About Us

Center ICE Hallway

 Some information about the history of CenterICE


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Mark Billingsley

Patent Guru

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Mark Billingsley has worked in Alaska as an engineer and an attorney. His current position combines both backgrounds to advance UA research and commercialization efforts. Mark also is a registered patent attorney and a member of the Alaska Bar Association.

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Peter Webley

Research Sage

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Dr. Peter Webley is a Research Associate Professor of Remote Sensing in the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, as well as the Associate Director of Research at the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI). His research focuses on natural hazards, especially volcanic eruptions, and the use of remote sensing data from the ground to space and back to map their extent and develop change detection algorithms.

Peter is the Vice-President of UAF’s first start-up, V-ADAPT, Inc., formed in 2013 and has successfully licensed intellectual property, been awarded small business innovation research projects and a US patent as well as been inducted into the State of Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame 2016 – 2017 class. He is a scientist, innovator, and entrepreneur.

Before coming to UAF, Peter was a postdoctoral researcher at Kings College London and developed a remote sensing monitoring system for the volcanoes of Central America. Peter has a BSc in Geophysics and an MSc in Atmospheric Sciences, both from the University of East Anglia, UK and a PhD in Remote Sensing from the University of Reading, UK.

As a research faculty member and the co-founder of UAF’s first startup company Peter works hard to support and advise faculty, staff, and students to develop their ideas, protect their intellectual property, and commercialize their work as they develop into our next generation of UAF entrepreneurs and solve tomorrow’s issues today.

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Amanda Byrd

Communication Blacksmith


Amanda Byrd is the Outreach Coordinator for OIPC. Before working with OIPC, Amanda was the managing editor of Mushing Magazine for three years. In addition to her current role, she is the part-time marketing manager at Goldstream Sports. Her professional education includes a MS in Renewable Energy from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a BS Natural Resources Management from University of New England, Australia.

Originally hailing from Australia, Amanda grew up in Sydney where prior to her college experience she trained race horses there and in Japan. After falling in love with the North American forests through a year-long exchange program to Colorado State University and a summer experience as a Park Ranger in Grant Teton National Park, she moved to Alaska in search of adventure. She is currently a reformed sprint dog musher who enjoys running (but don’t call her a runner) and has participated in Fairbanks' Equinox Marathon several times. Other favorite past times include mountain and road cycling, floating rivers, baking, cooking, and writing.

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Alexis Rhynard

Administrative Wizard

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Alexis joined the Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization in 2018.   She is in charge of purchasing,  helps out with coordinating events & travel, and supports the growing programming now offered through OIPC.  She is thankful to have a wonderful job,  two beautiful & intelligent girls, a giant dog, and a pretty amazing husband.

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Zachary Mason

Resident Swashbuckler

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Zachary Mason is a junior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He comes to us with years of organizational leadership, marketing and public outreach experience. He holds positions on the boards of directors for two local non-profits, and his prior work experience includes retail management, food service, sales, corporate information technology, and elementary technology education.

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Nigel Sharp

Startup Magician

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Nigel is the current Startups and Innovation Manager at the UAF Alaska Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship having just changed role from UAA's Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR). A lifelong entrepreneur, Nigel engages as a mentor, adviser, guest lecturer, and panelist. Prior to this role, he served as the University of Colorado Boulder's GEIR, where he co-founded a University spin-out company which raised venture funding and was accepted into the Techstars business accelerator in 2017. In recent years, Nigel co-founded software companies working on technologies ranging from voice recognition and gesture control to IT Network security. He's spoken at TEDx, judged, mentored or organized 22 Hackathons/StartupWeekends, and started businesses in six countries. He has participated in four business acceleration programs and has raised multiple millions of dollars in Venture Funding, taking his lessons and sharing them through his pledge to #GiveFirst to the community.

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David Park

Project Ninja

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Prior to working at UAF, David worked as an intellectual property attorney for over 15 years with a particular focus on high technology clients, patent procurement, and patent portfolio management. He counseled and developed long-term relationships with engineers and scientists, university technology transfer offices, in-house counsel, and corporate executives alike. Before going to law school, David worked for 3 years as a consultant for an environmental engineering company.  David's professional education includes a JD from the UCLA School of Law and a BS in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). More recently, before moving to Fairbanks, David and his family lived overseas for over 7 years in East Timor, Myanmar, Turkey, and the Republic of Georgia, working with an NGO focused on local education and medical services. While overseas, David also taught at the primary, secondary, and university levels, in subjects ranging from multiplication to middle school science to a survey of intellectual property and internet law. David grew up in Southern California, worked in Los Angeles and Washington DC, and loves all sports. Favorite pastimes include tennis, cycling, and reading.

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Eran Hood

Southern Scout

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Dr. Eran Hood is a Professor of Environmental Science at UAS. Eran's research interests are in Hydrology and Biogeochemistry. Eran is the ambassador for all of UAS including the Ketchikan and Sitka campuses.

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Gwen Holdmann

Local Elementalist


Gwen is the Director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP). Prior to joining the University of Alaska, Gwen served as the Vice President of New Development at Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks. While at Chena, Gwen oversaw the construction of the first geothermal power plant in the state, in addition to numerous other innovative energy projects ranging from hydrogen production to cooling a 10,000ft2 ice museum year-round using 150°F hot water.

Gwen moved to Alaska in 1994, shortly after graduating from Bradley University with a degree in Physics and Mechanical Engineering. Gwen is the mother of three children – Leif, Marais, and Lael. She is married to Iditarod and Yukon Quest musher Ken Anderson, and the couple maintain a kennel of about 50 dogs outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. They live off grid in a house they built themselves, and generate their own power through a combination of solar PV, wind, and diesel generator.

Gwen has been the recipient of several awards throughout her career, including an R&D 100 award, Project of the Year from Power Engineering Magazine, the Alaska Top 40 Under 40 Award.

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Alexander Hirsch

Northern Scholar

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Dr. Alexander Hirsch is the Director of the Honors College and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He holds a B.A. in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Alex’s primary field is political theory. His research interests include political theory, ethics, public memory, transitional justice, indigenous cultural politics, ancient thought and literature, and politics and art.


Center ICE is located in the new Engineering Facility,  4th floor of ELIF, on the University of Fairbanks Alaska campus.


Setup a tour with us by emailing our team at CenterICE@alaska.edu