Welcome to Texas State: Dr. Shreek Mandayam to lead Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Research & Innovation

Julie Cooper | March 11, 2022

Shreek Mandayam headshot

Shreek Mandayam was recently named Texas State’s new chief research officer.  He will join the university’s Office of Research & Sponsored Programs beginning July 1.

Mandayam is the founder and lead investigator of Rowan University’s Virtual Reality Center, which is located in Glassboro, New Jersey. He has held previous appointments there as the vice president for research and executive director of the South Jersey Technology Park. He has also served as senior research associate at NASA's Stennis Space Center and a research consultant at GE Global Research.

Mandayam holds a bachelor of engineering degree with a major in electronics engineering from Bangalore University in India, along with his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.

Q: What interested you in joining Texas State University?

“The public higher education system in the United States in the envy of the world – and my family history is tied to this. In 1962, my aunt arrived in the United States from Southern India to pursue a degree in home economics at Iowa State University, under the “Food for Peace” program.

After graduating, she returned to India to a life of public service, and always spoke of the lasting and profound impact that a public research university had on her life. I was inspired by that, and went to Iowa State for my graduate education. Following that, I spent 25 years in another public research university in the Northeast, building the engineering and research programs. And now I am excited and privileged by the opportunity to lead research at Texas State University – a public institution with a great past, and an even greater future.”

Q: As chief research officer what is your vision for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs?

“The leadership of the Texas State has strategically invested in growing research in the institution – and the last few years have seen an exponential increase in research expenditures and the development of the STAR park to facilitate the university to engage productively with industry. My vision is to expand on this growth opportunity presented to me.

“My key objectives are to enable collaboration among the research centers of excellence to seek out larger opportunities for external funding and to strategically develop the intellectual property of the institution to contribute towards the economic development of our central Texas region. Research at TXST is applied, and with a public purpose – and our surrounding community must benefit and prosper from it. Enabling that, advocating for that and working towards that is my mission.

Q: You delivered the Alpha Chi Distinguished Lecture on Feb. 28 at TXST – ‘Virtual  Reality: Gateway to the Metaverse.’ Where do you see VR/AR  heading in regard to education and ‘real’ life?

Virtual and Augmented Reality combine the assets of immersion, navigation and modeling for the user to experience a virtual world – and applications exist for modeling, simulation and training in a variety of areas including medicine, community planning, defense, engineering, design art and education. Of all these, I strongly believe that VR/AR has the potential to make a significant impact on education and training. A group of students, led by their teacher in experiencing a virtual world is a profoundly transformative educational experience. And education changes one’s life, and the world around them.

Q: TXST is on a mission to become the next R1 institution in Texas. What do you bring that would help the university reach that top level of research  and academic excellence? 

TXST has been previously classified as an “emerging research university” in the State, and is now poised to leapfrog to reach the category of the highest research activity in the nation. I have experience in transforming what was then a small research university in New Jersey by enabling an eight-fold growth in research awards, tripling the number of invention disclosures and patents and filling the research park with businesses that spun-in to capitalize on the institution’s intellectual capital our spun-out from the faculty’s research expertise.

I built a successful career at the previous institution rising through the academic and administrative ranks from assistant professor to department chair to vice president. I bring my experience in transformation, innovation and collaboration to enable TXST to reach the next level of academic and research excellence. I recognize the core values of intellectual honesty, inclusivity and shared governance as the enduring values in American higher education – I have had the good fortune to work alongside many leaders who have embodied these values, and I am committed to uphold them at TXST, my new academic family!

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922