The Florida High Tech Corridor Welcomes Jennifer McKinley as Matching Grants Research Program Director at the University of Central Florida

April 29 | news

Jennifer McKinleyORLANDO, Fla. (April 29, 2022) – Jennifer McKinley joined the Florida High Tech Corridor as director of its Matching Grants Research Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she brings extensive experience in high tech industry, academic research, public-private partnerships, industry-academic collaborations and new company creation.

In her role, McKinley will drive applied research between the region’s high tech industry partners and top-rate faculty and student researchers at UCF, continuing the success of a program that has generated more than $1 billion in downstream economic impacts since inception in 1996 and resulted in countless successes, such as the hiring of student research participants, commercialization of new products, generation of new patents and stronger company positioning to attract federal funds.

Previously, McKinley managed business development for the physical sciences at UCF’s Office of Technology Transfer, where she specialized in evaluating physical sciences and engineering technologies for patentability, partnership opportunities, commercialization and early-stage business ventures. She has broad technical and market knowledge in the fields of analytical and inorganic chemistry, ion and electron beam instrumental analysis, semiconductor manufacturing, and optical materials engineering.

Prior to joining UCF, McKinley worked at Lucent Technologies, supporting manufacturing engineers and process innovation with Bell Labs researchers in the Analytical and Diagnostic Labs. She also has entrepreneurial experience as a co-founder of two successful startup ventures: NanoSpective, a company focused on nanoscale materials characterization primarily to provide scientific evidence for intellectual property assertion, and IRadiance Glass, a research and product development company for infrared optical materials.

McKinley has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science and Engineering from UCF, and she carried out her graduate research within CREOL, UCF’s College of Optics and Photonics. In 2015, McKinley received the UCF College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnights award based on her continued support of UCF and her professional accomplishments, service and success. She spends time encouraging students in science and engineering fields through speaking engagements and mentoring programs, supports various entrepreneurial micro-loan initiatives and is committed to several nonprofit organizations focused on women, children and education.

About the Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor)

An economic development initiative of three research universities – the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and the University of Florida – The Corridor converges and catalyzes the capacity of high tech, innovation and bright minds across a 23-county region to generate a global ripple effect that advances the lives of people in the communities it serves. Powered by an ethos of collaboration, The Corridor aligns opportunities and resources in academia, industry and economic development to unleash the region’s exponential potential.

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