Nanotechnology Pioneer James Von Ehr
To Chair Development Board at U. T. Dallas

Panel Is Designed to Help Promote the University

RICHARDSON, Texas (Nov. 18, 2005) – James Von Ehr, founder and CEO of Richardson-based Zyvex Corporation, a leading company in the pioneering field of nanotechnology, has been named chairperson of The University of Texas at Dallas’ development board.

Von Ehr will succeed Dr. H. L. “Skip” Bilhartz, former president of ARCO Exploration and Production Technology, who has led the UTD development board since Aug. 14, 2001.  Bilhartz, who retired from ARCO in 1999, will remain on the board.  The 30-member development board is charged with promoting the interests of UTD in the community and enlisting support, including financial backing, for the university, which was founded in 1969. 

James Von Ehr
James Von Ehr, founder and CEO of Richardson-based Zyvex Corporation, will succeed former ARCO President H. L. “Skip” Bilhartz, Ph.D., as chairperson of UTD's development board.

Von Ehr, who received a Master of Science degree from UTD’s School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 1981 and last year was honored by the university as a distinguished alumnus, has been an ardent and generous supporter of UTD and has served on the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science Industrial Advisory Council and the development board since 2002.  In August of that year, he established and endowed the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology at UTD, which is currently held by Dr. Alan G. MacDiarmid, the 2000 Nobel Laureate in chemistry.  Von Ehr is an invited member of the Nanotechnology Advisory Group to President Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and is a member of UTD’s Research Advisory Board. 

“Jim Von Ehr will make an excellent leader of the development board at an important time in the university’s history as UTD moves to become a legitimate tier-one national research university,” said UTD President Dr. David E. Daniel.  “Von Ehr is a dynamic entrepreneur who understands both academia and the world of business.  I can think of no better person to lead our development board than Jim Von Ehr.  He is extremely talented and is one of the best friends UTD has ever had.”

Von Ehr said he was looking forward to “confronting the inevitable challenges” that would come with his new assignment, and he praised Bilhartz for his service to the university, as did UTD Vice President for Development Marjie French.

“Skip will be a hard act to follow,” Von Ehr said.  “I expect that I will be drawing on his counsel on numerous occasions.”

French pointed out that several new buildings had opened on campus during Bilhartz’ tenure as head of the development board, including a long-awaited home for the largest of the university’s seven schools, the School of Management, and a satellite facility on the Richardson campus for the Callier Center for Community Disorders, which is part of the School for Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  She also said that UTD had gained increased “national recognition” since Bilhartz assumed the board chairmanship.

Bilhartz, who joined the development board in 1995 and replaced Krish Prabhu, former chief operating officer of Alcatel SA, as chairman six years later, predicted that Von Ehr would make an “excellent” development board chairman.  “Jim is extremely focused, determined and committed to UTD,” Bilhartz said.

Zyvex is the second company Von Ehr has started.  In the 1980’s, he founded Altsys Corporation to develop graphics applications for personal computers.  He served as president, chairman and CEO of Altsys from 1984 to 1995, when he sold the company to Macromedia.  He founded Zyvex in 1997. 

Von Ehr earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Michigan State University in 1973.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls nearly 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s website at