Research Triangle Park continues mission with new leader

November 14, 2011
By Chris Saunders

1320862574-bob-geolas_thumbRobert “Bob” Geolas ’87 has been named new president and chief executive officer of the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina. Geolas comes to the body, which manages the Research Triangle Park, from Clemson University, where he served as executive director of the International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and as associate vice president for economic development.

RTP is the leading and largest advanced research and science park in North America. Geolas is charged with continuing RTP’s place among the elite locations for technology and applied sciences.

“What Bob brings to RTP is a solid understanding of the types of close collaboration among universities and private sector activities that allow each to leverage talent and joint research that will strengthen RTP’s competitive position and enable RTP to continue to  grow and innovate in an environmentally sustainable  way,”  said Bob Ingram, incoming Chairman of the Board Directors of the Research Triangle Foundation. “He has the perfect skill set to lead the Park as we embark on our next 50 years.”

Geolas has spent the last seven years honing those skills with CU-ICAR. He conceived of developing a research campus where academia, the automotive industry and government organizations could work collaboratively on advanced-research technology. CU-ICAR was recently recognized as the Emerging Research/Science Park by the Association of University Research Parks.

In addition to being an NC State alumnus, Geolas also led the university’s Centennial Campus and Centennial Biomedical Campus from 1995-2004. So this is somewhat of a coming home for  him.

“Leading RTP at this critical juncture is an important role for all of North Carolina,” he said in a press release last week. “My entire educational and career experience is an expression of the Park’s original mission to move North Carolina forward by engaging the talents of local universities, their graduates and citizens.”

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