2007 Early career award: Matthew Laudon

// Mechanical Engineering

Tags: alumni, Engineers' Day, Matthew Laudon, ME E-Day

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Matthew F. Laudon
Cofounder, Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization
Co-founder and executive director of business development, Nano Science and Technology Institute
MSME ’93, PhDME ’96
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Matt Laudon grew up near the University of Missouri, which he attended for his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. While there, he read a magazine article about advances in microtechnology, a field that focuses on small high-tech advances, from microphones to air bag sensors. The story highlighted work by UW-Madison engineers, and since Laudon’s grandfather was a UW-Madison professor (and several other family members had attended the school), he investigated it as a possible fit for his own graduate work.

A visit to the school helped Laudon decide. He completed master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison before taking jobs with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, Motorola in Los Alamos National Laboratories, and several Boston-area startups that focused on micro- and nanotechnology commercialization and partnership development.

Laudon since co-founded several companies, including the Nano Science and Technology Institute, a worldwide nanotechnology community providing nanotechnology, scientific, commercialization and investment events, courses and consulting; and TechConnect LLC, which brings together university tech-transfer offices and early-stage technology companies with corporate business developers and venture capital investors. Most recently, he started the non-profit Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI), which aims to advance the commercialization and global adoption of clean technologies and sustainable industry practices. To meet these objectives, Laudon works with a community of industry, academic and government leaders who are committed to a safer, cleaner and more productive world.

Laudon has published more than 30 technical publications and patents in topics that include nanotechnology, semiconductors, microsystems and optics.

He is married to Sylvia Avulah-Laudon, an engineer who is currently in medical school. They have two children (both born in Madison); son Avinash is 13 and daughter Nina is 11.

While his work and child-rearing occupy much of his time, he occasionally rows on Lake Quinsigamond, near his home in suburban Boston. “Rowing has saved me a couple of times on the east coast,” Laudon says of a sport that is popular with many young professionals in the Boston area. “I’ll be in meetings with guys from Harvard and MIT, and they’ll joke, ‘He’s from the University of Wisconsin. But they have a good crew team, so he’s OK.’”