Meet the Panelists


Grace Wang

National Science Foundation

Grace Wang has been the division director of the Industrial Innovation and Partnerships Division at the National Science Foundation (NSF) since February 2012. She joined NSF in June 2009 as a program director for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, and also served as the cluster leader for the Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Cluster in SBIR/STTR programs. Before joining NSF, Wang was a senior development scientist at IBM. Wang is the recipient of many leadership and technical achievement awards. She holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University. 


Steven Schmid 

University of Notre Dame 

Steven Schmid is a professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. He researches and teaches in the areas of manufacturing, metal forming and tribology (including micro- and nanotribology). Schmid is also involved in the design and manufacture of new types of orthopedic implants, and helped establish a research program on orthopedic implant design at Notre Dame. He has co-authored 16 books, including the world's most popular manufacturing textbook, Manufacturing Engineering and Technology. 

Neil Gershenfeld

MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms

Neil Gershenfeld, who holds a Ph.D. in applied physics from Cornell University, is the director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT. His unique lab breaks down boundaries between digital and physical worlds, creating things such as molecular quantum computers and virtuosic musical instruments. Technology from his lab has been used throughout the world, from the White House to rural Indian villages. He is the author of numerous publications, patents and books, and has been named one of Scientific American's 50 leaders in science and technology. He is also the originator of the growing global network of field fab labs that provide widespread access to prototype tools for personal fabrication.