New Appointee Tours Jefferson Lab

Technology secretary getting to know state's assets

By Michael Hines, Daily Press
April 5, 2002

The state's new secretary of technology toured the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility on Thursday, part of a statewide trip the secretary hopes will help him bring better attention to Virginia's technology resources.

George Newstrom attended an event the federal lab tries to conduct every year to honor researchers who have recently earned patents. The visit included a brief tour of the center's accelerator and was mostly a means to familiarize Newstrom with the lab's operations.

Newstrom also visited the NASA Langley Research Center and Hampton Roads Technology Incubator. He planned to attend Tech Night, sponsored by the Hampton Roads Technology Council at the Virginia Advance Shipbuilding and Carrier Intregration Center.

All of it was part of a 60-day, statewide tour to help him better understand Virginia's technology and commercialization prospects. Newstrom's tour eventually will lead him back to Hampton Roads because he plans to visit local universities.

"To me, it's a natural idea that one of my first trips out of Richmond is to this area, " he said. "Right now, I'm still in a questioning mode."

Until his appointment in January, Newstrom was the senior vice president for Electronic Data Systems and oversaw several overseas operations.

Even before being named technology secretary he had visited the area numerous times with different organizations, such as the Virginia Technology Summit and the Virginia Technology Council. While on the council about five years ago, Newstrom worked with Fred Dylla, the lab's technology transfer manager. Though the lab is a federal facility, Dylla said the visits help reinforce how the lab can affect the community and state.

"It's important for the secretary of technology to interact with one of the most important national labs in Virginia," he said. "We want to make sure he understands that this is a place that can help the commonwealth."