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10-08-2015

Walter Robb Elected Clarkson University Trustee

Walter L. Robb, president of Vantage Management Inc. of Schenectady and management consultant, has been elected to the Clarkson University Board of Trustees. He will serve on the internal affairs and development committees.

Walter L. RobbRobb is currently a trustee of Union Graduate College, which will merge into Clarkson in 2016. As a UGC trustee, Robb played an important role in bringing the two internationally recognized institutions together. Clarkson will begin to offer graduate degrees in January in the Capital Region with programs in business, engineering, education, health and science, creating a global network of more than 40,000 alumni.

Robb served as General Electric Company's senior vice-president for corporate research and development and a member of the company's corporate executive council from 1986 to 1992, directing the Schenectady-based GE Research and Development Center, one of the world's largest and most diversified industrial laboratories.

Before that, Robb was general manager of GE Medical Systems, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisc., for 13 years. He directed that organization's growth into the world's leading producer of medical diagnostic imaging equipment, building it into a billion-dollar-plus-per-year advanced technology business with a total of approximately 10,000 employees worldwide.

Robb joined General Electric 1951 as a chemical engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, where he performed research on nuclear fuel reprocessing and isotope separation. In 1956, he transferred to the GE Research Laboratory (now part of the Research and Development Center), where he developed advanced membranes. In 1962, he was named manager of the center's chemical process branch.

He was appointed manager of research and development at GE's Silicone Products Department in Waterford, N.Y., in 1966; manager of the GE Medical Venture Operation in 1968; and general manager of the Silicone Products Department in 1971. In 1973, he was named general manager of GE's Medical Systems Division in Milwaukee and, the following year, was elected vice-president of the company. In 1983, he was named senior vice-president and group executive when Medical Systems was elevated to group status.

Robb holds 12 patents dealing with permeable membranes and separation processes, and is the author of many articles in professional journals. His research won him six I-R 100 Awards, sponsored by Industrial Research magazine, for the most significant new technical innovations of the year.

He is an investor in a dozen local start-ups and a co-founder with Union College President Roger Hull of “U-Start," Schenectady’s high-tech incubator. He was also an owner of the American Hockey League's Albany River Rats.

Robb is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Philosophical Society.

He received the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton for his leadership in the CT and MR imaging industry and is the first recipient of the Medical Technology Leadership Award presented by the Diagnostic Imaging and Therapy Systems Division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Robb is a recipient of Penn State's Distinguished Alumni Award and the “Executive of the Year” award by the Capital District Business Review, and is a Business Hall of Fame inductee of Northeast New York Junior Achievement.

He served on the boards of directors of Celgene Corp. and Cree Research, and presently is on the boards of Mechanical Technology Inc., Check-Cap and other private high-tech companies.

Robb recently published a book, titled Taking Risks - Getting Ahead in Business and Life.

He received his bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and his master of science and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois. He holds an honorary doctor of engineering degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Robb and his wife, Anne, reside in Niskayuna, N.Y. They are the parents of three sons and have five granddaughters.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/wrobb.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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