R. Lee Cheatham to be the new executive director of the Washington Technology Center

For Immediate Release: August 4, 1998

Seattle – R. Lee Cheatham, president of The Strategic Projects Group, a start-up software company located in Sandy, Utah, will become executive director of the Washington Technology Center (WTC) effective August 24, 1998. He will succeed Robert Center who retired following six years as director.

Cheatham comes to the WTC with 20 years of experience in technology collaboration and high-tech research. He has a proven track record ranging from running a software start-up, to managing a large textiles industry consortium involving software developments that transfer applications to the marketplace. Cheatham has global experience in fostering interactions of industrial research and development laboratories under a variety of government, consortial and university sponsorships. He’s a member of Who’s Who in Optical Science and Engineering, and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

“We are delighted that Lee has agreed to be the next executive director of the WTC,” said Pat Quarles, chairman of WTC’s board of directors. “He follows Bob Center, who has been a major contributor to the current success and direction of the WTC. Dr. Cheatham is an excellent choice with comprehensive consortia experience, a solid industrial background and strong management skills. It is especially appropriate for the WTC that he is particularly interested in identifying and developing research with start-ups and small business that have direct applicability to Washington’s economic vitality and diversity.”

Cheatham has B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering (1978, 1981), and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering (1984) from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania. From 1985 to 1995 he was an adjunct professor in communications theory and systems analysis at Washington State University – Tri-Cities. Over that same period, Lee held several senior management positions at Battelle-Pacific Northwest Laboratories. Before founding The Strategic Projects Group, Lee was Vice President of Ameritech Library Services, a software division of the $14 billion Ameritech Corp., with key library accounts at Indiana University, The University of Chicago and 14 countries around the world.

Washington Technology Center was established by the Legislature in 1983. WTC is a cooperative industry-university enterprise designed to foster private and federal investment for commercially-promising research and technology development in the state. WTC has groups in advanced materials and manufacturing systems, biotechnology, computer systems, microelectronics, and a new initiative in mico-electro-mechanical-systems.

Besides encouraging the long-term economic growth of Washington state through high-technology development, WTC provides educational opportunities for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in high technology research. WTC projects offer students exceptional experience in working with industry leaders in research and development.

In a two-year funding cycle, the state appropriates approximately $7 million to the WTC for commercially promising research and technology development stemming from research universities of the state. In the past, each state dollar has been matched externally by Washington industry, the federal government, foundations and other organizations at a ratio of over $6 for each $1 from the state.

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