, in addition to preparing Congressional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

Ms. Roman has deep experience with counseling non-profit technology consortia and other trade groups. She was a member of the original proposal team to secure NextFlex’s funding via its Cooperative Agreement, and has remained a legal advisor to NextFlex since its inception. Ms. Roman was named NextFlex’s General Counsel in November, 2018.

Ms. Roman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate from University of California, Hastings. Ms. Roman is admitted to practice in California as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Karen Savala

Director of Marketing

NextFlex

Karen Savala is responsible for all aspects of marketing at NextFlex, including strategy, brand management and marketing communications. Prior to joining NextFlex, Karen served as the President of the Americas for SEMI where she led a broad number of strategic industry initiatives involving professionals from across the globe. She also launched the association magazine and worked with technical committees developing semiconductor packaging standards. Karen holds a BS in Business Management from San Jose State University.

NextFlex Director of Fab Operations Art Wall

Art Wall, Ph.D.

Director of Fab Operations

NextFlex

As director of fab operations for the NextFlex Technology Hub, Art oversees a range of process tools used in development and prototyping of flexible hybrid electronics development. The tools placed in the Hub are available both to members and for commercial use, and are used for printing, assembly and integration, and test and measurement. Prior to joining NextFlex, Art led many different groups and technologies associated with hard drive products for both IBM and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Most recently Art co-founded and served as vice president at NuvoSun, an innovative photovoltaic company that was later acquired by The Dow Chemical Company. Art earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Minnesota. Art has co-authored more than 30 articles in refereed journals, presented at 16 US and International Conferences, and holds six US patents.

As NextFlex Members, companies large and small are teaming up with academic institutions, nonprofits and governments with one mission ­— to advance the flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing ecosystem in America.

NextFlex Member ACI Materials
NextFlex Corporate Observer-Level Member ALine
NextFlex Honorary Member Blach
NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member Carpe Diem Technologies
NextFlex Equipment Affiliate ConnecTec
Hitachi Chemical - a NextFlex Member
NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member Imprint Energy
Kuprion - a NextFlex member
NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member Lamar Enterprises
NextFlex Tier 2 Member SRG Global
NextFlex Member - University of Colorado Boulder Logo
NextFlex Academic Tier 3 Member University of Delaware
NextFlex Member Vivonics
NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member WL Gore
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