Dr. Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas Named Vice President for Research and Economic Development

November 18, 2021

Dear UAlbany Community,

After an extensive search process that considered an impressive array of candidates from across the country, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Thenkurussi (Kesh) Kesavadas has accepted the position of Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University at Albany with a start date of January 24, 2022. 

Dr. Kesavadas currently serves as the founding director of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Health Care Engineering Systems Center (HCESC), the largest endowed center in the University of Illinois system. A professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a member of the inaugural faculty of the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, Dr. Kesavadas was named a distinguished University Presidential Executive Leadership Fellow in 2019.

Dr. Kesavadas previously served as a faculty member at the University at Buffalo, where he advanced his research interests in medical robotics, virtual reality/augmented reality in healthcare, manufacturing automation and design of systems.

Dr. Kesavadas received his B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calicut, India in 1985, his M.Tech degree in Aircraft Production Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1987, and his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 1995.

I am very confident that Dr. Kesavadas will provide the strategic vision and leadership necessary to successfully grow the University’s research enterprise and economic development capacity in the years to come.

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the members of the VPRED Search Committee and its Co-Chairs, Dr. Jeanette Altarriba, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Erin Bell, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health, for their service over the past seven months. The Committee’s dedication, hard work, and judgment in leading this recruitment effort were critical toward achieving a successful outcome. We are also grateful to the University community for participating in the candidates’ campus visits and providing invaluable feedback.

Finally, I wish to thank Dr. James Dias for his service as the longest-serving Vice President for Research in UAlbany’s history. Jim has been a steadfast and dedicated University leader since 2009, and we are truly in his debt.

Again, I am delighted that Kesh will be leading UAlbany’s research enterprise, and am confident that his innovative and impactful leadership will propel and expand our Carnegie R1 public research university in the months and years ahead. 

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kesh Kesavadas to the University at Albany.


Signature of Havidan Rodriguez

Havidán Rodríguez