Dr. Cynthia Hipwell received her M.S. and Ph.D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley, and is currently a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Hipwell is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST). When elected to the NAE, Hipwell was cited for “leadership in the development of technologies to enable areal density increases in hard disk drives.” Areal density in a hard drive refers to the quantity of bits of information that can be stored on the surface area of magnetic disks. Her research interests include nanoscale energy transport and tribology of small-scale devices; surface physics in and sensors and actuators for haptic and human/machine interfaces; and innovation business processes, technology and technology platforms to speed the innovation process.