Michael Ebinger is currently the Director of the WSU University Center for Innovation. His efforts and interests include commercializing technical research and evaluating the economic feasibility of new ideas and products through marketing research, business strategies, and operations. In 2016, Ebinger has met with 46 potential startups, dedicating more than 8 hours each to 33 of these. His efforts have led to 4 new business starts. Additionally, Ebinger currently teaches courses in the WSU Online MBA program.
In line with his passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, Ebinger plays a crucial role in Spokane’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. He is dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs through his partnership with Startup Spokane where he hosts Office Hours each week. In addition to time spent one-on-one with entrepreneurs, he is a mentor in Startup Spokane’s Mentor Connect program offering his expertise to new startups. Ebinger is also an active member of the Knowledge Network, a conglomeration of many of the support resources available in the ecosystem.
Ebinger graduated from the University of Arizona in 1980 (BA with Honors, Anthropology) and 1984 (MS, Soils, Water, and Engineering); from Purdue University in 1988 (Ph. D. in Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy); and from Washington State University in 2010 (MBA). He joined the research staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1988 and served as staff scientist until 2003. He became Ecosystems Team Lead in 2003 then interim Group Leader and Deputy Division Leader at different times for the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division through 2005. In 2005 he was named Group Leader of the Atmosphere, Climate, and Ecosystems Dynamics Group, a position he held until 2008 when he moved into program development efforts. He left the Laboratory officially in 2013.
As an R&D scientist at Los Alamos National Lab, Ebinger helped to develop a novel spectroscopic analysis of soil elements (carbon, metals, and radionuclides) that employed laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and assisted in climate change measurements. The soil methodology was granted a US patent in 2010 (US 7,692,789); a derivative of this technology is at work on Mars aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover. He leveraged his climate change research into pivotal policy development that was part of the foundation for greenhouse gas verification efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations. This information also formed the initial stages of key national security interests in climate change verification in denied-access territories.
Ebinger remains an active classical musician as a student of viola and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. As an academic, he is developing course material for Professional Science Masters programs on the Spokane and Pullman campuses.
Have a business idea you need vetted or need help with your business plan? Contact Michael for assistance.
Michael H. Ebinger, Ph. D, MBA
Director, WSU University Center for Innovation