Donald H. Sebastian, Sr. PhD, senior vice president for research and development at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) received the “Academia Award” from Strengthening the Mid-Atlantic Region for Tomorrow (SMART), at the organization’s annual awards banquet held in Wilmington, Jan. 5, 2007.
“This award recognizes Dr. Sebastian’s leadership supporting SMART since its inception, including his chairmanship of the tech trends conference sessions in materials and composites, formation and support of the modeling and simulation cluster and hosting of SMART forums in Newark,” said Thomas Kingston, managing director, SMART Board of Directors.
“As global competition heats up, the US needs to build regional collaborations such as SMART just to stay in the game. It’s not about red-states versus blue-states, but the red, white and blue states maintaining a position of leadership based on innovation and productivity building the nation’s defense and economic base,” said Sebastian. “That’s why we have been supporters of SMART since it started.”
Sebastian is responsible for the solicitation, development and implementation of large-scale technology research and development projects at NJIT. He develops partnerships with industry; oversees the university’s 26 research centers; and manages governmental affairs, business incubation, intellectual property and contract projects across the spectrum of NJIT’s programs.
Sebastian is executive director of NJIT’s Homeland Security Technology Systems Center. The state designated this center to be New Jersey’s primary homeland security consultant for technology evaluation. Sebastian oversees the development of prototypes for integrated homeland security systems for testing, demonstration and training.
Sebastian joined NJIT in 1995 as a professor in the department of industrial and manufacturing engineering, and was later appointed executive director of the Center for Manufacturing Systems. He developed the successful proposal to create a statewide assistance program under the National Institute for Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension program and continues to serve on the board of trustees of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.
Sebastian previously served 18 years on the faculty of Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, where he received the Henry Morton Distinguished Teaching Professor award. He received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from Stevens. An internationally recognized scholar in polymer process and product design, Sebastian has authored more than 60 technical publications.
SMART is based on businesses and individuals who have a goal of increasing the share of research and development funding coming to states in the Mid-Atlantic region. The SMART umbrella is designed to add value by channeling these initiatives into intra-regional partnerships that will have a synergistic benefit to two or more member states.
The organization’s activities include meetings, technical fairs, symposiums and more plus providing assistance in obtaining funding through government and private means. The SMART organization seeks to identify emerging technologies for exploitation in the region, to expand the influence of the region nationally and internationally, and to attract new business to the nation and region through its technology clusters. The organization supports a congressional caucus committed to assist in the achievement of these goals.