CAT Governance


CUNY CAT Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (EC) of the CUNY Center for Advanced Technology in Photonics Applications (CUNY CAT) provides oversight of CAT operations and management for the CAT Director and the CUNY Vice Chancellor of Research.

EC members are selected by the CAT Director and the Vice Chancellor.

The CAT Director meets with the EC two times each year to plan and/or review the CAT budget, including project cost share, laboratory costs, and other programs, and proposed activities, staffing, etc.  The EC makes final decisions on the project cost share and match rate for each project.

The following process is used by the EC to exercise its oversight responsibilities for match rates used when it determines project cost share:

  • The CAT Director will provide the EC with an explanation and detailed information on the traditional relationship between allocation of project cost share funds and the performance metrics used for CAT assessment by our funding agency, NYSTAR, the NY State Department of Economic Development, Division of Science, Technology and Innovation.  The Director and EC will develop guidelines for project cost share for the year that are expected to allow the CAT to meet its main objectives of creating economic impact for New York State and serving the CUNY Photonics research community.  The EC will vote and approve the final version of the guidelines as well as the final  match rate for each project.  These guidelines are published on the CAT website, and may include different matching rates for large companies versus small companies, continuing projects versus new projects, projects that are expected to, or have yielded large economic impact, etc.
  • Upon commencement of discussions between the CAT, a company and a proposed PI/CoPI, the CAT Deputy Director will email a request to the PI/CoPI to certify that the project complies with the University’s Conflict of Interest (COI) policy and that a plan for addressing any COI issues has been approved by the appropriate research compliance officer (RCO).  At the start of each FY, each PI/CoPI of a continuing project will be requested to provide the same certification.  No cost sharing funds will be disbursed to a new CAT project subaccount until the CAT has received this certification from the PI/CoPI.
  • In accordance with the CUNY Conflict of Interest Policy, if any member of the CAT Executive Committee is a PI for a CAT project or is a principal of a company with a CAT Sponsored Research Agreement, that member will be recused from participating in any decisions concerning that particular project.

CUNY CAT Executive Committee 

Brooklyn College:

Dr. Lesley Davenport
Professor, Chemistry


Dr. Lucas Parra
Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Alan Lyons
Professor, Chemistry

Hunter College:

Dr. Sean Ahearn
Professor, Dept. of Geography
Director – Center for Advanced Research of spatial Information (CARSI)

NYC College of Technology:

Dr. Pamela Brown
Associate Provost

Queens College:

Dr. Igor Kuskovsky
Professor, Physics

York College:

Dr. Deb Chakravarti
Professor, Chemistry
Director – FDA/York College Partnership


Dr.Vinod Menon
Professor, Physics
Director – CUNY CAT

Dr. Myron Wecker
Deputy Director – CUNY CAT

CUNY CAT Industry Advisory Board

The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) consists of scientists, engineers and executive management with senior level industry experience in areas of technology related to the mission of the CUNY CAT.  Members are appointed by the CAT Director, and serve for a renewable term of two years.  The IAB meets once per year.

The IAB has a critical role in assuring the effectiveness of the CUNY CAT.  Members of the Board, collectively and individually, provide the CAT leadership with current, real-world perspectives on industry’s needs for advanced technology to meet emerging and future requirements for new products and applications.

The Board contributes to the effectiveness of the CAT by identifying new areas for collaboration and by promoting the capabilities of the CAT through corporate communications and at industry events.

In addition, the IAB reviews on-going programs of the CAT to ensure that they contribute to the fulfillment of our mission statement.

Board members provide the CAT with insights and assistance in many areas of planning and operations, such as:
For their industry sector(s):
Identify new research thrusts and applications
Identify forecasted science and engineering workforce requirements
Identify industry trends and challenges
For their company:
Identify opportunities for collaborative R&D
Identify opportunities for employee training (on site and on campus)
Identify opportunities for pre-doctoral student internships
Identify support available for specific research projects and/or technology start-ups
For the University:
Identify job opportunities for graduates
Identify sources of funding for joint research projects
Identify surplus equipment which may enhance our laboratory facilities

The IAB provides perspective and advice and does not make final decisions concerning CAT operations, management or match rates.  Because of this, there is no potential conflict of interest and no recusal process for the IAB.

Membership - Industry Advisory Board 2012-2014
Dan Nolan, Ph.D.
Executive Research Fellow
Corning, Inc.
Francesco Pellegrino, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist
Maritime Systems and Sensors
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Ron Pirich, Ph.D.
Senior Research Advisor
Long Island Forum for Technology
Leonard Poveromo
Executive director, Composite prototyping center
Long island forum for technology

Jeffery J. Puschell, Ph.D.
Principal Engineering Fellow
Raytheon Corp.

Donald p. Waschenko
Technical director, special projects
cobham advanced electronic solutions

Ex-Officio Members:
Venod Menon, Ph.D.
Director, CUNY CAT
Myron Wecker, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, CUNY CAT


All CUNY CAT personnel, including CAT staff and PI/CoPIs of CAT projects, are expected to comply with the University’s Conflict of Interest policy and associated Research Compliance policies, procedures and documents.

Current policies, procedures and documents can be accessed below:

CUNY Research Compliance Policy and Information

CUNY Conflict of Interest Policy and Information

Economic Impact


Economic Impact is the metric used by New York State to evaluate a CAT project.  At the end of each fiscal year (FY), each company with a current or recently concluded CAT project is required to submit a letter to the CAT Director, signed by a company executive, which details the quantitative and qualitative impact, in the preceding year, derived from the CAT project.

Economic Impact (EI) is defined as the benefits accruing to one or more locations of the company domiciled in New York State. If the company has locations in other states or countries, benefits to those locations do not count toward a project’s economic impact projections or reporting. NYSTAR recognizes the following categories of economic impact:

  • New Jobs (#)
  • Jobs Retained (#)
  • Increased Revenues ($)
  • Cost Savings ($)
  • Funds Acquired ($)
  • Capital Expenditures ($)

These categories are defined as follows:

New Jobs

This refers to newly-created positions at the company’s New York State locations which have resulted from the CAT project.

Jobs Retained

This refers to jobs that otherwise would have been eliminated either through staff reductions or relocation of operations out of New York State, but which were retained as a consequence of the availability of the CAT program and the results of the CAT project.

Increased Revenues

This refers to new revenues from increased sales of a new or improved product or service that resulted from a CAT project.

Cost Savings

This refers to savings realized by a company as a result of its work with the CAT. Possible sources of cost savings include, but are not limited to: cost reductions resulting from performing R&D through the CAT, as compared to expenditures that would be necessary for in-house R&D efforts; cost savings from implementation of improved processes that were developed through a CAT project (e.g., reduced manufacturing costs, lower incidence of workplace injuries and worker’s compensation claims, etc.); reduced training costs by hiring a former CUNY student with experience on CAT projects; reduced costs from labor performed by CUNY students participating in a CAT-sponsored internship or co-op program.

Funds Acquired

This can refer to Federal funds acquired by the company through grants and contracts sponsored by Federal agencies, and to private capital invested in the company from a variety of sources (e.g., VC funds, angel investors), as a consequence of its work with the CAT.

Capital Expenditures

This category represents expenditures by the company that will benefit to New York State. If successful implementation of the results of a CAT project will enable the company to acquire or build a new facility in New York State, or to renovate, upgrade and/or purchase capital equipment for an existing facility in New York State, this counts as economic impact under this category.

Methodology for Assigning CAT Project Cost Sharing (“CAT Match”)


At each meeting of the CAT Executive Committee, CAT cost sharing methodology and projections are reviewed. 

For project expenditures in FY 2013/14 (July 2013 – June 2014), the following methodology was adopted:

•  Project match level based on Economic Impact (prior year, or projected for new project)

            High………………………………………….. ›50x CAT match or ›10 NYS jobs

            Medium………………………………….….... 26-50x CAT match or ›5 NYS jobs

            Low…………………………………………… 10-25x CAT match

            N/A……………………………………………. ‹10x CAT match, or no reported EI

• Baseline CAT match rates (as % of company FY expenditures):

            High…………………………..   30% match

            Medium…...................................25% match

            Low…………..............................20% match

Small business add-on…….    +5% match

All projects are eligible for 15% overhead rate.

At the start of each fiscal year, total funding available for project cost sharing (“CAT match”) will be determined, and baseline match rates may be adjusted from those shown.  Continuing and projected new projects will be evaluated based on Economic Impact.  As new projects are accepted asynchronously throughout the year, match rates for projects initiated after the start of the current fiscal year may be subject to budget constraints due to commitments to on-going projects and timing of new projects.

If any member of the CAT Executive Committee is a PI for a CAT project or is a principal of a company with a CAT Sponsored Research Agreement, that member will be recused from participating in any decisions concerning that particular project.