EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 12, 2019) – As an outgrowth of its recently updated strategic plan and commitment to outstanding quality in research, teaching, and community engagement. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has created three new Centers of Excellence in cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and entrepreneurship and innovation.
Interim directors have been named and are set to begin developing strategic plans and building the initial infrastructure for each center.
The centers will provide exemplary leadership in research, academic programming and community outreach, consistent with the university’s land-grant mission. The interim directors will establish interdisciplinary faculty advisory committees and external advisory committees, initiate discussions with business and industry leaders and plans for sustaining the centers for the long term. They will also assist with hiring of permanent directors and initiate strategic planning.
Ajit D. Kelkar, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Nanoengineering in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering shared between. For the past 25 years, he has been working in the area of low-cost fabrication, processing and performance evaluation and modeling of polymeric and ceramic matrix composites. He will serve as interim director of the Center of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing.
Kelkar has worked with several federal laboratories in the areas of fatigue, impact and finite element modeling of woven composites, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, NASA-Langley Research Center, National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, Federal Aviation Administration and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is currently involved in the development of nano-engineered multifunctional materials and electro-spun fiber materials for aerospace and automotive applications. He has published over 250 papers and edited two books in the area of nanotechnology. He has been awarded three patents and has filed for 12 invention disclosures.
Kelkar is the recipient of numerous awards including the Senior Researcher Award and the Intellectual Property Award at A&T, and the BEYA STEM Innovation Award. He is a fellow of Maharashtra Academy of Science in India. He serves on editorial board of three journals in nanotechnology disciplines and is a member of several professional societies.
He holds a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Old Dominion University, a M.S. in engineering from South Dakota State University and a B.S. in engineering from Pune University in India.