Robert Wilhelm, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been named the executive director of the Charlotte Research Institute.

Wilhelm is a professor of mechanical engineering and engineering science at William States Lee College of Engineering. He has worked at the university since 1993. His most recent position was associate director of the Center for Precision Metrology, an industry and university cooperative research center funded by the National Science Foundation.

The Institute is described by UNCC as its link to the technology and science sectors of the private business company. Its goal is to help forge new partnerships to leverage technology developed at the university.

“UNC Charlotte faculty and research centers are generating significant results that are of immediate interest to regional, national and international businesses. I will work hard to further our already proven record as a results-oriented research university,” Wilhelm said in a statement.

Wilhelm has been interim director since June.

In 2001, he was a co-founder of OpSource, a high-tech manufacturing firm.

A graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in industrial engineering, Wilhelm received a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He also received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1994.