N.C. A&T Names Centers of Excellence Interim Co-Directors


N.C. A&T Names Centers of Excellence Interim Co-Directors

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 3, 2019) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University announced Kaushik Roy, Ph.D., and Belinda Shipps, Ph.D., have been named interim co-directors of the Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, Education, and Outreach (CREO), and Robert Cobb Jr., Ph.D., and Salil Desai, Ph.D., have been named interim co-directors of the Center of Excellence in Product Design and Advanced Manufacturing.

dr-roy.jpgRoy is an associate professor in the North Carolina A&T State University Department of Computer Science and serves as director of the university’s Cyber Identity and Biometrics Lab, while Shipps is an associate professor in the College of Business and Economics (COBE).

CREO is an inclusive community of stakeholders distinguished by interdisciplinary and innovative approaches that translate knowledge into solutions for cybersecurity challenges.

cobbrobert.jpgCobb is an associate professor in the College of Science and Technology’s (CoST) Department of Graphic Design Technology. Desai is a professor in the university’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, an adjunct faculty member of the Joint School of Nanoengineering and an adjunct faculty member of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The Center of Excellence in Product Design and Advanced Manufacturing is meant to provide a “one-stop shop” approach for design, development, prototype manufacturing and testing and characterization using innovative and cost-effective manufacturing technologies.

“I am excited about all of the transformative research to come from all of our new Centers of Excellence,” said Dr. Tonya Smith Jackson, senior vice provost for academic affairs. “Each of these co-interim directors brings unique experiences and perspectives that will guide the construction of a firm foundation for these centers. The excitement for me lies in the commitment of these leaders to be intentional about innovative, interdisciplinary, and inclusive collaborations.”

Roy, who received his Ph.D. in computer science from Concordia University in Montreal,  earned $3 million in research grants funded by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Defense as a principle investigator. As the author or co-author of more than 90 articles in journals, book chapter and conference proceedings, his research interests include cybersecurity, cyber identity, biometric authentication, computer vision, big data analytics and machine learning.

belindashipps.jpgShipps received her Ph.D. and M.S., both in management information systems, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business and her B.A. in education from Michigan State University. Her research interests include STEM education, virtual and traditional learning communities, sourcing and staffing, cybersecurity and IT security, and social media and social networking. She has published papers in several journals and conference proceedings.

Cobb applies his expertise in manipulating solid modeling and building information modeling (BIM) technologies to develop two- and three-dimensional visual artifacts. He received his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in instructional design and technology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, M.S. in vocational industrial education from N.C. A&T and B.S. in technology education from Virginia Tech.

salildesai.jpgDesai has spearheaded programmatic, infrastructure and extramural efforts in advanced manufacturing and directs several advanced manufacturing laboratories, including the university’s Integrated Nano- and Bio Manufacturing and Additive Manufacturing labs. He received his Ph.D. and M.S., both in industrial engineering, from the University of Pittsburgh and his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai.

The centers, including the Center of Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation led by interim director Thaddeus McEwen, Ph.D., were born of North Carolina A&T State University’s updated strategic plan and commitment to outstanding quality in research, teaching and community engagement consistent with the university’s land-grant mission.

The interim directors are working to establish both interdisciplinary faculty and external advisory committees, initiate discussions with business and industry leaders and plans for sustaining the centers for the long term. They also will assist with hiring permanent directors and initiate strategic planning.