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Palanki selected to head College of Engineering

After an exhaustive national search, President Kenneth Evans has named Srinivas Palanki as Lamar University’s next dean of the College of Engineering.

Palanki will succeed Victor Zaloom, who has been serving as interim dean since August 2013, and longtime dean Jack Hopper who served 1999-2013. Palanki will assume his duties on July 1, 2015.

Dean Srinivas PalankiPalanki, who holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, is chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, where he has been on faculty since 2007. He earned a bachelor’s in technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India in 1986.

He previously was professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Florida State University, 2003-2006, and associate director of its Center for Intelligent Systems, Control and Robotics, 2004-2006. From 1998 to 2002, he served as a visiting professor at universities in Switzerland, France and Singapore. From 1992 to 2003, he was on faculty in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Florida State University, first as an assistant professor, becoming an associate professor with tenure in 1997.

As department chair, Palanki increased research funding with grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the chemical industry. He hired new faculty, managed the department’s move into a new state-of-the-art facility, developed new doctoral programs, and tripled student enrollment.

He updated undergraduate curriculum introducing computer-aided tools and increasing industry interaction in senior design projects. Teaching technologies also received his attention with the use of Web-enabled instruction and other nontraditional learning techniques as well as the integration of complex simulations into engineering education. He also developed international collaborative agreements between the university and several engineering schools in India.

Palanki has a strong record of proposals funded with nearly 50 to his credit totaling more than $3.9 million. He also has published more than 60 refereed journal publications and book chapters, as well as service as a reviewer for a dozen professional journals and conferences. He served as associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology journal, 2003-2007. His personal research interests include energy applications of process systems engineering, and the application of nanotechnology to cancer biology.

Palanki and his family are well traveled, having visited 34 countries around the world.