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John E Leland

Vice President for Research


Email: John Leland
Phone: 937-229-3515
Curran Place - M5200


Dr. Leland has been Vice President for Research since July 1, 2015. He previously served as Director of UDRI from 2005 to 2015. He sets strategic directions for research and the Institute to support the development of its staff, growth in revenues and contribution to the University’s mission. He also ensures that the research maintains robust compliance, ethics and fiscal processes. John regularly works with local, state and federal government and economic development organizations to support regional technology based economic development initiatives. He routinely develops and presents testimony to House and Senate Congressional committees in advocacy of science and engineering education and research funding.

Prior to becoming director, John served as associate director of operations for UDRI and head of the Institute’s Materials Engineering division. He also served as UD’s director for technology partnerships, where he was responsible for the protection and licensing of the University’s patents and other intellectual property. John joined UDRI in 2000 after concluding a Congressional Science Fellowship sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). During his 16 years as a researcher for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, John led a research group in the Propulsion Directorate, where researchers developed thermal management concepts and technologies for high-density power electronics, megawatt lasers and high-powered microwaves for future aircraft.

John holds eight patents on heat exchanger and miniature heat pipe innovations and has won two technology transfer awards. He has authored or co-authored over 60 technical publications and won two best paper awards.


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, 1994
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Dayton, 1989
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron, 1986


  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics