William D. Michalerya, associate vice president of government relations and economic development, has been named president of the University Economic Development Association (UEDA).
UEDA is a national organization of more than 100 universities and their economic development affiliates. Its professional members, who represent the fields of higher education, economics and business, encourage economic development by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and regional higher education partnerships.
Michalerya, who was named to UEDA’s board of directors in 2008, became president in October when the association chose a new board of directors at its yearly summit.
“It’s an honor for me to be elected president of the UEDA,” he said, “but it is mostly great recognition for Lehigh that comes from our peer institutions.
“We’ve won multiple national awards from UEDA over the past five years. My election is the result of all the hard work that was recognized by these awards.”
Consistent kudos for entrepreneurial excellence
In 2011, Lehigh’s Enterprise Systems Center was recognized by UEDA for its Sustainable Manufacturing program, in which student teams collaborate with experienced consultants to help large and small manufacturing companies.
In 2010, the university received UEDA’s Award for Excellence in Technology Commercialization for its entrepreneurship programs. UEDA featured EcoTech Marine, a student spinoff company in South Bethlehem that now has 29 employees.
In 2008, Lehigh won a national award for technology commercialization from UEDA for developing nanoparticles that clean toxic waste sites 10 times faster than traditional methods. The particles were invented by former engineering professor Wei-xian Zhang and commercialized by Lehigh Nanotech LLC with help from Lehigh’s office of technology transfer.
In 2007, the university received UEDA’s Award of Excellence in Partnership Development for working with the Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone to support new businesses that market technologies developed by or licensed through Lehigh faculty and students.
A long record of forming strategic alliances
As associate vice president of government relations and economic development, Michalerya helps secure federal and state research support and develop technology partnerships for Lehigh.
He has also served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance, a state-sponsored research and economic development venture between Lehigh and Carnegie Mellon University. And he has been appointed by the state’s governors to the boards of directors of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority and the Team Pennsylvania Foundation.
Locally, Michalerya holds leadership positions with the South Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. Nationally, he serves on the board of The Science Coalition, a group of 50 universities that promote the federal agenda in science and research. He is a founding member of the Higher Education Committee of the International Economic Development Council in Washington, D.C.
Previously at Lehigh, Michalerya served as vice president and chief operating officer of Competitive Technologies of PA Inc. and as manager of industry liaison and technology transfer for the ATLSS (Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems) Center.
Before joining Lehigh in 1988, Michalerya spent ten years as a consultant and project manager for engineering and technology projects.
Michalerya holds an MBA from Lehigh.
Story by Caitlyn Prozonic '11
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011