François brings diverse experience to McAllister and Quinn from a background of corporate, state government and academic positions, focused on the development and implementation of strategic research and business development initiatives. He joined McAllister and Quinn in 2022, after a five-year career in the Proposal Development Office at the University of Kentucky, where he provided pre-award assistance to faculty in the development and evaluation of individual and large, multidisciplinary proposals as well as guidance on resubmission strategies. Due to his broad scientific background, he served as the central liaison for the areas of Energy, Agriculture, Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA. He has a working knowledge of software used to determine competitive performance metrics that assist university administrators in the delineation of research opportunities.
From 2015 to 2017, François served as Vice President of Business Development for Thermaquatica, Inc., a private, small business spin-off from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Thermaquatica is commercializing a novel process for the conversion of macromolecular organic solids (such as biomass and coal) to low molecular weight, water-soluble chemicals. François participated in the development and management of strategic world-wide partnerships, while working with the CEO in capital acquisition efforts. Additional activities included SBIR grant-writing activities, and grant applications to the Departments of Agriculture and Energy.
François was appointed as the Director of the Illinois Clean Coal Institute (ICCI) in Carterville, Illinois in 2008, after a seven-year period as program manager for the organization, where he supervised projects in clean coal technologies. As Director, François was tasked with implementing strategic goals and priorities of the Illinois Coal and Energy R&D program in six different research areas, spanning the full cycle from mining to end use, including carbon sequestration. While monitoring the technical and financial progress of the projects, he also spearheaded the drive to encourage the creation of small businesses that could develop commercialization technologies from ICCI-funded research projects.