Endowed Chairs

The Technological Leadership Institute’s endowed chairs serve as leaders within our three graduate programs. They are faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, bring high-profile research capabilities and deliver expertise in business and industry.


Allison Hubel, PhD

H.W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership

Dr. Hubel is the director of the Technological Leadership Institute and a professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Hubel has studied both basic science and translational issues behind preservation. She pioneered the use of low-temperature Raman Spectroscopy to understand mechanisms of damage and protection during freezing. Hubel developed methods of preserving cells using combinations of naturally-occurring molecules, which led to the formation of her startup company, BlueCube Bio,  where she also serves as its Chief Science Officer. Dr. Hubel has published numerous scientific articles in the field of preservation and is the author of “Preservation of Cells: A Practical Manual”.

Alfred Marcus

Alfred Marcus, PhD

Edson W. Spencer Chair in Strategic Management

Alfred Marcus teaches strategy, corporate responsibility and risk assessment classes at TLI, while focusing his research on clean tech venture capital and the emergence of economic clusters. He has consulted with numerous major corporations, including IBM, 3M and Xcel Energy, and has published numerous articles and books in his field. He also teaches classes at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.


David H. Nguyen, PhD

Edson W. Spencer Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

David is a former Silicon Valley human-computer interaction research scientist, turned innovation team lead, turned startup founder, turned innovation and entrepreneurship coach, advisor, and mentor. His technical training and expertise are in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, particularly Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp). David holds bachelor's degrees in Cognitive Science and Computer Science from UC San Diego, a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in Information and Computer Sciences from UC Irvine. If asked what his life’s purpose is, he’s currently answering with, “I help people bring great work into the world.”


Judy Pennington

James J. Renier Chair in Management of Technology

Judy is the James J. Renier Chair for Management of Technology at the University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute, where she is also an adjunct professor. She brings more than 30 years of experience in workforce transformation, leadership development, and change management.

Judy was Managing Director and CIO Fellow with Deloitte Consulting, where she also was a member of the leadership team and faculty for the CIO Next Generation Academy. She co-authored several articles for the Wall Street Journal CIO Report, in addition to Deloitte’s 2015 and 2016 Technical Trends report.

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Patria Lawton, MA, MBA, Ed.D

W.R. Sweatt Chair in Technology Leadership Education

Dr. Pat Lawton has an extensive background in higher education and executive level business communications. Pat has taught Communication Studies at the undergraduate level over 15 years and also has a passion for graduate level instruction, teaching managerial communication, risk and crisis communication, and interpersonal and team effectiveness at TLI. Dr. Lawton also serves as the Business Director for the Defense Alliance, an SBA Advanced Technologies Cluster, which accelerates commercialization efforts for technology products and services.

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Marcia Cole, MS

James J. Renier Chair in Security Technologies

As the Security Technologies Fellow, Marcia brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to the realm of cybersecurity and technology. With a distinguished career marked by security training and communications innovation and a commitment to advancing digital security, Marcia has been a driving force in developing and implementing robust security measures for organizations across diverse sectors, including healthcare, advertising, agriculture, manufacturing, finance and software development startups.

In addition to technical acumen, Marcia is a passionate advocate for ethical and responsible use of technology. She understands the importance of balancing innovation with security and is committed to instilling these values in the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.


Mark Sanders, PhD, MBA

Donald Osell - Gemini Chair in Entrepreneurship

Mark’s passion is working with curious people to become inspired and courageous agents of change.  He previously served as the Deputy Director of the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas at Austin; the longest-running technology incubator in the United States. A successful entrepreneur, he founded a technology-led environmental remediation company which was acquired by a national firm.  Following the sale of his company, he spent time at Berkeley Lab in Silicon Valley commercializing technologies while also supporting UC Berkeley’s Lab to Market program.  

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Mark Wehde

James J. Renier Chair in Medical Device Innovation

Mark Wehde is the James Renier Chair in Medical Device Innovation at the University of Minnesota Technology Leadership Institute. He brings more than 35 years of experience in custom medical device development and technology management within a major academic healthcare organization at Mayo Clinic where he is chair of the Mayo Clinic Engineering team. Mark has significant experience teaching leadership, quality systems, business communication, future foresight, and strategic planning.

Tariq Samad

Tariq Samad, PhD

Honeywell/W.R. Sweatt Chair in Technology Management

Dr. Tariq Samad brings more than 30 years of professional experience, leadership and expertise to TLI. His corporate career was spent at Honeywell, where he focused on technology strategy and management, encompassing the end-to-end concept-to-commercialization pathway. He also has substantial experience in research and innovation globally, and works with TLI to pursue research interests in areas such as clean energy, advanced manufacturing and smart cities. Dr. Samad serves as the director of graduate studies at TLI.