Biography

James Conley is clinical professor of technology at Northwestern University. He serves on the faculty of both the Kellogg School of Management and the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. He is a faculty contributor in the Kellogg Center for Research in Technology & Innovation and serves as a Faculty Fellow at the Segal Design Institute (NU IDEA). At present, he is also serving as a Visiting Professor in the chair of technology and innovation management at the WHU in Germany. Beyond academia, he is an appointed member of the United States Department of Commerce Trademark Public Advisory Committee of the Patent and Trademark Office. Professor Conley’s research investigates the strategic use of intangible assets and intellectual properties to build and sustain competitive advantage. Research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, NASA, FAA, NIST, the Department of Defense, Motorola, Daimler-Chrysler, the OECD and others.
Professor Conley teaches courses on Innovation Process Management, Intellectual Capital Management, and other related subjects to both graduate student and executive education audiences. Beyond Kellogg and Northwestern, he serves on the visiting faculty of Kellogg partner institutions such as the Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management at the WHU in GERMANY, the Schulich School of Business at York University in CANADA, and at the Keio University Business School in JAPAN. He served as the General Electric Foundation Professor and the Pentair-Nugent Professor of Manufacturing and Business Leadership from 1994 to 2000. Professor Conley’s scholarship is informed by professional practice. In 1994, he founded Syndia Corporation together with the late Jerome Lemelson and entrepreneur Roger Hickey. In addition to being an inventor (7 issued US patents and others pending), Conley through Syndia has grown and acquired a portfolio of intellectual properties that Syndia licenses to many entities in Asia, North America and Europe. Additionally, he serves as a Principal at Winnemac Consulting, LLC. Before joining Northwestern in 1994, he spent seven years at the Ryobi Limited Group of companies (link) in JAPAN with management responsibility in product engineering and product development. There, he led substantial Ryobi product innovation programs for both automotive and consumer durable products. He is conversational in the Japanese language.

Awards and Honors

Professor Conley is a recognized expert and thought leader in the areas of intellectual property, intellectual capital, innovation, and design engineering and his work explores the strategic use of intangible assets and intellectual properties to build and sustain competitive advantage in firms. In addition to being recognized as Best Teacher and Faculty of the Year at home and abroad, his publications have been honored with “Best Paper” commendations from the American Foundry Society, the Society of Automotive Engineers, The Rapid Prototyping Journal and others. In 2013, Professor Conley was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors which currently has 414 members from around the world representing their universities and non-profit research institutes. He was recognized as an inventor with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and as a scholar dedicated to advocating intellectual property rights at Northwestern University. He also resides on the editorial board of the international journal Technology and Innovation – Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors® published by Cognizant Communication Corporation.

Recent Honors/Recognition

  • Northwestern University 2014 & 2015Faculty of the Year selections in 2014 and 2015 in Master of Product Design & Development Program
  • World Intellectual Property Organization 2013Invited Author for WIPO White Paper on Patents and the Public Domain in Geneva, Switzerland
  • WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management 2013Best Teacher Award in Master of Science Program
  • National Academy of Inventors® 2013Charter Fellow of National Academy of Inventors® inducted on February 22 2013
  • Kellogg School of Management 2011 & 2012Kellogg Certificate of Impact recipient for teaching Intellectual Capital Management in AYs 2011 & 2012
  • United States Department of Commerce 2008-2012Appointed to serve on the United States Department of Commerce Patent and Trademark office advisory
                                                                                                             committee (TPAC) August 11, 2008 to August 2nd again from September 3rd 2009 to September 3rd 2012
  • World Patent Information 2012Recognized reviewer of Elsevier Journal
  • Alexander vonHumboldt Foundation 2008-2011Selected as Alexander vonHumboldt Foundation Transcoop Fellow, Bonn Germany
  • Northwestern UniversitySelected as 2007 Professor of the Year (also in AY2004), Master of New Product Development Program

United States Patents

  • U.S. Patent #6,165,616 December 26, 2000
    Synthetic diamond coatings with intermediate bonding layers and methods of applying such coatings Co-inventor: Jerome Lemelson DOWNLOAD / VIEW
  • U.S. Patent #6,099,976 August 8, 2000
    Synthetic diamond overlays for gas turbine engine parts having thermal barrier coatings Co-inventor: Jerome Lemelson DOWNLOAD / VIEW
  • U.S. Patent #6,083,570 July 4, 2000
    Synthetic diamond coatings with intermediate amorphous metal bonding layers and methods of applying such coatings Co-inventor: Jerome Lemelson DOWNLOAD / VIEW
  • U.S. Patent #5,786,038 July 28, 1998
    Synthetic Diamond Layers Having Wear Resistant Coatings Formed in situ and Methods of Applying such Coatings Co-inventor: Jerome Lemelson DOWNLOAD / VIEW
  • U.S. Patent #5,714,202 February 3, 1998
    Synthetic Diamond Overlays for Gas Turbine Engine Parts Having Thermal Barrier Coatings Co-inventor: Jerome Lemelson DOWNLOAD / VIEW
  • U.S. Patent #5,688,557 November 18, 1997
    Method of Depositing Synthetic Diamond Coatings with Intermediate Bonding Layers Co-inventor: Jerome Lemelson DOWNLOAD / VIEW
  • U.S. Patent #5,616,372 April 1, 1997
    Method of Applying a Wear Resistant Diamond Coating to a Substrate Co-inventor: Jerome Lemelson DOWNLOAD / VIEW
  • Published U.S. Patent Application #0087380 A1 July 4, 2002
    System and Method for Ameliorating Subcontracting Risk Co-inventor:W.Wang and J. T. Scarry DOWNLOAD / VIEW