A memorial service will be held at 5:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Stanford Faculty Club for Jon C. Sandelin, who worked at the university for more than three decades, most recently at the Office of Technology Licensing.

Sandelin, who was 72, died March 18 of myelofibrosis at his home in BridgePoint at Los Altos.

Those who would like to attend the memorial service should contact his family at rememberingjonsandelin@gmail.com.

Jon Sandelin, who was a longtime employee of the Stanford Office of Technology Licensing, was remembered as a great mentor. (Image credit: Courtesy Jessica Jacobson)

Sandelin, who earned an MBA at Stanford Business School in 1968, returned to the university in 1970 to become the financial officer of the Stanford Computer Center. Later, he served as the center’s associate director.

Sandelin joined the Office of Technology Licensing (OTL) in 1984, a time when the office had only three employees. (Now it has more than three dozen.)

As a senior licensing associate at the OTL, Sandelin was responsible for licensing all forms of intellectual property, including inventions, computer software and university trademarks.

“Jon was instrumental in establishing good working relationships with many of our licensees in the early years of the office when we were just starting to grow,” said Katharine Ku, OTL’s director, and a colleague of Sandelin’s since 1984.

“In particular, Jon worked closely with General Electric Co. to enable broad research and licensing relationships at Stanford. As the licensing associate responsible for physical science inventions, he identified the commercial potential for carbon nanotubes, the scanning acoustic microscope, laser/optical inventions and atomic force microscopy.”

Sandelin also oversaw a licensing program established in 1987 to manage trademark licensing and other commercial uses of Stanford’s name and emblems – on caps, T-shirts and other items. (The Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs now oversees that program.)

“Jon will be fondly remembered for not wearing shoes in the office, for his independence, his love of travel and his athletic prowess at tennis and golf,” Ku said. “He never liked to go out to lunch because that was his time to exercise. He said he felt more refreshed after exercising – and that’s how he got through afternoons.”

After converting to “emeritus” status in 2003, Sandelin combined two loves – travel and talking about technology licensing – by serving as a strategic consultant to governments, universities and 
non-profit research institutions in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

In spring quarter of 2010, Sandelin gave a talk, “Technology Transfer and Start-Up Company Creation at Asian Universities: Malaysia as an Example,” to students enrolled in “Entrepreneurship in Asian High-Tech Industries,” a seminar series offered by the Stanford School of Engineering.

“Jon was a great mentor and truly cared about helping the organizations, governments and individuals for whom he consulted to develop positive and productive technology transfer policies and practices that would avoid the mistakes so often found in such frameworks,” said Richard Dasher, director of the US-Asia Technology Management Center in the School of Engineering. “We will all miss him.”

Sandelin shared his love of travel with his family. Three years ago, he organized a trip to the Galapagos Islands – his favorite place – for his daughter Jessica Jacobson and her two children.

Sandelin is the author of more than 20 published
articles on technology transfer through licensing, and has given
workshops, seminars and presentations on the topic throughout the world.

Five of his articles are posted on the OTL website, including “Opportunities and Perils for Technology Transfer through Licensing and New Business Formation: A University Perspective,” and “The Story of the Stanford Industrial/Research Park.”

In 2002, Sandelin was elected to serve a three-year term on the Public Advisory committee for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The committee prepares an annual report for the U.S. President and Congress on its operations.

Sandelin served two terms as vice president of the Association of University Technology Managers, where he was responsible for developing its overseas relationships. He also is past president of the Association of Collegiate Licensing Administrators.

Sandelin, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1962 from the University of Washington, served four years as a naval officer on the U.S. submarine Ronquil.

In addition to daughter Jessica Jacobson of Redwood City, Sandelin is survived by daughter Alexandra Simmers, of San Diego; four grandchildren; and former wife, Jean, of La Quinta, Calif.

His family said those who would like to honor Sandelin’s memory may donate to the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands, an international not-for-profit organization that provides scientific research and technical information and assistance to ensure the proper preservation of the Galapagos Islands.