Industry & Innovation
The CURF team has a broad background and depth of experience guiding new technologies from concept to commercialization. We are strong advocates for innovation at Clemson University, leveraging our expertise to advance scientific discovery and support university researchers.
MT(ASCP), MS, MBA
Highly respected for his deep understanding of business, research, and product development, Chris works to maximize the societal impact of Clemson University’s research and innovation by facilitating the commercialization of Clemson technology through industry sponsored research and licensing activities.
Chris joined CURF in 2014 as Director of Licensing for technology transfer, becoming Interim Executive Director of CURF in 2017, and assuming the role of Executive Director in 2018. Chris has more than 25 years of experience bringing various technologies from concept to market and working as a new product development and technology transfer specialist for early-stage startups as well as large multinational companies. His leadership is shown in his unwavering commitment to maximizing the societal impact of Clemson University’s research and innovation.
Board of Directors
Tanju Karanfil was appointed vice president for research at Clemson University in February 2016 to steer the university’s research strategy, working closely with faculty and staff at Clemson and with collaborators in industry and the community. Clemson joined the list of the nation’s top research universities as a Carnegie R1 university in 2016, a reflection of its growth in research expenditures across disciplines and increases to the number of doctorate degrees awarded and postdoctoral and non-faculty researchers on staff. Clemson’s performance across all of Carnegie’s metrics have improved under Dr. Karanfil’s leadership since receiving the R1 designation. Total research and development expenditures, for example, are at their highest levels of at least the past seven years at $219 million in 2019. In addition to serving as Vice President for Research, Dr. Karanfil serves and represents Clemson University on several boards and committees, including SC Smart-State, SC EPSCoR, SCRA, Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). A licensed Professional Engineer and Fellow of the International Water Association, Dr. Karanfil currently maintains an active research portfolio, focusing on water quality and improvements to water, wastewater and hazardous waste treatment systems, and serves as a consultant to water and wastewater utilities. He is also the Associate Editor of Water Research, one of the leading international journals on water science and technology. Before becoming Vice President for Research, Dr. Karanfil served as chair of the environmental engineering and Earth sciences department and later as associate dean for research and graduate studies.
Joseph Bailey, PhD
Retired, Research and Development Vice President, Industrial and Electronics Sector, 3M Company
Previously, as COO of Rose-Hulman Ventures from 1999 till retirement in 2005, Brij Khorana assisted in recruiting 40+ entrepreneurs to incubate start-up companies for which he provided oversight to the technical assistance, business assistance and the financial investment. One of the incubated companies was subsequently acquired by another company for $240 million, providing a ~ 10X return on Rose-Hulman’s investment. He provided the vision for and helped raise $55M to establish Rose-Hulman Ventures -- a technology based incubator with a New Product Development Center embedded within it, as part of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana. Brij retired in 2005 from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as the Chief Operating Officer of Rose-Hulman Ventures, and Professor of Physics & Optical Engineering; and moved to Greenville - SC where he is involved in entrepreneurial activities; serves as a Founding Mentor in the Venture Mentoring Service provided to start-ups of the NEXT Innovation Center; has served for 10 years on the Advisory Board of Michelin Development Company, and serves as Chief Scientific Advisor to CECAS and to CU-ICAR.
Angie Leidinger is a senior executive at Clemson University, serving in two key roles. As Vice President for External Affairs, she is responsible for Clemson’s state and federal governmental relations programs and coordinates Clemson’s work with industry to strengthen the university’s economic and industry engagement. As Senior Advisor to the Board of Trustees, she supports the work of the board and facilitates relationships and information sharing with administrators, faculty, staff and students. Leidinger earned a bachelor’s degree in graphics communication from Clemson in 1990 and joined the University in 2002 as Executive Director of Governmental Affairs. She previously worked in government relations at the S.C. Department of Commerce and in the private sector.