Sweetwater Energy, Inc., a Rochester NY-based renewable biochemical producer, announced today that Robert Clark, the dean of the University of Rochester’s Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and senior vice president for research, has become the first independent member of Sweetwater’s board of directors.
“Rob is an extraordinary researcher and engineer, and his background in biomaterials could not be a better fit for Sweetwater,” says Arunas Chesonis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sweetwater Energy. “As we grow and expand our biochemical product base, Rob will be key to guiding us in both the production of our materials and in how they can be best utilized in the marketplace.”
“Sweetwater is a company with multiple plays in the marketplace, all coupled to some very interesting science and engineering,” says Clark. “Between my prior board experience and interest in technology companies, this is a natural fit. I have great respect for the management team and look forward to contributing for the benefit of Sweetwater’s investors.”
Clark’s appointment to the board is the latest of several connections between the University of Rochester and Sweetwater. Twenty percent of Sweetwater’s employees hold a degree from the university, and several have mentored students and spoken to classes on its campus.
Clark is an expert in the science of acoustics and in bionanomanufacturing, and his current research focus is aimed at the development of new instruments for the exploration of single-molecule mechanics and for the deposition and control of materials at the nanoscale. His research in these areas has led to more than 100 journal publications and earned him awards including the R. Bruce Lindsey Award from the Acoustical Society of America, the National Science Foundation Career Program Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the NASA Group Achievement Award. He is a fellow of both the Acoustical Society of America and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Robert Clark was appointed dean of the University of Rochester’s Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in September 2008 and senior vice president for research in March 2013. Clark spent the previous 16 years of his academic career at Duke University where he served as senior associate dean of the Pratt School of Engineering and as dean prior to his appointment at Rochester. Clark received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1987 and an M.S in 1988 before joining Michelin Research in Greenville, SC. He later returned to pursue his Ph.D. which he received in 1992.