Thomas M. McNamara Jr., the founding president and chief executive officer of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corp., has announced plans to step down from the post he’s held since 2011.

Sanjay Raman, Virginia Tech’s associate vice president for the National Capital Region and a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named interim president and CEO of the university-affiliated research enterprise. 

“We are grateful for the vision and leadership Mr. McNamara provided to build the corporation and nurture relationships with key partners. His dedication to Virginia Tech and to his employees is evident,” said Theresa Mayer, vice president for research and innovation for Virginia Tech. “Dr. Raman will continue the important work of the Applied Research Corp. to deliver innovative solutions to answer national challenges, enhance global competitiveness, and move products toward commercialization.”

The corporation was established by the Board of Visitors to foster applied research, development, and management of large-scale contract research projects within an entrepreneurial culture. It is governed by a board of directors representing the university and industry and is headquartered at the Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington, with additional operations in Blacksburg.

Under McNamara’s leadership, Virginia Tech Applied Research Corp. has grown to employ more than 30 people with average annual revenue of $8 million and 60 different contract vehicles. Its contract partners include the U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Assistant Secretary of Army for Acquisition Logistics and Technology, among others.

The corporation works closely with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of 10 U.S. Department of Energy national labs managed by the DOE's Office of Science. Virginia Tech Applied Research Corp. also worked with industry and government partners to develop the first spectrum sharing and test demonstration program to enable discovery of new methods of sharing the radio spectrum through the auction of federal telecommunications licenses to industry for national wireless broadband.

McNamara is a former program area manager of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Raman, a former program manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office, will continue to align external partners and develop interdisciplinary research opportunities in his ongoing role as Virginia Tech’s associate vice president for the National Capital Region, said Steven H. McKnight, vice president for the National Capital Region.

In 2012, Raman was elected an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow for his leadership in adaptive microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits. He is a member of the Multifunctional Integrated Circuits and Systems research group. Previously, he established the Wireless Microsystems Laboratory at Virginia Tech to study integrated microsystems connected to information infrastructure via wireless communications links.

Among his other achievements, Raman has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award, and the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Faculty Fellow Award.

Raman received his bachelor's degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.