Utah Advanced Materials Initiative Chooses New Director

Jeff EdwardsThe Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative announced the selection of Jeffery B. Edwards as its new Executive Director.

UAMMI’s purpose is to accelerate the growth of the advanced materials industry in Utah by connecting industry with academic research, enhancing the supply chain and assisting in workforce development. He began work in the new post on January 2, 2017.

UAMMI was recently established as a non-profit corporation and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of board members from industry, government, education and research communities. Edwards will follow Founding Director Dr. Greg Jones, Associate Director of the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute at the University of Utah, who helped establish UAMMI in 2013.

Mr. Edwards has an extensive background in technology and economic development. He served as President & CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) for 15 years.  During his tenure, EDCUtah helped to bring into the state more than 80,000 new jobs and nearly $3B in new capital investment. As part of that assignment, he worked closely with the aerospace and defense companies to promote Utah as a prime destination for the advanced materials industry. Before joining EDCUtah, he spent the majority of his career in the aerospace and computer industries in both technical and marketing roles. He holds a BA degree from the University of Utah in Chemistry.

“The board is very pleased with the selection of Mr. Edwards from among a pool of very qualified candidates. We feel that he brings a great blend of directly applicable experience and knowledge to the job,” said Darin Friess, Director of Engineering for Albany Engineered Composites and Chairman of the UAMMI board.

“UAMMI and its partners are launching the development of a supply chain tool for the advanced materials industry and looking at new ways Utah can gain footholds into the global advanced materials market.  Jeff is the perfect choice for rallying the industry to accomplish these major goals,” said Greg Jones, Founding Director of UAMMI.

“Jeff’s experience in economic development and his many industry relationships will be invaluable in moving UAMMI ahead,” said Val Hale, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Vice Chair of the UAMMI board.

“Over the last decade, Utah has had much success in growing our aerospace and outdoor recreation industries,” said Jeff Edwards, new UAMMI Executive Director. “These industries get their competitive advantage through the use of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques, many of which have been developed right here in our state. UAMMI’s mission is to promote this advantage of ‘home-grown’ expertise from our industries and universities.”