University Economic Development Association
Mridul Gautam, Ph.D.

Mridul Gautam, Ph.D.

Vice President for Research and Innovation, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno


As vice president for research and innovation and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, Dr. Mridul Gautam articulates and implements a shared vision for research and guides the administrative division focused on developing world-class research and discovery, the careers and competitiveness of faculty, and the institution’s capacity as a high-impact research university and economic cornerstone of Nevada.

Dr. Gautam’s leadership style reflects his core values of integrity, the pursuit of excellence, fairness, respect and collaboration. The University of Nevada, Reno is increasingly connected to the region and state it serves, and Dr. Gautam has been a leader in fostering new levels of collaboration and building relationships both on and off campus. Especially notable is his leadership in the creation of an Innovation Ecosystem, anchored by the Nevada Center for Applied Research and the Innevation Center University of Nevada, Reno—Powered By Switch. The University’s Innovation Ecosystem is advancing entrepreneurialism, innovation and commercialization, and it is tangibly contributing to Nevada’s economy and the creation of knowledge- and technology-based jobs.

As an administrator and as a member of the University President’s Council, Dr. Gautam encourages the highest quality of services and infrastructure to enable faculty, students and staff to excel in their research, scholarly and artistic endeavors, and to do so in a safe, healthy and ethical environment. He demonstrates an ability to develop an effective and appropriately scaled infrastructure to meet the needs of a University that is experiencing growth in the size and quality of its student enrollment and research productivity. He believes in hiring the right people, setting them up for success, fostering accountability, encouraging process improvement and then getting out of the way.

Dr. Gautam is an internationally recognized researcher and expert in the area of heavy-duty mobile source exhaust emissions, aerosol sampling, and particulate matter measurement, characterization, and control. Prior to joining the University in 2013, he served as associate vice president for research at West Virginia University (WVU) as well as the vice president for the WVU Research Corporation. Dr. Gautam serves on several national and state advisory committees including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ Council on Research and its Research Task Force on Laboratory Safety, as well as the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable.