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Entrepreneur: Russ was co-founder and Chairman of the Board for nanoManipulator Incorporated, which received an R&D top 100 award for its haptic and 3D graphics interface for scanned-probe microscopes (2000-2013). He also co-founded (VP of Systems) Megawatt Solar, which received $20M in venture capital funding, 2007-2009 and Redbud Labs (2010-, VP of Technology Systems).
Researcher: Russ gained over twenty years of experience developing Virtual-Reality, Real-Time, Interactive 3D Graphics, and Microscopy Control and Analysis systems as a Research Professor of Computer Science, Physics & Astronomy, and Applied Physical Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill. During that time, he managed projects with $10.2M in contract and grant funding as PI (out of $42.5M total as PI or Co-PI). He has published over 120 manuscripts, holds seven patents, and has developed over a dozen open-source tools, the most notable of which is the Virtual-Reality Peripheral Network (VRPN): an open-source library used in research and commercial products around the world. Total downloads for the open-source tools exceeded 100,000 in 2013.
Honors: Russ was named the 2014 UNC Inventor of the Year. He was a White House/Smithsonian Millennium Celebration Panelist in 2000.