Cappelleri named AVP for research innovation

David Cappelleri

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Karen Plaut, executive vice president for research, announced today (April 18) that David Cappelleri has been appointed assistant vice president for research innovation in the Office of Research, effective May 1.

Cappelleri, a professor of mechanical engineering with a courtesy appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, will support key initiatives of the division of Strategic Interdisciplinary Research in the Office of Research. He will report to Preeti Sivasankar, who will begin serving as vice president for research innovation May 1 and will head the division.

“David is joining the Office of Research at a critical time,” Plaut said. “His strong leadership and technical expertise will be instrumental for guiding strategic research investment initiatives and incentive programs.”

Cappelleri serves as the Purdue site director for the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center’s Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture (IoT4Ag). In addition, he has been the faculty council co-chair of the Purdue engineering initiative Autonomous and Connected Systems since 2019. He will maintain his current responsibilities and research while serving as assistant vice president for research innovation on a part-time basis.

Cappelleri’s research interests include mobile microrobotics for biomedical and manufacturing applications, surgical robotics, automated manipulation and assembly, and unmanned aerial and ground robot design for agricultural applications. 

Before joining the Purdue faculty in 2013 as an assistant professor, Cappelleri was an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and had previously worked as a field engineer and project engineer for the Radionics Division of Tyco Healthcare Group. He earned a BS from Villanova University, an MS from Penn State, and a PhD in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania.

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