A seasoned executive with more than 30 years experience in the strategic management of energy, defense and power utility system projects with federal agencies and private corporations will guide West Virginia Universitys Advanced Energy Initiative.

Curt M. Peterson, vice president for research and economic development and president of the WVU Research Corp., announced the appointment of Terri L. Marts to the position of interim director of the AEI .

WVUs decades of energy research experience established an uncommon platform from which to launch our even more ambitious AEI agenda,Peterson explained.Dr. Martsvast experience and network of contacts are ideally matched to the task of moving AEI forward so that WVU plays a vital role in working to secure the energy independence of America.

Interim WVU President C. Peter Magrath announced at the governors coal forum in December 2008 that the University would be securing the services of a top executive to help guide the AEI and its suite of energy and environmental programs.

Marts comes to WVU from URS Corp.s Washington Defense Group, now a part of the EG&G Division of URS in Arlington, Va., where she served as president of WDG , a $650 million engineering design, procurement, construction and operations maintenance business serving the federal government worldwide. Martsexperience includes execution of projects and programs for URS through the U.S. departments of Defense and Energy.

Helping our nation with its goals to become energy independent in an environmentally prudent manner is critical,Marts said.I am pleased to be part of this strategic initiative and to build on the legacy of success at West Virginia University. WVU has ambitious plans for research and development, and I am pleased to be part of the team.

Other highlights of Martscareer:

  • vice president and general manager of the Electro-Mechanical Systems Business Unit of Curtiss Wright Corp.
  • vice president and general manager of the Electro-Mechanical Division of Washington Group International
  • president of Source W, a communications company involved with digital media and printing
  • leadership positions with Westinghouse Electric Corp. specializing in marketing, finance and administration, engineering, manufacturing, quality assurance and strategic planning

Marts received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in information systems and communications and a masters degree in business administration, both from Robert Morris University.

Research personnel from throughout the WVU campus were involved in the evolution of AEI beginning in November 2007 whenenergy inventory requestswere sent to faculty, and an energy planning workshop took place in December 2007. An AEI internal planning committee consisting of research deans and other campus representatives was formed in January 2008. The committees work on the targeted interim director search began immediately after Magraths December announcement and was augmented with input from the WVU Research Office, the Presidents Office and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The AEI vision is for WVU to evolve into an internationally recognized energy research institution and to pioneer conscientious approaches to energy independence, creating influential innovations. Marts will help lead research efforts of the AEI that will enable WVU to:

  • expand and refine its state-of-the-art research infrastructure, while continuing to attract the best and brightest undergraduate and graduate students and faculty
  • solidify its reputation among the ranks of preeminent public research universities engaged in energy and environmental research
  • offer exciting interdisciplinary educational and research experiences to undergraduate and graduate students that endow them with skills for careers as leaders in the energy field
  • elevate its capability to compete for new research funding through productive partnerships with industry, government agencies/laboratories and other research universities
  • create and disseminate critical data and recommendations on pressing policy issues for use by state and national policymakers
  • capture knowledge-based economic development opportunities that improve peoples lives and the regions economy

The AEI is a component of the WVU Research Trusta coordinated response to the opportunity made possible by the state of West Virginia through the Research Trust Fund, also known asBucks for Brains.