Meet Mike Romac: Office of Sponsored Programs Manager and Senior Contracts Officer at Carnegie Mellon University

Mike Romac is the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) Manager and Senior Contracts Officer at CMU. He is responsible for reviewing and negotiating funding agreements related to CMU’s portion of PHDA projects.

Mike RomacWhere did your career begin? What did you do? What were the most important lessons you learned there?

My first job after undergrad was in product and process development for eyewear and optical products. Specifically, I researched photochromic coatings and materials as well as optical-grade adhesives. The most important thing that I learned from the research environment is to explore every possibility and keep an open mind. Research seldom occurs in a linear fashion, and you need to be willing to adapt to new information. This is particularly important when the research results are the opposite of what was anticipated.

Where are you originally from?

Except for a 3-month internship, I have lived in Pittsburgh my whole life.

What led you to the PHDA?

I began working with the PHDA due to my responsibilities with certain CMU faculty members that are participating in the PHDA.

What have been your biggest takeaways from the PHDA?

As a graduate of both CMU and Pitt, I am excited to see how these institutions have worked together through the PHDA. Each institution brings its respective areas of expertise and, through the PHDA, advances new technologies that will benefit the region. I believe that the PHDA sets an example for how these two institutions can continue to work together in the future.

What’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

I’m a lifelong cat owner, currently our clowder (defined as a group of three or more cats) consists of five adopted rescue cats.