Objective and Scope
The objective of the Surface Metrology Laboratory at WPI (Surf Met Lab) is to work closely with industry to address challenging issues in surface metrology, in order to expand the understanding of surface textures - measurement and evaluation, manufacture and evolution, and influence on performance.
More specifically, the laboratory will serve to facilitate joint research efforts by industry and academia.
The challenges facing industry in the field of surface metrology can best be met through collaborative efforts with academic researchers. The partnership between the WPI Surface Metrology Laboratory and industry promotes a collaboration, where academic researchers and industrial practitioners can share and test ideas through research in both environments. The Surf Met Lab's objective will be met through the successful utilization of industrial and academic resources.
Mission and Vision
The Surf Met Lab will be a center of excellence for education and research in surface metrology, serving WPI and our industrial and academic partners. The following are the goals envisioned for the partnership:
- Generate useful knowledge for our partners.
- Conduct research projects in collaboration with our partners.
- Advance measurement and analysis methods in surface metrology.
- Make discoveries that improve the understanding of surface textures for the design of products, processes, and quality control systems.
- Develop the field of surface metrology by disseminating new knowledge and by educating outstanding engineers and researchers.
Industrial partners shall be comprised of producers and users of surface metrology equipment and software. There are two levels of industrial partners: full partners who pay a larger fee and have a vote on the steering committee, and corresponding partners who pay a smaller fee and are observers on the steering committee.
The annual industrial partnership fee can be invoiced and paid annually or biannually to the Surf Met Lab at WPI. The fee structure will be reviewed annually by the steering committee when budget and expenditures are reviewed. The fee will be used to pay for research, and associated laboratory equipment, software, maintenance, professional travel, publications, meetings, support of faculty, staff and students, and other expenses associated with conducting research and with laboratory and partnership administration.
The Surf Met Lab's director is elected by the steering committee. The founding director of the laboratory is Christopher A. Brown.
In the event that there are no full industrial partners, or fewer than three industrial partners in total, then the laboratory director assumes all the powers of the steering committee. The steering committee can meet at the director’s discretion to act in an advisory capacity.
Voting members of the steering committee are the full industrial partners plus the Surf Met Lab director and the adjunct director. Nonvoting members are corresponding industrial partners, members of the advisory group, and academic partners.
Additional nonvoting participants can include faculty, staff, and students invited by the director and adjunct director, and additional personnel of the industrial partners, plus special invitees approved by the director.
The adjunct director, advisory group, and academic partners are nominated by the director and approved by the steering committee. The adjunct director can request reimbursement of travel expenses.
Steering committee meetings shall be conducted in accordance with "Robert's Rules of Order, latest revision." A quorum shall consist of a minimum of two-thirds of the total voting members present in person or represented by proxy.
The steering committee shall meet at least twice each year and have the following responsibilities:
- Select and prioritize research topics for the lab to pursue, based on the input and needs of the lab partners, and on the potential impact that the research results could have for the lab.
- Review and guide the research progress.
- Review and guide the organization of the program for the Surf Met Lab's Annual Spring Symposium.
- Review and guide the research presentations at the Surf Met Lab's Annual Spring Symposium.
- Review and approve all normal business activities such as, but not limited to: budget, administration, policy changes, new members, and strategic planning.
- Review and approve the director, adjunct director, advisory group and academic partners.
- Elect a steering committee chairperson.
- Set dates for Surf Met Lab's Annual Spring Symposium, partnership meetings, workshops, and steering committee meetings.
- Approve and maintain the bylaws.
Amendments shall be made by mail ballot supervised by the director. A two-thirds majority vote of the steering committee at the time of the proposed amendment notice is required to make an amendment. Each voting member must receive the proposed amendment in writing at least 30 days prior to the closing of the vote.
Symposiums and Workshops
A Surface Metrology Symposium will be scheduled in the spring of each year. This symposium will offer presentations by leaders in surface metrology on various current topics relating to the field and to the understanding of surface textures - measurement and evaluation, manufacture and control, and the influence of surface texture on surface performance. Attendance at this annual symposium will be open to all academic personnel connected with Surf Met Lab projects, partner industry personnel, and guests invited by the laboratory director, advisors, and partners.
Laboratory workshops on special topics in surface metrology can be organized as desired by the partners.
Responsibilities of the Laboratory's Director, Manager, and Adjunct Director
The director is responsible for the overall supervision and development of the laboratory. The director's responsibilities include: recruiting new industry partners and academic research staff; communicating with the partners; coordinating with the host institution (WPI); coordinating industry participation in research projects; promoting an awareness of lab activities throughout the industry; promoting the lab to government agencies for obtaining funding; preparing the budget; and maintaining supervisory responsibility of the lab's research projects, staff, and administration.
The lab manager assists the director with his responsibilities and is responsible for maintenance and operation of the laboratory equipment, software and databases, as well as scheduling the use of experimental and computational facilities and databases. An assistant manager can be appointed to assist the lab manager in overseeing activities in the lab.
The adjunct director acts as an advisor to the director, steering committee, and the laboratory partnership.
Patents, Copyrights, Transfer of Technology and Proprietary Information
"Intellectual property" may include any technical information, know-how, inventions, software, copyrights, processes, machines, or any new or useful improvements thereof, whether or not patentable, which is conceived in the performance of lab research.
In the case of intellectual property resulting from research funded by the partnership, the partnership will determine if it has an interest in obtaining a particular patent or copyright. If the partnership has an interest in a particular invention, the director will notify the WPI administration of the partnership interest and direct that the WPI administration proceed with the filing of any patents or copyrights. The cost of preparing and filing any patents or copyrights will be negotiated with the lab partners. The partners (at the time the research was conducted) shall have a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to practice said intellectual property.
There are two types of proprietary information that must be protected during the course of lab activities. The first is information resulting from research funded by the partnership that is of potential commercial value to lab partners, the host institution, and the research faculty, staff, and students. The second is proprietary information provided to lab researchers by individual industrial partners. The following two paragraphs constitute the policy of the lab in safeguarding such proprietary information.
In keeping with the traditional role of universities to disseminate information and to make it available for the purpose of scholarship, the host institution shall have the right to publish or otherwise disclose the results of research funded by the partnership. However, in order to protect the potential commercial value of such research results, all the lab partners shall approve all material prior to disclosure or publication. If the publication of results of the research funded by the partnership is denied by any of the lab partners, then the disclosure shall be delayed for twelve months from the date the material was first presented to the partners for approval. In exceptional cases, a partner can request that the disclosure be delayed for an additional twelve months; however, in no case will the disclosure or publication be delayed by more than twenty-four months.
When members or other individuals, companies or organizations disclose to lab personnel certain information of a technical engineering, operational, or economic nature, which is identified by the disclosure as "proprietary information" at the time of disclosure, a written agreement requesting that said information be maintained in confidence must be executed between the disclosing and receiving parties. This confidentiality agreement must clearly identify the information disclosed and the duration of confidentiality. If a lab partner feels that research personnel or other members are a serious liability because of their attitude toward proprietary information, the partner shall bring this information to the attention of the steering committee, which will take or recommend appropriate action.
Calling of Special Meetings
A minimum of half of the industry partners may call for a meeting at any time, upon giving the balance of the partnership at least thirty days prior written notice of the meeting, specifying the location and purpose of the meeting.
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Last modified: September 07, 2007 15:47:21