Theresa Mayer, PhD, is Purdue University's executive vice president for research and partnerships, and a professor of electrical and computer engineering. She oversees Purdue’s $660 million research enterprise, including Discovery Park, an interdisciplinary complex for grand-challenge research and is responsible for Purdue’s international programs and its global and corporate partnerships endeavors.
Before joining Purdue University, Mayer served as vice president for research and innovation and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech. Prior to her role at Virginia Tech, Mayer was at Pennsylvania State University for more than 20 years, where she served as a distinguished professor of electrical engineering, associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering, the site director of the National Science Foundation’s National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network and director of the Materials Research Institute Nanofabrication Laboratory.
She is internationally recognized for her research in applications of nanotechnology to electronic and photonic devices with new and previously unexplored functions. Her work in directed and self-assembly of nanoparticles has been used to expand the types and complexity of materials that can be integrated into devices beyond standard lithographic approaches, enabling a wide range of novel structures from low-power integrated nanosensor circuits to nanostructured gradient index optical components.
She has more than 350 technical publications, invited presentations and tutorials, and holds eight patents. Several of her co-inventions have been transitioned into commercial products. She is a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and has received numerous awards for her teaching and research, including the NSF CAREER award. Throughout her career, she has supported the advancement of women in science and engineering.
Mayer earned her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, and a master’s degree and PhD in electrical engineering from Purdue University.