Editor’s note: Charlotte Beat is a regular feature on Wednesdays. Beginning today, Local Tech Wire changes the format of Charlotte Beat and other “beat” stories with the addition of names, faces and other happenings. Know something? Hear something? Let LTW know.Universities have guest speakers just about every day. UNC Charlotte is trying something different – bringing in visitors who also will meet one-on-one with students and educating the speakers about what all’s happening in its blossoming technology program.

On April 24, UNC C’s second Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program and the Valued Partnerships Series will feature Duncan Moore, associate director for technology in the Clinton administration.

Moore will speak about federal priorities in science and technology starting at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Storrs Building on campus. A reception will precede his presentation at 5:30. Both events are free and open to the public.

The presentation is a joint effort between the university’s Charlotte Research Institute and its Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications. It is being made possible through funding from the Duke Energy Corporation and Norman and Natalie Cohen.

Two kinds of exposure

The purpose is twofold. “We want students, faculty and the community to be exposed to Duncan’s knowledge and learn from him, to pick his brain and find out where he thinks federal initiatives and funding will go,” says Michael Fiddy, director of the Optoelectronics Center. “But we also want to leave him with an impression and better understanding of what the campus and center are all about.”

Deborah Clayton, director of the research institute, sees another important aspect of the lecture series. “The vision of the institute is to develop a technology research community here through global collaboration with industry, government and other universities,” she says. “It’s all about leveraging resources, forming partnerships and identifying synergies.”

A varied resume

Moore has a diverse background in the science and technology field. A former entrepreneur, he is currently a professor of optical engineering and biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester. An expert in computer-aided design and the manufacture of optical systems, he served on the review panel that looked into the initial problems with the Hubble Telescope in 1990.

In addition to his presentation on April 24, Moore will meet one-on-one with students, faculty and local educational and business leaders the next day. “We think people will find him entertaining and informative,” Fiddy says.

Although a date has not yet been announced, the next speaker in the series will be Mohamed Elbestawi, dean of engineering at McMaster University, who will talk on issues related to precision metrology. The first program in the series was held in October and featured representatives from the Department of Energy and the Army speaking on federal grant programs.

For more information or to attend, contact: kjford@email.uncc.edu.

Names and faces —

UNC Charlotte will honor Peter Sidebottom with its distinguished service award in a presentation being held today. Sidebottom, managing partner with McKinsey & Co., was an early advocate for the creation of the Charlotte Research Institute and now sits on its board.

Jen Zoghby, who has covered the tech, telecommunications and utilities beats for The Business Journal for the last five years and whose column was a “must read” among many tech execs and entrepreneurs, will be leaving the paper — and Charlotte — next month. She is returning to her hometown of Mobile, AL, where her husband is starting a new job. She hopes to find a writing position there.

During her tenure in the Queen City, Zoghby says she almost got to experience a full economic cycle. “When I started, tech was go-go, and everything was growing and expanding,” she says. “Then things went bad. Now they’re perking up.”

The Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council is expected to name its new executive director next week. Attorney Ashe Lockhart has been serving as the interim director since January. Two finalists were chosen for second interviews from seven candidates who were interviewed this past month from a field of 250 from across the U.S.

Story ideas? News tips? Feedback? Send them to Managing Editor Rick Smith (rick@localtechwire.com)