A Virginia Tech search committee working to find Virginia Tech's vice president for research and innovation has selected three finalists to visit campus this month. Dennis Dean has served as interim vice president for research since Robert Walters stepped down last winter. 

Executive Vice President and Provost Thanassis Rikakis invites the campus community to meet the finalists and to watch each candidate’s open forum presentation on “Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech: Vision and Strategies for the Future.” 

The open forum presentations will be broadcast live online for remote participants, and recordings of the sessions will be posted online. Each candidate's curriculum vitae will be posted on the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost's website in advance of each visit date. The search committee also encourages all campus and community members to submit feedback on the candidates via online surveys that will be posted on the website.

October 14-15 – Padma Raghavan

Padma Raghavan is the associate vice president for research and the director of strategic initiatives at Pennsylvania State University, where she is a Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering. Raghavan also provides leadership in interdisciplinary computation and data-enabled science and engineering as the founding director of the Penn State Institute for CyberScience. With over 20 years as a faculty member and leader in academia, she serves on the advisory board of the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation.  She holds master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science, both from Penn State.

  • Open forum presentation: Oct. 14, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (Reception to follow)
  • Location: Latham Ballroom C at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center

October 19-20: Theresa S. Mayer

Theresa Mayer is associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. She has been on the faculty at Penn State for over 20 years and currently is a Distinguished Professor in electrical engineering and materials science and engineering.  She has also served previously as the faculty director of the Penn State Nanofabrication Laboratory in the Materials Research Institute, and as the site director of the National Science Foundation-supported National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. She holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, both from Purdue University.

  • Open forum presentation: Oct. 19, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (Reception to follow)
  • Location: Latham Ballroom C at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center

October 29-30: P. Srirama Rao

Srirama Rao is the associate dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he also holds a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Allergy Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty and administration at University of Minnesota in 2007, he spent 16 years in scientific, research, and leadership roles with La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine. He holds a master’s degree in biochemistry from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, and a Ph.D. in allergy and immunology from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.

  • Open forum presentation: Oct. 29, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (Reception to follow) 
  • Location: Virginia Bioinformatics Institute auditorium