UAF is Alaska’s preeminent research university. The mission of UAF's Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC) is to encourage broad practical application of UAF research for public benefit to support UAF's research, education, and outreach mission into the future through the following activities:

  • Supporting the education and research mission of UAF by fostering creativity and innovation
  • Encouraging and assisting individuals associated with UAF in the protection, licensing, and commercialization of their discoveries
  • Initiating and sustaining cooperation and collaboration between UAF and businesses and industry, especially those based in Alaska
  • Ensuring the equitable distribution of royalties and other monetary benefits derived from commercial application of intellectual property
  • Advancing economic development objectives for Alaska and the nation

To learn more: info for Inventors | info for Companies

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The Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) Office is interested in your comments, concerns and suggestions regarding its units. All submissions will be sent directly to the acting VCR Assistant, ensuring that your comment is handled appropriately and promptly. Participation is voluntary and you may remain anonymous. Click here to share your thoughts and concerns.


Each year, faculty, staff, and students are selected to serve as Ambassadors to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism as well as OIPC's mission. Ambassadors have some guidelines but otherwise have liberty to explore and develop opportunities they're interested in. Ambassadors also serve as liasion to various colleges and institutes.

Robert "Trey" Coker
Faculty Ambassador

Dr. Robert "Trey" Coker is an Associate Professor affiliated with the Department of Biology and Wildlife and the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Trey’s research interests are focused on the development of condition-specific clinical nutrition to improve health and longevity, especially in the elderly. He is also interested in nutritional provisions that will extend the limits of physiological resilience during physical and environmental stress. 

Trey formed Essential Blends, LLC in 2013, that is headquartered in Alaska. His company leads the state of Alaska in Small Business Innovations in Research/Technology Transfer funding from the National Institutes of Health, and has filed three patent applications on products formulated for use in congestive heart failure, substance abuse and aging. He is a firm believer that scientists should work to transfer knowledge so that vital innovations can solve "real world" problems.

Trey received his PhD in Exercise Science from the University of Mississippi and completed research fellowships at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Copenhagen Muscle Research Center. Prior to accepting his position at UAF, he was an Associate Professor of Geriatrics and the Co-Director of the Center for Translational Research in Health and Longevity at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for over a decade.

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Peter Webley

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.

Eran Hood

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.

Ambassadors serve a one-year term. If you're interested in being an Ambassador, we'd love to hear from you.


Contact us

UAF Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization
212 West Ridge Research Building
PO Box 757265 Fairbanks, AK 99775-7265



Gwen Holdmann

Gwen is the Director of OIPC, and 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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Mark Billingsley
Intellectual Property and Contracts Director

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.

Amanda Byrd
Outreach Coordinator

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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Ky Holland
Technology Commercialization Officer 

Ky is active in the Alaska startup community as a startup founder, investor, and event organizer. Prior to joining OIPC, Ky was contributing to UA technology commercialization efforts as a member of the UAF Intellectual Property Advisory Committee, assisting faculty with investment opportunities, and commercialized technology developed at UAA. Ky brings a depth of academic and business experience. He has been a UAA and APU faculty member, a founding board member of the Launch Alaska business accelerator, co-founder of the Alaska Accelerator Fund, executive director of the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, and has worked over 30 years in industrial product design, operations, sales, and management. Ky is a professional mechanical engineer and earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA in technology management.

A career in business, education, workforce development and investing has developed Ky’s focus on growing Alaska's future value-added economy and opportunities for Alaskans around the state.

The Intellectual Property Advisory Committee

The Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (IPAC) advises OIPC on a full range of matters related to intellectual property and commercialization including whether to pursue a patent for any particular technology. IPAC members serve three year terms. The current IPAC members are Brian Barnes, Scott Bell, Matt Cooper (non-voting member, ex officio), Keith Cunningham, Larry Hinzman (chair, ex officio), Jerry Johnson, Ping Lan, and Eric Swanson.

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