John Geikler and Michael Miller, both Hokies and experienced with large and small companies, have joined Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. (VTIP) as licensing associates.

“We are fortunate to be able to have two such experienced individuals join our staff,” said VTIP President Mark Coburn. “Their experience with start-up companies, managing intellectual properties, marketing, commercialization, and identifying with university researchers’ needs is a good fit for the services offered by VTIP.”

Geikler, who will be a senior licensing associate working with software related inventions across the spectrum of technology and research strengths of Virginia Tech, comes to VTIP from a position as commercialization manager at RTI International (, where he worked with university and government clients such as NASA to commercialize a broad range of technologies. Previous positions include international postings with IMSL/Visual Numerics, strategic development for Imaging and Sensing Technology; and Westinghouse Electric, where he worked for 10 years, managing international licensing for technologies ranging from nuclear instrumentation to airborne radar.

Geikler has spent more than 25 years working with researchers in engineering and the physical sciences to create successful licensing programs. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and has also studied physics and computer science.

Miller, who will be senior licensing manager working with inventions in the areas of optics and lasers, sensors and instrumentation, energy and environment, and transportation and aerospace, comes to VTIP from a position as chief operating officer and chief intellectual property officer at Prime Research LC, which is located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.

Previously he was vice president of research and development at Luna Innovations Inc. for seven years, including being president and chief operating officer of Luna Nanomaterials. And he was manager of advanced product development for Litton Systems Inc., Poly-Scientific Division, for 16 years. Miller has worked with university researchers, negotiated licenses, and commercialized IP since graduating from Virginia Tech in 1980 with a master’s degree in physics. His bachelor’s degree is in physics and mathematics from Marshall University.

Miller also presently chairs the Montgomery Regional Economic Development Commission and the Montgomery County Industrial Development Authority, and is a commercialization specialist and mentor for National Science Foundation grantees through Defense Capital Networks Inc.

Coburn also reported that Michael Straightiff, a senior licensing associate with VTIP, has returned to Case Western Reserve University to take a similar position. “We wish him every success and appreciate the work he did with us on achieving licensing for some important inventions.”


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