Rayla Vilar joined the University of Minnesota's Technology Commercialization office as a Fellow in 2021 after obtaining her PhD in Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University. Currently, she works as Technology Portfolio Manager, managing intellectual property and early-stage technology development for innovations in physical sciences and engineering, including environmental science, industrial biotechnology, and food science.
Rayla has 6 years of experience working in engineering R&D projects both in industry and academia. During her doctoral studies she performed research on biocementation of soils, an environmentally friendly method to strengthen soils through the bio-mediated formation of calcite. During this time, she also participated in the NSF I-corps program as entrepreneurial lead and conducted engineering research projects for several state and federal government agencies. Prior to pursuing her doctorate degree, Rayla worked as a chemical engineer for the Moura Battery Group in Brazil and earned an MBA in project management from the Fundação Getulio Vargas.