20-Year Optical Sciences and Intellectual Property Expert Joins Tech Launch Arizona

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Kennedy Nyairo. Photo credit: Paul Tumarkin/Tech Launch Arizona

Kennedy Nyairo. Photo credit: Paul Tumarkin/Tech Launch Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tech Launch Arizona, the technology commercialization arm of the University of Arizona, welcomes Kennedy Nyairo, Ph.D., as its new Senior Licensing Manager embedded in the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences

Nyairo has more than 20 years of experience spanning business development, product and portfolio management, product and services marketing, technology commercialization and licensing, intellectual property management, and research and development. 

“I am very excited to join the team of technology commercialization and licensing professionals at Tech Launch Arizona," he said, "and I look forward to working with researchers at the forefront of optics and photonics technology at Arizona's College of Optical Sciences to develop the commercial potential of their innovations”.

Nyairo's areas of technical expertise include computing, optical data storage, telecommunications, eCommerce, and optoelectronics. At the same time, his industry experience covers market due-diligence, patent analysis, valuation, marketing and licensing including assertion, and sale of patent portfolios.

He holds a doctorate in optoelectronics from Cambridge University in the U.K., and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“Kennedy’s technical understanding of optical sciences paired with his extensive experience in IP and commercialization make him an ideal person for this post,” said Rakhi Gibbons, director of licensing for TLA. “We’re excited to welcome him to the team.”

Prior to joining TLA, he spent the vast majority of his career working on the business side of technology management and commercialization, serving in various capacities from IP and operations management to associate vice president; he has served at companies such as Techquity Capital Management, IPValue Management, Inc., BTG International and Intelsat. 

Nyairo will be the latest member of the TLA licensing team consists of experts with deep technical knowledge in each of the UA’s research strengths, allowing them to work closely with faculty, researchers and staff to develop and protect University inventions and move them out into the commercial sphere where they can become products that can address real-world problems, improve lives and create jobs.

He has been brought on to replace Amy Phillips, who has served in the position since 2008 and is retiring at the end of June. Tom Koch, Ph.D., dean of the College of Optical Sciences, is both excited about Phillips’ upcoming adventures as well as the new opportunities opening up with Nyairo’s arrival

“We were really lucky to find Kennedy as our new lead for IP development here in the Wyant College of Optical Sciences,” Koch says. “He’s genuinely a pleasure to work with, and he’s got the perfect background. With all the growth we have ahead in OSC, I think he'll have a great opportunity to continue to increase the impact of our pioneering work.”

TLA has a licensing team dedicated to serving all units of the UA, including UA Health Sciences, the Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Science, the College of Engineering, and the Wyant College of Optical Sciences. 

“Our licensing team is one of the best in the nation,” says Gibbons. “as the newest member of our team, Kennedy joins the ranks of our staff dedicated to helping our faculty, researchers, graduate students and staff explore options to increase the impact of their work though commercialization.”  


Paul Tumarkin
Sr. Manager, Marketing and Communications