Faculty and Mentors

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Cal Poly Pomona Faculty

Dr. Winny Dong

Program Director

Dr. Winny Dong is a professor in Chemical and Materials Engineering and the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at Cal Poly Pomona. She is the co-founder of the Education in STEM Entrepreneurship (ESTEME) program and the co-founder of the CPP-NASA Technology Assessment Program. Since joining Cal Poly Pomona in 2000, Winny has focused her efforts on creating opportunities where all faculty and students can develop their strengths and engage in innovative, interdisciplinary projects. She is proud to see that some of these efforts have resulted in an improved campus climate and increased access to high-quality education for all students.

Dr. Olukemi Sawyerr

Program Director

Dr. Olukemi Sawyerr is the inaugural Director of the Student Innovation Idea Lab (iLab) and Professor in the Management and Human Resources Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is a founding faculty of the Education in STEM Entrepreneurship (ESTEME), the NASA Technology Screen Assessment, and the Startup NASA programs. She received her Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of North Texas. She has consulted for several organizations including the Ad Sales Division of Comcast, has taught executive education at the University of California Los Angeles’ Collins Center for Executive Education, and has held visiting professor positions at various universities including the University of Texas at Arlington, Hong Kong Baptist University, and Beijing Institute of Technology. Her research interests include strategic entrepreneurship in emerging economies. She has authored publications in multiple journals including the Strategic Management Journal, International Small Business Journal, Journal of Small Business Management and Journal of High Technology Management Research. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences including the University Business Forum sponsored by the European Commission.

Dr. Nolan Tsuchiya

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Nolan Tsuchiya is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Tsuchiya obtained his Ph.D. from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the area of Dynamic Systems and Control. He teaches Control Systems Engineering, System Dynamics, and Computer Programming courses using MATLAB/Simulink at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His research interests include: mechatronic systems, adaptive control, autonomous vehicles, and engineering education. He is currently the advisor for the Baja SAE racing team, Autonomous vehicle project, Hyperloop team, and he is a co-advisor for the ASHRAE club. He holds an active California PE license.

Armstrong Flight Research Center Technology Transfer Office Team

Laura Fobel

Chief, Technology Transfer Office

Laura Fobel is the Technology Transfer Officer at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. She is responsible for working with the center's technology projects and external partners and managing activities to transfer technologies developed at NASA Armstrong to the private and public sectors in the United States for commercialization. Laura also oversees Armstrong’s intellectual property portfolio, including management of new technology disclosures, novelty assessments and patent protection and licensing. During her more than 20 years at NASA Armstrong, Laura has held several lead technical and managerial roles, including IT Security Manager and SOFIA Program Systems Engineering and Integration Lead for configuration, data, risk and information management. She has participated on several agency working groups in the development of agency policies, procedures and requirements documents. Earlier in her career, she worked as a software engineer developing real-time thermal control and simulation software. Laura earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Hawaii.

Earl Adams

New Technology Representative

Software Release Authority

Earl Adams is the New Technology Representative and Software Release Authority at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. He is responsible for managing new technology submissions, managing the use of the New Technology Transfer System, as well as the software release process. Earl is also responsible for new technology reporting and software release training at Armstrong. Earl has worked at Armstrong for more than 20 years where he has served an Electronic Technician in the Operations Avionics Branch designing, installing and maintaining Flight Control and Research Instrumentation Systems on a variety of Airborne and Ground Based Systems.

Samantha Hull


Technology Transfer Senior Analyst

Program Administration

Outreach Coordinator

Samantha Hull is the Outreach Coordinator for the technologies coming out of the Technology Transfer Office. Her current duties include the review of new technologies for outreach opportunities such as NASA Tech Briefs, Technology Opportunity Sheets, the NASA Armstrong Technology Transfer Website as well as participation at conferences and conventions. Samantha received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography with a concentration in Urban Studies and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and a Masters of Science degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Arizona State University.

Janeya Griffin


Technology Transfer Specialist

Licensing Manager

Janeya Griffin is currently the Technology Transfer Specialist contractor for NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. She currently holds a certification in Entrepreneurial Technology Commercialization from California State University, San Bernardino and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Criminal Justice and Chemistry with a concentration in Forensics Science from Grambling State University. Ms. Griffin has consulting experience as a business consultant with the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Crane division, Emerging Growth Enterprise, LLC, as well as Innovation Economy Connect.