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DRI Applied Innovation Center attracts Silicon Valley tech-industry expert to Nevada

Knowledge Fund dollars critical to Institute's applied research efforts with industry

RENO – DRI’s Applied Innovation Center proudly announces the addition of Dr. Ming Liu as Technical Leader for Hardware and Software. Dr. Liu joins a diverse team of scientists, programmers and business development experts working to advance the Institute’s applied research opportunities with private-sector and non-traditional research sponsors.

IMG 0834Dr. Liu comes to DRI after more than 18 years working in California’s high-tech industry. His most recent position was Director of Engineering with MoSys, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOSY), a leader in semiconductor solutions that enable fast, intelligent data access for network and communications systems. While at MoSys, Inc. he led an advanced engineering team that developed the company’s high bandwidth serial memory solutions for the international computing and networking market.

“I am really impressed with what’s happening at DRI – and in Nevada,” Liu said. “DRI’s depth of expertise in environmental sciences aligns nicely with my academic background and this is a great opportunity to join a really entrepreneurial team. I am excited to work with DRI scientists bridging the gap between academia and private industry.”

Dr. Liu previously worked for several other high-tech companies including Sandisk Corp., Matrix Semiconductor, Inc., and Motorola. He has a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Brown University. His Ph.D. research at Brown and postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concentrated on kinetics of solid state reactions, rheology of materials and their applications to geological processes.

As Technical Leader, Dr. Liu will apply his formidable skills to a variety of software and hardware engineering solutions in the AIC, including the new WINDS™ (Weather Intelligence and Numerical Decision Support) platform unveiled last month at TechCrunch Disrupt, explained Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., AIC Senior Director.

“Attracting a talented private-sector veteran such as Dr. Liu represents how the Knowledge Fund is fundamentally changing higher-education in Nevada,” Grzymski said. “By aligning DRI’s core scientific expertise with high-tech business needs and integrating people like Dr. Liu with research faculty we are creating the next generation of technology-based research applications and services. We are thrilled to welcome Ming onto our team.”

Supported by the State of Nevada’s Knowledge Fund and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the team of environmental researchers and high performance computing experts in DRI’s Applied Innovation Center are working at the forefront of new approaches to natural resource and urban infrastructure instrumentation, advanced data collection and integrated analysis to support intelligent decision-support systems.

Evolved from decades of data intensive pursuits at DRI, the Applied Innovation Center is leading the Institutes’ technology-based research and commercialization efforts in four key research areas and emerging platforms – Life Sciences and Informatics; Climate, Weather and Energy; Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Remote Sensing; and Engineering and Design.

Support from the Knowledge Fund has helped DRI funded 10 new, full-time positions and helped DRI faculty attract more than $750,000 in external research grants.

For more information about DRI’s Applied Innovation Center please visit

About the Desert Research Institute: DRI, the nonprofit research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education, strives to be the world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada and the world.

About the DRI’s Applied Innovation Center: The Applied Innovation Center aims to aid and improve the new, knowledge-based economy in Nevada by integrating DRI’s core areas of expertise in hydrologic, atmospheric, earth and ecosystem sciences with data analysis and informatics, visualization, modeling and simulation.