Bruce Sparks has been named director of the West Virginia University Office of Technology Transfer effective July 1, Vice President of Research and Economic Development John D. Weete announced.

The level of tech transfer activities at WVU has reached the point that it requires a full-time person in the director position, and we are very fortunate that someone with Bruces experience has agreed to join our team,Dr. Weete said.He is a West Virginian who is very knowledgeable about the business climate and economy of the state.

Sparks served as chief financial officer and vice president of the Anker Energy Corp., and then as its president and CEO . More recently, he has formed start-up companies that have licensed WVU technologies and has worked closely with WVU inventors to commercialize these technologies.

I am looking forward to working with WVU as the director of technology transfer to help create economic development through commercialization of products created by WVU faculty and students,Sparks said.With the WVU Research Park coming on line within a year or so, and the WVU Business Incubator already functioning, WVU is poised to make an even greater contribution to job creation and growing the economy of Morgantown and West Virginia.

Sparks succeeds Bill Pollock who served in a consultant role as part-time director of the office.

Weete also announced that Dusty Gwinn and Dr. Gary Morris have joined the Tech Transfer staff.

Gwinn will serve as a licensing agent. He worked as a technology transfer intern while attending the WVU College of Law. A licensed patent attorney, Gwinn graduated with a law degree in May 2004. He also has a masters degree in business administration and a bachelors degree in biology from WVU .

Morris, WVU professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will work in the office on a part-time basis. Dr. Morris holds several patents, has passed the patent bar and is a licensed patent agent. He earned a doctorate and masters degree in mechanical engineering, and a bachelors degree in aerospace engineering, all from WVU .