Jeffrey (Jeff) F. Rhoads, PhD, was appointed vice president for research at the University of Notre Dame in July 2023. In this role, he has oversight for Notre Dame’s research infrastructure, including supporting programs in all areas of research, scholarship and creative endeavor. He also holds the position of professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering.
Prior to joining Notre Dame, Rhoads served as executive director of the Purdue Institute for National Security and as a professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering. He previously served as the director of the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, associate director of the Purdue Energetics Research Center, and director of practice for the Mechanical Engineering Education Research Center at Purdue.
He is a leading mechanical engineering researcher and educator, whose interests include dynamics and vibration, energetic materials, additive manufacturing and micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems. Rhoads has attracted more than $75 million in sponsored research funding across his various academic roles — garnering extensive support from the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation and industry.
Rhoads is also the co-founder and chief operating officer of Next Offset Solutions Inc. and Level 6 Engineering LLC, startup companies that provide engineering and technical solutions for industry and the defense, energy and national security sectors.
Recognized extensively for excellence in his discipline and teaching, Rhoads is the recipient of the inaugural American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ C. D. Mote Jr. Early Career Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and the American Society for Engineering Education’s Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award, as well as the Charles B. Murphy Award, Purdue’s highest undergraduate teaching honor. He holds a number of patents and is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, including a widely used undergraduate textbook.
Rhoads is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Defense Industrial Association, and has held a number of service and leadership roles in these organizations. In addition, Rhoads often contributes his time to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) pipeline and outreach programs and to inspiring the next generation of well-rounded college students. Rhoads earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a doctoral degree, each in mechanical engineering, from Michigan State University.
A native of Charlotte, Michigan, Rhoads and his wife, Janine, live in Niles, Michigan and are the parents of twin boys, Jonathan and Joseph.