Srinath Ekkad, the Rolls Royce Commonwealth Professor for Aerospace Propulsion Systems in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been appointed the associate vice president for research programs at the university, beginning today.

“Dr. Ekkad’s skill and experience will be valuable to the faculty members, centers, and institutes working to speed helpful discoveries to the people of Virginia and the world,” said Robert W. Walters, vice president for research.  “We’re excited to have him on board to help Virginia Tech continue its rise into the top tier of the nation’s research universities.”

Ekkad will provide leadership and vision to coordinate college-based and institute-based research programs, working to leverage current strengths to advance Virginia Tech's research mission. He will help faculty members, centers, and institutes compete for and manage large, interdisciplinary projects.

“I am eager to help faculty investigators obtain research funding to develop their ideas,” Ekkad said. “As Virginia Tech’s research stature has grown, it is essential to focus on efforts to secure large, center-type grants from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and similar agencies. This is an exciting opportunity.”

In addition to his new role, Ekkad will continue his research in the field of heat transfer. He has received more than $8 million in external research funding and currently oversees 12 graduate students.

“As a faculty member with 15 years of experience in successful, sponsored research programs, I’d like to bring a fresh perspective to administration,” Ekkad said. “In many respects, this is a way for me to give something back to the university and improve the overall experience for the faculty.”

The Proposal Development Institute, a program for early career faculty and faculty who are less experienced in funding procurement, will continue to be overseen by William Knocke, a professor and former chair of the Charles E. Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who returned to the department after serving three years as associate vice president for research.

Ekkad was named a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2010 for his overall research contributions to the field of heat transfer, particularly the development of 2-D, high-resolution surface heat transfer measurements in gas turbine engine systems. He will also continue to lead the newly formed Rolls-Royce University Technology Center for Advanced System Diagnostics.

He received the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2012. He has been chosen to receive the 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising in September.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, a master’s degree from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.


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