Two hands shake over a wooden table with business charts laying on top.

New Director to Form Partnerships that Support Industry, Boost UA

A black and white photo of a man in a white shirt.
Dr. Patrick Mendez

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A new role at The University of Alabama under the Office for Research and Economic Development is charged with creating transformational partnerships that combine outcomes from impactful research with the critical technology and workforce needs of industry.

Dr. Patrick Mendez has been tapped as the director of strategic research partnerships and consortiums. He began Aug. 1. Mendez brings more than a decade of experience in project management and empowering organizations through long-term, innovative, and scalable solutions while influencing research strategy.

In his current position, Mendez is tasked with creating a vision and positioning strategic partnerships and consortiums across each of UA’s signature research themes with an initial focus on water, transportation and life sciences.

Mendez’s role originated from the Office for Research and Economic Development’s five-year strategic plan to develop strong partnerships with external stakeholders, especially industry, with the dual goal to increase the number of sponsored projects while creating career opportunities for UA students through those partnerships.

“ORED’s ambition is for UA to become the ‘go to’ university for industry. We seek to accomplish this by developing and maintaining sustainable partnerships, and by offering solutions to solve complex problems,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, vice president for research and economic development. “These activities will create more opportunities to recruit and retain students and alumni in the state.”

The goal of a targeted focus of joining research and innovation on campus with industry sectors critical to the continued growth and competitiveness of the state’s economy is creating technologies that lead to job creation and growth through existing and start-up enterprises while enhancing Alabama’s ability to attract industries.

“The research and economic development enterprise at UA has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years. This growth has been fueled by enhanced engagement with external partners, especially industry, that share a common vision for economic progress across the state of Alabama,” said Dan Blakley, associate vice president for economic and business engagement. “I’m thrilled that Patrick is joining our team at this time of unprecedented growth and opportunity to further support the creation of external partnerships that lead to transformational impacts for Alabama. Patrick’s background and experience will be a tremendous asset to UA as we launch this initiative.”

Mendez most recently served as strategy and capture manager at the Palo Alto Research Center, Inc. in Palo Alto, California, where he designed and executed processes to translate technology innovations into high-impact strategic partnerships with the United States Department of Defense, NASA and other federal agencies.

Mendez received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Scranton and a doctorate with a focus in experimental psychology from Keiser University. He served in the U.S. Army for four years, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.


Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328,