Richard Tankersley, UNC Charlotte’s vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development, has been named by Gov. Roy Cooper to the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation. The appointment extends until 2024.
The role of the board, administered through the North Carolina Department of Commerce, is to encourage, promote and support scientific, engineering and industrial research applications in North Carolina. In doing so, it investigates areas of emerging science and technology and conducts studies on the competitiveness of North Carolina industry and research institutions--while accelerating the state’s next generation of technology and technology companies.
“As North Carolina’s urban research university, UNC Charlotte plays a critical role in advancing the state’s innovation economy and shaping the development of new technologies—particularly in manufacturing, energy and data science,” said Tankersley. “I’m honored to represent UNC Charlotte and the 17 institutions of the UNC System on the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation at a time when the state’s universities are exploring ways to stimulate and support new technologies, drive new business development and, ultimately, create jobs.”
At UNC Charlotte, Tankersley oversees the University’s research enterprise, which has doubled in scale and productivity over the past five years. He leads a team that promotes disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and grows UNC Charlotte’s research portfolio and infrastructure through strategic partnerships. He has spearheaded several campus projects including Catalyst, a professional development and mentoring program that guides faculty through the application process for research grants from public and private sources.
Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Tankersley was a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has served as a faculty member, administrator and researcher at Gonzaga University, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the Florida Institute of Technology. His research interests include invertebrate behavior and physiology, larval ecology, global change biology, ocean acidification and science communication. As an advocate for STEM education and effective science communication, he helped direct Florida’s Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence and serves as the principal investigator for the NSF Graduate Institutes for Science Communication and Engagement.
Tankersley earned a Ph.D. in biology from Wake Forest University; he holds a Master of Science in Marine Biology from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Wake Forest University.