Chakrabartty named vice dean for research for McKelvey Engineering

Chakrabartty will build research connections and collaborations within and beyond McKelvey

Beth Miller 
Shantanu Chakrabartty

Shantanu Chakrabartty has been named vice dean for research and graduate education for the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Chakrabartty is the Clifford W. Murphy Professor in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering and a professor of computer science & engineering. He is widely recognized for his research, which explores new frontiers in unconventional analog computing techniques using silicon and hybrid substrates to approach fundamental limits of energy efficiency, sensing and resolution by exploiting computational and adaptation primitives inherent in the physics of devices, sensors and the underlying noise processes. He uses these novel techniques to design self-powered computing devices, analog processors and instrumentation with applications in biomedical and structural engineering.

“I am excited about and appreciative of Shantanu agreeing to take on this important role for the school, “said Aaron Bobick, dean and the James M. McKelvey Professor of Engineering. “Beyond his own robust research agenda, Shantanu has been a faculty leader in building research connections and collaborations within and beyond McKelvey.”

Chakrabartty is co-director of McKelvey’s Center for Cyborg and Biorobotics Research, which now includes faculty from every department in the school, and has been instrumental in establishing a partnership between McKelvey Engineering and the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bengaluru, one of India’s premier research universities. 

“In addition, the connection between research and graduate education is so strong that it makes sense for this position to also help guide our graduate education programs,” Bobick added.

In this capacity Chakrabartty will work closely with Cathy Freesmeier, associate dean of Graduate Student Services. 

Chakrabartty brings years of entrepreneurial experience to this role, as well. He and Kenji Aono, his former master’s and doctoral student and postdoctoral researcher, launched Infratico (Infrastructure Analytics Co.) in 2020. The company builds sensors and systems to monitor large infrastructures ranging from bridges, roads and buildings to wind-turbines. By embedding the sensors inside and on the structures, it can determine the structural integrity, and onset of mechanical fatigue before they become problematic. Chakrabartty also is a co-founder and previously served as the chief technical officer of Piezonix LLC, a company in East Lansing, Michigan, that makes Self-Powered Piezo-floating-gate (PFG) Sensing technology.

He is an alumnus of the U.S. National Academy Frontiers of Engineering and has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010), Michigan State University (MSU) Teacher-Scholar Award (2011), and the MSU Innovation of the Year Award (2012). He has received two LEAP Awards from the Washington University Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship and has published more than 175 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

Chakrabartty joined Washington University in 2015 from Michigan State University, where he joined faculty in 2004. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Previously, he worked as an engineer in Qualcomm Inc. and in research at the University of Tokyo and at The Johns Hopkins University.

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