Keynote Speakers



Chris Cornelius, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Iowa State University

Professor Chris Cornelius is the Dr. Thomas D. McGee and Dr. Ick-Jhin Rick Yoon Department Chair in Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University.

He began his academic career at Virginia Tech as the inaugural Associate Director for Research for the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and Technical Director of the Center for Naval System. 

Before ISU, Chris was a Chemical Engineering Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UNL, he served as the Associate Dean for Research, Mid-America Transportation Center Diversity Coordinator, and collaborated with the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, teaching Native students leadership skills and STEM possibilities. 

Prior to academia, he was a Research Engineer at Dow Plastics, running a pilot plant creating metallocene-based polyolefins and elastomers, a 3M Process Engineer managing a non-woven respirator production line, and a scientist at Sandia National Laboratories developing materials for fuel cells, water desalination, and gas separations.


Marvi Matos Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Director of Engineering
The Boeing Company

Dr. Marvi Matos Rodriguez works as Director of BDS Engineering, Mobility & Surveillance P-8 Air Vehicle IPT.

She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, a M.S. in Colloids, Polymers, and Surfaces from Carnegie Mellon University, and an executive MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Matos Rodriguez worked as a postdoc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under a fellowship from the National Research Council. She served as Lecturer in Chemical Engineering and later as a Senior Research Scientist in Bioengineering at the University of Washington. She also worked as an independent consultant in the field of engineering innovations prior to joining aerospace.

Dr. Matos Rodriguez transitioned to Boeing as a Scientist and Engineer. At Boeing, she has served as Thin Films research team lead, as Manufacturing Engineering manager, as Research and Technology manager, and as director of Chemical Technologies, Metals, and Ceramics. She also led the establishment of Design Practices as Director of Engineering, building the powerful Engineering knowledge system, with an ecosystem of engineering functions, technical boards and councils, product family leaders, and business unit leaders.

Dr. Matos Rodriguez worked at Blue Origin, where she led the newly formed Materials and Processes group and later served as director for the Crew Capsule team in the New Shepard Program and as the director for Mechanical Engineering structures, mechanical systems, fluids systems, technical design, and materials and processes. In her capacity as scientist and leader, Dr. Matos Rodriguez has led the development of novel super alloys, thermal protection systems, and advanced manufacturing technologies and has supported rocket launches and rocket engine qualification work.

Dr. Matos Rodriguez is focused on Engineering Innovation and Outreach, currently serving on the National Science Board and at the Washington State Academy of Sciences.



JoAnn Trejo, Ph.D., MBA 
Professor and Vice Chancellor
University of California, San Diego

JoAnn Trejo, Ph.D., MBA is a professor and assistant vice chancellor at the University of California, San Diego.  

She is a first-generation Mexican American scientist raised in Stockton, CA, and is an NIH-funded biomedical researcher, educator, mentor, and leader actively engaged in various initiatives that aim to promote inclusive excellence. She directs the San Diego IRACDA (Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award) postdoctoral program and five NIH-supported programs including the FIRST program that enhance the diversity and success of underrepresented early career faculty. 

Dr. Trejo is the recipient of several SACNAS Outstanding Mentor Awards and is a SACNAS Lifetime Member. In 2020, she received the American Society for Cell Biology Inclusive Excellence Award and was elected as an American Society for Cell Biology Fellow and to the 100 Inspiring Hispanic / Latinx Scientists in America. She serves on the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors for Basic Sciences.

 In 2021, Dr. Trejo was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

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