National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

NASA Water Initiative Summit at Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) March 21 – 22, 2018

Midwest Region


Water, Water, Everywhere panel: Laurie Stauber introduces facilitator Linda Fowler, Regionerate LLC; Diana Hoyt, NASA Headquarters; Bryan Stubbs, Cleveland Water Alliance; Karen Frost, The Water Council; Trisha Brown, GL Bio; Bill Cumbie, Pancopia; and Ebie Holst, Splashlink.

The NASA Glenn Regional Economic Development (RED) team in partnership with the Cleveland Water Alliance, The Water

NASA GRC’s Mike Hicks and Isaiah Blankson consult with Herb Hannam, Wisconsin MEP.

Council (Milwaukee), Cleveland-based MEP, MAGNET, Milwaukee-based MEP, WMEP, and OAI held a successful tech connect event on March 21.  Welcome remarks were given by Jeff Rolf, OAI, President, and John Sankovic, Ph.D., NASA Glenn Research Center, Chief Technologist.  Companies receiving subject matter expertise consultations included Grande Cheese, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Vortex Companies, LLC, Houston, Texas; LimnoTech, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oatey Supply Chain Services, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.  Facilitation was provided by Herb Hannam and Roger Gehring, WMEP; Joe Vinciquerra, and Mike Pintz, MAGNET, and Eric Baumann, GRC RED team.  Glenn subject matter experts included Tom Doehne, Mike Krasowski, Larry Greer, Norm Prokop, Michael Hicks, Isaiah Blankson, Ray Wade, Marisabel Kelly, and William Meyer.


The purpose of the tech connect event was to provide consultations to companies with an in-house challenge requiring a deep-dive look at their problem using the expertise of NASA researchers and physicists.  The ultimate goal of RED tech connect events is to assist with regional economic development challenges and the eventual creation of jobs in the Midwest and other regions of the country.  This was the first event of this kind to combine companies from four cities, who all have a challenge related to water.  LimnoTech

NASA GRC researchers consult with Vortex Companies at the water summit.

manufactures buoys and has a simple vision: do cool (innovative) things in the newly evolving field of environmental engineering, work with good people, and most importantly, help save and protect the water environment.  Grande Cheese uses tremendous amounts of water each day in their manufacturing process and is focused on positively impact all areas with which they personally interact: their associates, customers, suppliers, dairies, communities and the environment.  Vortex Companies, LLC, deliver advanced trenchless technologies and turnkey services to cost effectively renew water, sewer, and industrial infrastructure.  Since 1916, Oatey Supply Chain Services has provided reliable, high-quality products for the residential and commercial plumbing industries.  Oatey operates a comprehensive manufacturing and distribution network to supply more than 6000 products for professional builders, contractors, engineers, and do-it-yourself consumers.


A panel discussion/GRC Connections event was held mid-day and included: Bryan Stubbs, Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA); Karen Frost, The Water Council (TWC); Bill Cumbie, Pancopia; Ebie Holst, Splashlink; Diana Hoyt, NASA Headquarters Program executive for Regional Economic Development; Trisha Brown, Great Lakes Biomimicry Institute; and moderator, Linda Fowler, Regionerate, LLC.  On March 22, 2018, facility tours were offered to the visiting guests and included the Icing Research Tunnel and the Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory.