G. Don Taylor, vice provost for learning systems innovation and effectiveness and the Charles O. Gordon Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, will serve as the university’s interim vice president for research and innovation effective July 15.

Taylor assumes this role following the resignation of Theresa Mayer, who was recently named executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue University.

“Don’s leadership and experience in a number of areas of the university is a strength that will be critical to Virginia Tech during this period of transition for the Office of Research and Innovation,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke. “I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead our research enterprise forward and to work with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation team, institute directors, and deans to continue pursuing the institution’s growth strategies, both internally and externally, while a search is conducted.”

Reporting to the executive vice president and provost, Taylor will work with faculty and university leadership to oversee Virginia Tech’s academic research enterprise and further enhance the university’s entrepreneurial and innovative culture, grow commercialization opportunities, and build relationships with corporate and foundation partners.

“I am honored to serve Virginia Tech in this important role and to work with such an accomplished group of academicians and innovators to advance the university’s research enterprise,” said Taylor. “Through connections and collaborations with research and innovation directors and staff and colleagues across the university, I look forward to building upon the strength of our transdisciplinary communities and industry partnerships.”

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2004, Taylor’s scholarship has focused on the simulation and optimization of complex systems and the logistics of material flow and freight transportation.

As the vice provost for learning systems innovation and effectiveness since 2017, Taylor worked collaboratively with the colleges and other university organizations to facilitate efforts to connect undergraduate and graduate student success with external organizations and employers and develop new and innovative ways to deliver curriculum across all university units.  His office has also played a major role in the development of new research and curricula associated with the Virginia Tech’s “Destination Area” effort, a key component of the Beyond Boundaries vision.

From 2016 to 2017, Taylor served as interim dean of the College of Engineering.

While Taylor was head of the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering from 2004 to 2016, the department twice received a University Exemplary Department Award; in 2007 for the development and execution of innovative and effective approaches to advising its undergraduate and graduate students, and again in 2012 for effectively linking assessment with instruction in order to improve student learning.

Taylor is a Fellow and president emeritus of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). He chairs the board of IISE Solutions Inc. and is a Fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science.

Before coming to Virginia Tech, Taylor held the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie Endowed Chair in Engineering Logistics and was the director of the Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution at Kentucky's University of Louisville.

He received his bachelor's degree and master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts.

This fall, Virginia Tech will organize an international search for the vice president for research and innovation position. As details of the process are finalized, they will be announced through Virginia Tech News.

Catherine Amelink, assistant vice provost for learning systems innovation and effectiveness, will serve as acting vice provost of learning systems innovation and effectiveness.

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