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College of Engineering

Tennessee Tech College of Engineering names Kumar Yelamarthi as new associate dean

Kumar Yelamarthi, Ph.D. portraitJoseph Slater, Ph.D., P.E., dean of the college of engineering at Tennessee Tech University, recently announced the appointment of Kumar Yelamarthi, Ph.D., P.E., as the new associate dean for the College of Engineering.

Yelamarthi, who will join Tech on August 1, serves as director for the School of Engineering Technology and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Central Michigan University (CMU). He also served as chair for CMU’s electrical engineering and computer engineering programs and as assistant to the dean of the College of Science and Engineering.

His appointment comes at a pivotal time for the college as it seeks to expand access to engineering education in the state of Tennessee.

“Dr. Yelamarthi has an impressive track record of forging partnerships and creating programs to serve students,” said Slater. “He has built relationships with K-12 schools, community colleges and employers, while also maintaining a scholarly research program. He is known for inspiring and helping others, and I’m confident his energetic and innovative style will help us create the curriculum and programs that best serve our students throughout Tennessee.”

Throughout his career, Yelamarthi has launched multiple engineering programs, including undergraduate programs and 2+2 programs with international universities, as well as CMU’s graduate program in engineering. He led the university’s engineering undergraduate programs through ABET accreditation, served as chair for CMU’s electrical engineering and computer engineering programs and was assistant to the dean of the College of Science and Engineering.

He has an extensive service record, serving as chair, technical program committee chair and treasurer for several international conferences, as well as a reviewer and panelist for numerous externally funded proposals. He served as editor for journal special issues, and currently serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Forensic Software Engineering. He has served as the chair of the Northeast Michigan Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional organization, and vice-chair for American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) North Central Section. He is a senior member of IEEE, founding advisor for the IEEE Student Chapter at CMU, an elected member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, and a senior member of IETI.

Yelamarthi’s research interests focus primarily in the areas of Internet of Things, wireless sensor networks, edge computing, embedded systems and engineering education. He has published over 150 articles in journals and conference proceedings and delivered over 100 talks on these topics. Additionally, he successfully raised several externally funded grants of more than $1.5 million from the NSF, NASA and industry. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical & computer engineering and M.S. in electrical engineering from Wright State University in 2008 and 2004, and a B.E. in Instrumentation & Control Engineering from University of Madras, India in 2000.

The culture of keeping students at the center of decision making was what attracted him to Tech, said Yelamarthi, who has “seen how things work in engineering education from just about every angle.”

“I am very impressed with what I’ve found at Tech,” Yelamarthi said. “The people are the primary reason I want to be here. The faculty and staff support each other and are passionate about keeping the focus on students to provide the best education experience.”

Yelamarthi said he strives to bring out the best in his colleagues, whether that’s mentoring them through tenure and promotion, move through the rigor of research grants, or supporting their teaching innovations.

“In my research, teaching, service and scholarship, I enjoy helping others—that’s my motivation,” Yelamarthi said. “If I can help people, that’s my happiest day.”