Regional Engagement

One aspirational vision presented by our center directors, President, and Board of Trustees was leadership along the entire route of the Hudson River, from the Adirondacks to New York City. This is a role that Rensselaer has played since 1824, when the resources of the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys shaped New York City as a center of finance and trade—and when this region was a hotbed of innovation in transportation and civil engineering. RPI needs to be seen as the “convener” and visibly leading the region to enhance the economy by bringing together all of the key partners.  

Today, our opportunities still reach north to Lake George, and the amazing work being done at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute—as well as south to New York City, where our presence is expanding with our new centers.  Additionally, opportunities like the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 present Rensselaer with the opportunity to deepen our partnership with regional, national, and international businesses to grow the regional economy.  


We need to deliberately amplify the strengths of this region in a way that lifts all boats. As turnarounds in cities throughout the country have shown, university leadership in economic development is key—because, by definition, we are focused on the technologies and industries of the future. These public and private partnerships have shown the power of deliberate strategies to grow regional economies.  As noted above, the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act and its support for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research is a tremendous opportunity and one that RPI and the region must leverage.  Biomedical manufacturing, gaming, and other examples are areas where Rensselaer will play an important role by linking all of the interested parties to bring more industry to the Hudson Valley.  

We need to work closely with regional partners to realize these opportunities—including our neighboring schools, colleges and universities, medical centers, and government and industry leaders. Together, we can advance the Capital Region as an innovation hub.

Chair: Matthew Ter Molen, Vice President, Institute Advancement
Vice Chair: Dennis Shelden, Associate Professor, Center for Architecture Science and Ecology

  • Curt Breneman, Dean, School of Science
  • Robert Carney, Director of Project Management, Planning and Space, Administration
  • Ben Chang, Professor, Games, Simulation Arts and Sciences
  • Asish Ghosh, Professor of Practice, MANE
  • Mary Houghton, Acting Director of Enterprise Information Services, DotCIO
  • Kirk Ives, Director of State and Community Relations, SCER
  • Carla Leitao, Assistant Professor, Architecture
  • Julie Manning, Associate Director of CCPD Employer Relations, Student Life
  • Dawn McCarthy, Director, Alumni Relations, Institute Advancement
  • Lee McElroy, Associate Vice President and Director, Athletics
  • Cameron McLean, Director of Student Activities, Student Life
  • Jack Reilly, Professor of Practice, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Adrian Alicia Roman, Graduate Student
  • Kevin Rose, associate Professor and Acting Director, DFWI and Biological Sciences
  • Kriti Sharma, Undergraduate Student, Class of 2024
  • Pamela Smith, Acting Vice President, SCER
  • Carina Teator, Director of Research Admininstration Finance, Finance
  • John Wen, Professor and Department Head, ECSE

  • With what institutions should we seek to engage?
  • How do we scale up the work?
  • How do we prioritize the key areas of focus? 
  • What are the opportunities where partnership makes the most sense?
    • Research
    • Education
    • Translation
    • Economic Development
  • What is the best way to map the opportunities to the relevant partners?
  • How can RPI build trust with all of the potential partners and be a convener?
  • What are the barriers to RPI being a convener?
Back to top