Strategic Partnership Officer, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab

David Zimmerman, a patent attorney and former physicist who has two decades of experience in transferring innovations from laboratories to the marketplace, was hired by the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in December 2021 to lead a new office: The Strategic Partnership Office. The Strategic Partnership Office works to diversify PPPL’s research portfolio and expand the economic impact of the Lab. As strategic partnership officer, Zimmerman is responsible for promoting collaborations between PPPL and private industry. 

With a Ph.D. in particle physics from Boston University, David Zimmerman began his career in physics research. Drawn to entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary problem-solving, he pivoted to business and eventually law, working for a technology software start-up and a consultancy in intellectual property commercialization; earning his law degree at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark; and then practicing patent and licensing law in law firm and industry settings.

Zimmerman joined the ranks of higher education when he founded and led Rutgers’ first dedicated copyright licensing program. For the three years prior to joining PPPL, Zimmerman was the leader of commercialization activities at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, where his efforts set revenue records.