Venkat Shastri is currently Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, the De Sanctis Professor of Engineering and Entrepreneurship and the Director of Industry Partnerships at the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at the University of San Diego. He also serves as the Chairman of Darroch Medical, and as Director of ALZPath and Primo Wind.
Prior to joining USD in 2016, he served as Chief Industry Advisor of PCN Technology, Inc., a position he assumed in December 2013 to strengthen the company’s strategic positioning in the market. In the preceding eight years, as President and CEO, he grew PCN into a market leader in communication, industrial networking and energy management solutions. Between 2002 and 2004, Venkat was VP of Engineering at Palomar Technologies, a packaging equipment and process solutions company serving the semiconductor, telecom and medical industry. He led the engineering team at Palomar and was responsible for all product releases and product roadmaps. Before this, he was Senior Director of Engineering and Product Development at KLA-Tencor, where he managed its automation products and solutions and was a key customer interface to Intel. From 1988–2000, at JPL and then at SRI International, Venkat conducted research in robotic manipulation, legged locomotion, adaptive control and nonlinear systems. At JPL, he worked in the Space Telerobotics, Mars Pathfinder and Sample Return programs.
Venkat received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1988. He is the author of a book entitled, “Dexterous Robot Hands,’‘ (Springer-Verlag, 1990), and has published over 30 scientific articles in journals, magazines and conferences. He was Research Scientist at Yale University (1994–1996) and Consulting Professor at Stanford (1998–2000).
Venkat has served on the Editorial Boards of IEEE Computer Society and IEEE Control Society, and led the publication of two special issues in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Transactions and International Journal of Robotics Research. He holds patents in controls, robotics, Bio-MEMS and electro-active polymers, and has served as Principal Investigator on large multicenter research grants and contracts.