Conference Cameo: Don Takehara

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29, in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. More information at


Who: Don Takehara, Associate Director for Research
Where: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Engineering
Number of years in research development: 14
Length of NORDP membership: 5 years
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2
How do you unwind? Being with good people!

It is mindboggling that 30+ years ago I received my PhD in Chemical Engineering at takehara-donald-180322.jpgNorthwestern. Where did the time go? These years included 16+ years doing R&D at Dow Chemical, 9 years as a professor at Taylor University, and 5 years in the College of Engineering Office of Research at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

At UIUC I work with faculty to help them move forward with their research. This includes faculty development as well as facilitating large, multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary, team science, convergent research efforts leading to centers and institutes.

Building of relationships, collaborating, and networking – this area has been the biggest key to successful research during my entire career. The whole research enterprise would be unsuccessful without this. Not only is relationship-building key for obtaining funding, but it is also key for bringing together the right people, expertise, facilities, support systems, culture, etc.

NORDP is a gem for building key relationships for those doing Research Development. There are many people who have great experience with all aspects of Research Development from many different viewpoints, expertise, experiences, etc. In addition to great sessions where one can learn about various aspects of RD, the NORDP Annual Conference is wonderful for meeting individuals to learn from and collaborate with in the future.

Corporations/industry are becoming increasingly important in the research programs at federal agencies, foundations, etc. As a result, NORDP has an alliance with NACRO – the equivalent of NORDP in the Corporate Relations field. The NORDP Great Lakes Regional Conference will be in Ann Arbor, MI, on Oct. 21, 2019. The interface between research development and corporate relations is being looked at as a part of this conference. This will be a good time to bring research development and corporate relations people together to examine what this interface looks like and how to optimize the efforts. Be on the lookout for more information.


We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. For more information about the conference program, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2019 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.


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