USTAR Confluence: Where Research Meets Commercialization

On November 3, the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) will kick off its inaugural two-day review of research teams. 

USTAR Confluence: Where Research Meets Commercialization will be held in the auditorium of the James L. Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building: A USTAR Innovation Center at the University of Utah. The symposium will feature talks on commercialization initiatives and services, as well as keynote speaker Stacy Pierce, principal engineering manager for Rockwell Collins. 

Each USTAR team will present for 30 minutes over the course of the two-day symposium. The goal of the USTAR Confluence is to highlight research being done by each team, the direction of the research in the coming year, and the commercialization potential or success of each team to the USTAR governing authority. These presentations will give the USTAR governing authority and staff an opportunity to assess the progress and potential of each research team. 

Attendees of the event will be members of the USTAR governing authority, USTAR researchers, community members and members of academia, industry and government.

“As we approach the USTAR Confluence, we are looking forward to deepening our understanding of the work of our researchers, and integrating talks about commercialization and services available,” said Ivy Estabrooke, executive director of USTAR. “Our keynote speaker, Stacy Pierce, will bridge the academic and commercialization perspectives.”

Pierce, the keynote speaker for the event and recent winner of the Engineering Excellence award from the Women Tech Council, graduated from Utah State University with a composite degree in computer science, math and statistics. She worked for Evans and Sutherland (acquired by Rockwell Collins in 2007) where she developed 3D synthetic environments used for military simulation to train submarine navigators, pilots and tank operators and has an extensive background in research, development and commercialization of simulators. Pierce currently manages engineering teams in both Salt Lake City and Orlando that produce sophisticated simulation solutions for commercial airlines as well as the military. 

An opening night networking reception will be held from 5:00-7:00 pm, which will serve as the venue for poster presentations by students related to the two research universities, University of Utah and Utah State University. In conjunction with the opening night reception and poster session, tours of the Nanofabrication facility will be given. Booth space will be available for Confluence sponsors, industry partners and USTAR outreach services. 

The USTAR Confluence will stimulate entrepreneurial and commercial excitement within Utah while providing researchers the opportunity to share their research and projects. The event will also work to expand the community and provide stakeholders, investors and the public a rare opportunity to engage in the unique work of USTAR. 

For more information, directions to the USTAR building and to register for Confluence, visit