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Technical Advisory Board- Biographies


Meet our Technical Advisory Board

In addition to our staff, we are supported by our Executive and Technical Advisory boards, which advise and help guide the activities of the Institute. Our Technical Advisory Board (TAB) assists in guiding our research projects. Strategic Partners have a position on both the TAB and the Executive Advisory Board (EAB).

Clark Cummings

R&D Director, ICM and Strategic Accounts, Packaging & Specialty Plastics and Hydrocarbons R&D, Dow 


Clark Cummings is currently the R&D Director in Packaging & Specialty Plastics and Hydrocarbons at Dow with responsibility for intellectual capital management and strategic accounts. In this role, he provides strategic leadership for the creation, management, and monetization of intellectual capital for P&SPH. Prior to his current role, Clark was in Packaging and Specialty Plastics R&D with responsibility for New Business Development and Value Chain activities.


Clark joined Dow in 1987 on the research assignments program.   He has held multiple R&D leadership roles within businesses covering a wide range of markets including engineering thermoplastics, pharmaceutical actives and intermediates, pharmaceutical excipients and packaging materials.   In addition, he also served as a Program Director in Dow’s Corporate R&D team where he was responsible for driving effectiveness and urgency of leveraged R&D capabilities that enable innovation growth for Dow.

Dr. Matthew Daum

Director, School of Packaging, Michigan State University


Matthew Daum, Ph.D., is the director of the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Packaging in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).


For the past twenty-five years, Daum has worked at HP Inc. (formerly Hewlett Packard) based in Boise, Idaho. Since 2016, Daum has been HP’s Director of Engineering for the LaserJet toner supplies business. He was responsible for new product research and development, current product engineering, supplies security strategy and product/package serialization strategy and implementation. Since July 2019 he also held the position of Product Marketing Director for the LaserJet supplies business.


He began his career at HP as a Packaging Engineer and eventually moved into management roles including Packaging, Supply Chain and Big Data Global Analytics. Most recently he held executive manager positions in Product Marketing and Product Research and Development for the HP LaserJet supplies business.


In addition, since 2007 Daum has served as adjunct associate professor at Clemson University in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences where he advises graduate students. He has also guest lectured on the topics of supply chain and packaging at Clemson and the College of Idaho.

Katherine Franz

Katherine Franz

Executive Director, The Axia Institute, Michigan State University


Katherine A. Franz is the executive director of the Axia Institute. She is a proven industry executive with extensive global experience in operations, engineering, quality and multi-operational assignments. She has, in her prior work at various Fortune 10 companies, including GM, Ford and GE, led billion-dollar global operations through start-up, turnaround and growth modes to achieve world-class levels of performance.


She has lived in many locations and traveled extensively throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, and North and South America. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University and an MSA in business administration from Central Michigan University.

John D. Hatfield

Director of Marketing and Communications, The Axia Institute, Michigan State University


John D. Hatfield is the director of marketing and communications at the Axia Institute, where he is responsible for developing marketing and communications strategies for the Axia Institute, a premier research and education facility dedicated to developing effective and sustainable solutions to improve public and private value chains.


Mr. Hatfield has extensive marketing and branding experience in the financial and professional services industries, and joined Axia from Chemical Bank, where he was senior vice president and director of Marketing. In addition to his brand building experience, he has extensive web and direct marketing expertise.


Hatfield earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and a master of business administration degree from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Shrabani Jain

VP of Product Management at Catalia Health


Currently, Shrabani is the VP of Product Management at Catalia Health (a leading healthcare management provider, delivering lasting patient engagement for chronic care management). In addition to serving as a strategic advisor to multiple startups, she is also a recognized industry speaker in the areas of Digital Transformation, Supply Chain and Innovative technologies. She is passionate about improving health outcomes, and improving patient and physician experience with innovative solutions.


Shrabani possess a successful track record of leading initiatives leveraging edge technologies and platforms around Data Management (big and little data), Analytics – predictive and prescriptive (artificial intelligence, machine learning, enterprise analytics), Digital (mHealth, IoT, mobile apps) CoC/I – Chain of Custody / Identity (Blockchain) and Platform / Cloud( Iaas, Paas, SaaS, DaaS). She has led interactions with global and regional clients providing accelerated solutions and thought leadership for business and operational challenges. Finally Shrabani has led several C-suite driven strategic initiatives for innovation and operational excellence in Fortune 20 companies.


Shrabani has BS in Finance, Post-Grad in Computers and Executive MBA in Strategic Management.

Daniel Reaume

Vice President of Operations Research, Revenue Analytics, Inc.


In his role, Dan leads a world-class organization in designing and developing advanced predictive analytics and optimization algorithms tailored to unique business needs. With a background in operations research, technology management, and law, Dan provides guidance and direction for improving modeling practices, setting technology direction, and deepening expertise in key practice areas.


Dan also serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering and as an advisory board member for Michigan State University’s Axia Institute for Value Chain Research and for the Wayne State University Business Analytics program.

Dr. Joan Rose

Professor, Co-Director of the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment, Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research, Michigan State University


Joan is an international authority on water microbiology, water quality, and public health safety, and she co-directs both MSU’s Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment (CAMRA) and its Center for Water Sciences (CWS). Water quality studies today tend to focus on the indicators of pathogens, but Joan’s work targets actual threat agents such as viruses, mapping water quality and health risks in waterways throughout the world.


Her global activity includes investigation of waterborne disease outbreaks and the study of water supplies, treatment, and reclamation. Her applied research interests include study of microbial pathogens in recreational waters and climatic factors impacting water quality.

Dr. Swaminathan Subramanian

Business Development Director, The Axia Institute, Michigan State University


Swaminathan Subramanian, Ph.D., is the director of business development at the Axia Institute, where he is responsible for cultivating corporate partnerships and supporting research efforts, innovation and growth of the institute’s research portfolio.


Dr. Swami Subramanian joins the Axia Institute from Eaton, where he served most recently as a senior innovation specialist, having been with the company since 2011. Swami has over 16 years of experience in both research and industry roles. He is experienced in securing research funding, having been awarded over $15 million by the U.S. government for white space explorations. Prior to Eaton, Swami worked for Argonne National Laboratory and supported Department of Energy (DOE) funded programs.


Swami earned a Master of Science by Research in Internal Combustion Engines from Anna University, as well as a Ph.D. in Advanced Combustion Engines (Emissions and Fuel Economy) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Jeffrey Tazelaar

Digital Fulfillment Center Director, Dow

Jeffrey Tazelaar is the Digital Fulfillment Center Director on the Supply Chain Innovation team at The Dow Chemical Company. Jeff has extensive experience in software solutions and AutoID/RFID systems through work experience ranging from the largest retailer to systems integrators deploying solutions for the Department of Defense, CPG, Automotive and Food value chain participants.


Mr. Tazelaar holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in Packaging from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. He also studied overseas at the University of London, where he analyzed and contrasted the British/European and United States packaging systems.  He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Packaging from MSU with a focus on the measurement and justification of corporate digital programs.

Dr. John P. Verboncoeur

Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering, Michigan State University


Dr. John P. Verboncoeur currently serves as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the MSU College of Engineering. He is a professor of both Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. He has been involved in several technology startup companies, including the development of one of the big three consumer credit reports. He is also on the board of directors of the American Center for Mobility national proving ground for connected automated vehicles.


Dr. Verboncoeur is a fellow of the IEEE and was awarded the IEEE NPSS Richard F. Shea Distinguished Member Award in 2018, and the IEEE NPSS Plasma Science and Applications Committee Award in 2019. He serves on the U.S. Department of Energy Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. Dr. Verboncoeur received a B.S. (1986) in Engineering Science from the University of Florida, M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1992) in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley (UCB), holding the DOE Magnetic Fusion Energy Technology Fellowship.

John Wassick

Fellow, Supply Chain Expertise Center, Dow 


John M. Wassick is the Integrated Supply Chain Technology Fellow in the Integrated Supply Chain Innovation Center. He has primary responsibility for external engagement and intellectual property strategy. In his 40 years at Dow, he has extensive experience in all aspects of control and optimization of chemical processes. During his career, he has served in technology leadership positions in Manufacturing and Engineering, Research and Development, and Integrated Supply chain.


John has strong ties to academic researchers, and he has numerous publications. He has been recognized twice by Computers & Chemical Engineering as the author of a most cited article and was a co-author for the 2014 Best Paper Award from the same journal. John received the 2014 Computing Practice Award from the Computing and Systems Technology Division of the AIChE.