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Leadership & Technology Managers
Nathan Hoffmann, MBA

Nathan Hoffmann joined the office as a technology manager in 2008, taking on the responsibilities of assistant director in 2013, and more recently, associate director. He manages a portfolio of engineering technologies, with a focus on material science. Included in his portfolio are the innovations emerging from the Rogers research group, which have spun out four new ventures.

Prior to joining the Office of Technology Management, Hoffmann was a training specialist in the Cybersecurity Directorate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He is a United States Navy Veteran and served as a Nuclear Submarine Warfare Officer for seven years.

Hoffmann is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executives Society. He has spoken at professional meetings and has served on special committees focused on improving the efficiency of transactions across academic institutions.

He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MS in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering, and an MBA, all from the University of Illinois.

Michelle Chitambar, Ph.D.
Senior Technology Manager

Michelle Chitambar, PhD, brings to OTM a combination of scientific and business expertise, with experience in many elements of the commercialization spectrum. Michelle previously held positions as a Senior Technology Transfer Specialist and as a Research Enterprise Director and Technology Futurist at Southern Illinois University. She also has experience working for a start-up company and is a registered U.S. patent agent.

Michelle’s portfolio focus is engineering and physical sciences.

Brad Edwards, M.S.
Senior Technology Manager

Brad Edwards joined the OTM in 2007 as a patent coordinator and joined the Technology Manager team in 2012. Prior to joining the OTM, Brad served as a senior chemist and patent coordinator at Chemtura Corporation. He is a named inventor on six U.S. patents and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Brad's portfolio focus is agricultural, animal and crop sciences, food science and human nutrition, and veterinary medicine.
(217) 244-6453

Mariana Lencina, Ph.D.
Technology Manager

Mariana Lencina, PhD, brings to OTM extensive academic experience, working as a researcher on several biochemistry and microbiology related projects. Additionally, she taught a variety of subjects including molecular and cellular biology, physical chemistry and biochemistry. Most recently, she held the position of Lead Commercialization Analyst at OTM.

Mariana’s portfolio focus is healthcare and life sciences.
(217) 300-9209

Kwaku Opoku, Ph.D.
Technology Manager

Kwaku Opoku, PhD, comes to OTM with prior experience working as a researcher as well as in technology transfer within the life sciences industry. Kwaku previously held positions as a scientist at Medtronic; as an Innovation Development Fellow at CoMotion, the University of Washington’s collaborative innovation hub; and as a Licensing Associate at the University of Toledo. He has collaborated with professionals from a wide variety of disciplines to bring ideas and products to market.

Kwaku's portfolio focus is healthcare and life sciences.

Svetlana Sowers, MBA, Ph.D.
Assistant Director and Senior Technology Manager

Prior to joining the tech transfer community 7 years ago, Svetlana worked in software engineering for major corporations including Yahoo! and Motorola, and for a university startup. At OTM, her strategic responsibilities include organizing showcase events, formulating licensing strategies, and managing key external partnerships. 

Svetlana's portfolio focus is on software and other copyright inventions arising from departments across campus and spanning broad areas in engineering and humanities, including patentable algorithms, cybersecurity, visualizations, educational software, mobile apps, and other. 

Jeff Wallace, P.E., MBA
Assistant Director and Senior Technology Manager

Jeff Wallace comes to the Office of Technology Management with more than 20 years of experience in intellectual property management and technical sales and marketing. Jeff worked in the industrial gas business where he was focused on developing and bringing new technology solutions to customers within the automotive, chemical, electronics, food and beverage, healthcare, metals and pharmaceutical markets.  

Jeff's portfolio focus is engineering and physical sciences.

Professional Staff
Tina Anstrom
Office Support Specialist
Todd Creason
Business Manager
Angie Ginalick
Patent Office Manager
Alicia Grant
Account Technician 1
Paola Herrada
Legal Agreements Coordinator
Eric Ives
Patent Coordinator
Heather Jones
Assistant to the Director & Office Administrator
Adam Litteken
Patent Coordinator
Nicole Nair
Senior Assistant Director for Marketing & Communications
Greg Nau
Assistant Director, Finance & Compliance
Liz Schleef
Chief Clerk
(217) 300-2625

Donna Wilm
Legal Office Manager