Thomas R. Moebus, director of the Industrial Iiaison Program since 1990 and acting director of corporate relations since July 1993, has been named director of Corporate Relations.
The appointment, effective July 1, was announced by Glenn P. Strehle, vice president of resource development and treasurer.
In his new position, Mr. Moebus will work with faculty and senior administration as well as with industry leaders to help coordinate and shape MIT's diverse and evolving relationships with industry. Corporate Relations, which has a staff of more than 50 people and offices in Tokyo and California as well as Cambridge, is the umbrella organization that currently includes the ILP as well as Corporate Development.
"MIT has historically been an innovator in its relationships with industry," Mr. Moebus said. "Today, with the decline of government support, the internationalization of business and research, and the emergence of national technology policies, it is crucial for the Institute to explore creatively new ways to build mutually beneficial ties with industry and government."
During his tenure as director of the ILP, he established a Corporate Advisory Panel consisting of the senior technology executives at 15 US-based corporations. The purpose of this group has been to examine and better understand the barriers to closer ties with industry.
Mr. Moebus has also expanded the role of the ILPbeyond its traditional information and meeting services. Increasingly, the staff of the program is working more closely with faculty to encourage industry to be more involved in MIT research, educational programs and other initiatives.
In recent years, the volume of industrially sponsored research at MIT has risen to $65 million annually, second only to the total volume of the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Looking ahead, I believe Corporate Relations must now reshape and strengthen its service to the faculty of MIT as well as to the corporate community in order to keep MIT at the leading edge of university-industry relations and to ensure the continuing growth of support from industry," Mr. Moebus said.
On August 19, Corporate Relations launched a major new effort to improve the innovativeness and quality of its activities. A two-pronged organizational transformation strategy will encourage full participation of Corporate Relations staff, working in small teams to devise ways to create truly innovative and valuable relationships between MIT's corporate partners and the faculty, as well as to understand and improve the group's basic business processes.
A 1970 graduate of MIT with degrees in materials science and industrial management, Mr. Moebus first worked as a metallurgist for the Wyman Gordon Company in Worcester and then held a variety of leadership positions in public health and education organizations.
He returned to the Institute in 1981 as assistant director of the MIT Associates Program, an on-campus organization-later merged with the Industrial Liaison Program-that sought to build mutually beneficial ties between MIT and small firms. Prior to becoming director of the ILP in 1990, he served as assistant director, associate director and director of Corporate Programs.
A version of this article appeared in the September 8, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 5).