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Rob Smithson

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Rob Smithson is a proven, innovative business leader, with extensive experience in building high performance teams, business growth financing, and strategic planning and execution in organizations ranging from venture-backed start-ups to Fortune 50 corporations. He has held positions in the aerospace, robotics, factory automation, automotive, and sustainable energy industries. Duties have included global product design & development, new business development, manufacturing engineering, strategic planning, technology roadmaps, engineering management and organization building, investor relations, fund raising, P&L responsibility, budgeting, new technology assessment, and commercialization of new technologies.

Rob holds more than 150 U.S. and international patents. He was a cofounder of three startup companies between 1991 and 2003, all three of which are still operating and enjoying commercial successes, having raised a total of more than $150M in angel, venture, and strategic investor capital. He has advised, evaluated, and coached numerous other early stage companies and aspiring entrepreneurs.

His education includes a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, he holds an Executive M.S. in Technology Commercialization (named Outstanding Graduate) from the McCombs School of Business and the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. He has also completed substantial graduate coursework in physics. He was named a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, International in 2009, one of only ~600 members in the SAE’s 100 year history to achieve this honor.