UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Shashank Priya, Robert E. Hord Jr. Professor of Mechanical Engineering and associate director for research and scholarship in the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at Virginia Tech, has been named associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) at Penn State.
Priya also served as the faculty director of materials and energy at ICTAS, where he supported implementation of institutional research priorities by, among other activities, designing and managing faculty teams.
In his role at Penn State, he will support the mission of OVPR to administer and promote the University’s research enterprise, while driving strategy to further global collaboration opportunities for solving grand challenges. The position also is responsible for facilitating teams and strategies for large-scale interdisciplinary research programs and competitions, limited submissions, and strategic funding opportunities, as well as conducting red team reviews on proposals to these programs.
Recently, Priya was tapped to manage the Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) program at the National Science Foundation, which coordinates more than 70 centers at approximately 190 sites around the United States. He also founded the Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems at Virginia Tech, which has collaborations in Germany, Korea, Canada and China.
“During my tenure at the I/UCRC program, I had the opportunity to visit more than 50 existing or planning centers and research institutions in the U.S., allowing me to hold discussions with some of the best researchers and administrators in the country,” Priya said. “ICTAS at Virginia Tech provided me excellent opportunity to work with large faculty teams and initiate international collaborations. Through these experiences, I’ve gained a rich understanding of various models for creating national and global partnerships and exploring new growth opportunities. I’m excited to bring those ideas to Penn State to advance not only innovations in research, but in collaborations. I am very much looking forward to working with faculty in developing large team efforts and in supporting their research programs.”
“We believe Dr. Priya’s experience in building national and international collaborations will be an invaluable asset to Penn State,” said Neil Sharkey, vice president for research. “Penn State is also gaining a world-class researcher in the field of multifunctional materials, energy harvesting and bio-inspired systems.”
Priya’s research focuses on the intersection of multi-functional materials, bio-inspired systems and technologies, energy harvesting and storage. He has authored or co-authored more than 350 journal papers, more than 60 peer-reviewed proceedings, and holds five U.S. patents.
Priya received his doctorate in materials engineering from Penn State in 2003. He also holds a master of science in metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Science and a bachelor of science in math and physics from Allahabad University.