NextFlex Recognizes All-Stars of Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Fellow awards acknowledge individuals who go above and beyond to push FHE development toward manufacturability and commercialization

MONTEREY, Calif.--()--Six individuals who are at the forefront of the flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) mission were acknowledged for their efforts at this year’s FLEX conference during the second annual awarding of the NextFlex Fellow Award.

The winners were hand-selected by NextFlex for their work in advancing the use of FHE in manufacturing, research, government, education and military applications, as well as workforce development.

This year’s NextFlex Fellow Award winners are:

  • Jim Huang, Research Scientist, HPE Labs
  • Joseph M. Kunze, President and CEO, SI2 Technologies
  • Terry Sandu, Director, Talent and Business Innovation, Lorain County Community College
  • Suresh Sitaraman, Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Tech
  • Geoffrey A. Slipher, Research Scientist, US Army Research Laboratory
  • Richard Vaia, Director, Functional Materials Division, AFRL

This year’s award recipients have proven to be exceptional advocates for the advancement of FHE in their fields,” said Dr. Malcolm Thompson, executive director for NextFlex. “Their leadership as well as their outstanding contributions to NextFlex demonstrate their commitment to innovations in the FHE industry.”

These individuals have proven to be tireless allies in NextFlex’s ongoing quest to usher in the new age of electronics everywhere, by transplanting electronics boards and tags onto flexible substrates that can be attached to a variety of surfaces – even the human body. In addition to recognizing these all-stars’ accomplishments, the awards acknowledge that working together alongside fellow NextFlex members will greatly increase the rate of innovation in the FHE space, as well as collaboratively overcome challenges to commercialize FHE products.

About Flexible Hybrid Electronics

FHE gives everyday products the power of silicon ICs by combining them with new and unique printing processes and new materials. The result: lightweight, low-cost, flexible, conformable, stretchable, and highly efficient smart products with innumerable uses for consumer, commercial and military applications.

About NextFlex

NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, is a leading force in the Manufacturing USA network of Institutes. Formed through a cooperative agreement between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and FlexTech Alliance, NextFlex is a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profits and state, local and federal governments with a shared goal of advancing U.S. manufacturing of FHE. Since its formation in 2015, NextFlex’s elite team of thought leaders, educators, problem solvers, and manufacturers have come together to collectively facilitate innovation, narrow the manufacturing workforce gap, and promote sustainable manufacturing ecosystems. For more information, visit and follow NextFlex on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.


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