The beginning of the fall semester will see two new additions to Tennessee Tech’s administration: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Bahman Ghorashi and Vice President for Research and Economic Development Bharat K. Soni.
Dr. Ghorashi comes from a post as Dean of the College of Engineering at Cleveland State University, and still serves as Executive Director for Fenn Research and Development Institute, an Ohio organization devoted to bringing industry together with academia for joint research projects. Dr.Ghorash holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University. He has also been responsible for numerous partnerships, research initiative and endowments, and served with the NASA Lewis Research Center and Ohio Aerospace Institute, a consortium of nine universities, NASA and other private entities.
“I’ve been talking to people in the community, local businesses and the community,” said Dr. Ghorashi,“and the good news is that there’s enough flexibility in the Flight Plan and Strategic Plan for us to be able to initiate new programs, all focused on student success. I’m establishing an Academy for Teaching Excellence, all student-focused, and am discussing new degree and certificate programs to respond to the needs of our region and our nation. We’re also exploring interdisciplinary programs to encourage entrepeneurship; we’re in a day and age when if we want to compete, we have to form teams with expertise in various areas. The days of a person just going it alone have come and gone.”
Dr. Soni’s most recent position was Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, Dr. Soni headed a cross-disciplinary group that worked in computational modeling and high performance computing, addressing 21 many fields including aerospace, automotive, energy and environment, healthcare and more. Dr. Soni earned his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at University of Texas at Arlington, and holds an M.S. and B.S. in Statistics from M.S. University in Baroda, India.
In his various academic roles, Dr. Soni has shown a strong commitment to innovation, and sees it as central to the role of engineers in the 21 attributes for future engineers.
“Leadership in the 21st century will belong to those nations that can capitalize best on change, and science and engineering research has become the most powerful force for change in our society,” said Dr. Soni. “A strong research capacity will also allow us to deal with a large variety of future challenges, whether national-security threats, environmental problems, medical or public-health emergencies, or crises that we cannot yet predict. Solutions to pressing problems will continue to emerge in unexpected ways from new knowledge.”