Manufacturing Brown Bag Seminar Series: Don McConnell

Event Details

Tina Guldberg

(404) 385-4950



Summary Sentence: Don McConnell is this week's speaker for the popular Manufacturing Brown Bag Seminar Series.

Full Summary: GT Executive Director, Industry Research, Don McConnell is this week's speaker for the popular Manufacturing Brown Bag Seminar Series.

The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) is proud to present Don McConnell, Georgia Tech Executive Director, Industry Research, on Monday, Dec. 2, for GTMI’s weekly Manufacturing Brown Bag Seminar Series. To be held in Room 114 of the Manufacturing Research Building, McConnell's presentation covers "Georgia Tech’s Office of Industry Research - Enhancing Industry Engagement."


Don McConnell serves as Georgia Tech’s Executive Director of Industry Strategy and Commercialization in the office of Dr. Steve Cross, the Georgia Tech Executive Vice President for Research and as an Associate Director for Industry Research and Commercialization at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. He joined Georgia Tech in October, 2012 having served as a consultant to GTI and GTRI over the last 18 months focused on enhancing and expanding the scope and economic impact of research for industry.

Over the last 30 years, Don McConnell served as a senior executive and officer of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the leading independent research and development organization with annual research revenues of $6.5 billion. His career spanned the full spectrum of research, development and deployment of innovations for government and industry. Over his career at Battelle, he held a number of leadership positions of increasing responsibility, retiring in 2012 as a Corporate Senior Vice President leading one of Battelle’s four global businesses.

Highlights of Mr. McConnell’s career included the following.

  • Joining Battelle in 1981 as Director of the Battelle Petroleum Technology Laboratory in Houston Texas, he led a laboratory dedicated to frontier oil and gas production, including deep offshore and deep sour gas production systems.
  • He joined Battelle’s Columbus Ohio Laboratory as the Vice President and General Manager of the Design, Materials and Manufacturing Division with responsibility for the full spectrum of R&D for industry and government with a particular focus on expanding Battelle’s product development and limited manufacturing efforts for the defense intelligence communities as well as the energy, automotive and medical products industries.
  • Subsequently, appointed as Battelle’s Senior Vice President for the Commercial and Industrial Technology Division, he was responsible for the Battelle’s technology development and commercialization efforts. He established Battelle’s energy, medical product, automotive and consumer products businesses, returning over $4 million in annual earnings to Battelle’s research and charitable purposes.  His operating units spanned the Columbus Ohio, Pacific Northwest, Geneva-Switzerland and Frankfurt-Germany labs, linking these laboratories into joint initiatives targeted on expanding and enhancing the market impact of innovations from these labs. During his tenure as the SVP for the Commercial and Industrial Technology Division, he served as the Chair of the Battelle’s venture fund, Battelle Innovation Partners, serving as a Board member of several Battelle spin-out ventures. Most notably, he led Battelle’s successful efforts to monetize Battelle’s joint venture with Mitsubishi and Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, Photonic Integration Research Inc. (PIRI), a manufacturer of photonic multiplexing and splitters. PIRI was sold for cash and stock valued at $2.2 billion.
  • Don joined Battelle’s Laboratory Management Global Business and was asked to lead the Energy, IT and Materials Division of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as an Associate Director of the lab. During his tenure the laboratory doubled its energy research volume and initiated two national energy programs that spanned several national laboratories, academia and industry.
  • Rejoining Battelle Corporate Operations as a Corporate Senior Vice President, he assumed the role of the Chief Operating Officer for the Laboratory Operations Global Business. In this capacity he had responsibility for the corporate leadership and oversight of the operations of the Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, National Renewable Energy, and Idaho National Nuclear laboratories.  He also instituted and operated the Energy Science and Technology Initiative that linked the $975 million annual research volume in energy across the five national labs managed by Battelle as well as Battelle’s own labs. Recognizing the scope of the Battelle Energy and Science Initiative, Don was asked by the Under-Secretary of Energy to chair the DOE-wide Laboratory Working Group initiative to assess the DOE energy science and technology program portfolio. For the following five years, the assessments of this program were used by the Office of the Secretary as the basis of the annual budget development process.
  • Following the assignment as COO of Battelle Lab Operations, Don was asked to develop a new Battelle international energy business unit focused on commercial business penetration in the US, Middle East and Far East. Highlights of this effort included the development of an energy laboratory strategy for PETRONAS, the Malaysian national energy company and the development of a national energy laboratory development strategy for the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE).

Following his retirement from Battelle in 2011, Don founded and ran the Tarrington Group LLC, an energy and technology strategy consulting network that has developed and implemented major program and proposal strategies for universities, national labs and industrial firms. Through the efforts of the Tarrington Group with Georgia Tech, Don became engaged with the Institute in revamping the strategy for the GT’s Strategic Energy Institute to gain national recognition and growth in the volume of energy science and technology research. This strategy has been adopted and extended by Georgia Tech as part of the overall strategy of the Institute to develop enterprise wide interdisciplinary research initiatives.

Throughout his career, Mr. McConnell has served the communities in which he has operated. He served for 12 years as the Chair of the Board of Ohio Dominical College and has served as a member of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Board and as the Chair of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute for the last 15 years.

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brown bag, don mcconnell, industry engagement, manufacturing
  • Created By: Tracy Heath
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Nov 18, 2013 - 11:57am
  • Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 - 5:23pm