Vice President | Interim Dean of the College of STEAM | Chief Operating Officer | O'Pake Institute | Economic Development & Entrepreneurship | 2021
Vice President of Research, Economic Development and Innovation
Chief Operating Officer


Dr. Rodney S. Ridley Sr. is vice president of research, economic development, and Innovation, Founding Dean of the College of STEAM at Alvernia University (AU), and the chief operating officer of the O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at AU. He is a key architect of the Reading CollegeTowne initiative. He is the founder of the O’Pake Student Fellows Program, Business Incubator, Technology Transfer Office, Professional Mentor Program and Micro-Grant Fund. He oversees AU industry and economic development outreach activity.  Prior to joining Alvernia, he was the executive director and distinguished professor of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University. There, he was the founding director of the Wilkes Business Incubator, the Technology Transfer Office, the Industry & Community Outreach Office and a Micro-Grant Fund. In June 2017, he was named “Innovator of the Year” by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.  His professional experiences include chair/director and associate professor in the ABET-accredited Engineering & Physics Division at Wilkes University, engineering director at Velox Semiconductor, vice-president of technology at Data Friendly Inc, and principal engineer and key technologist at Fairchild Semiconductor.

Ridley consults in intellectual property management, entrepreneurship, semiconductors and nanotechnology. He holds 27 US patents and numerous foreign patents and has authored more than 35 journal and conference articles. He volunteers for a number of professional associations, including the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), and in 2019, was honored with an AUTM Volunteer Service Award. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering science and a M.S. degree in electrical engineering from The Pennslyvannia State University, and a B.S. degree in physics from Lincoln University (Pa.).