COO and key staffers now on board at PARI

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University announced Tuesday (May 23) Kevin Massey as the inaugural chief operating officer of the Purdue Applied Research Institute (PARI), the nonprofit arm of Purdue focused on promoting national, economic and food security for the United States. 

As COO, Massey will lead policy design and implementation to promote PARI’s vision and will oversee operations. He comes to PARI from Leidos, where he led its aerophysics branch’s researchers in hypersonic weapons, air-to-air missiles and reentry vehicles.

“Kevin is an outstanding addition to the PARI executive team,” said Karen Plaut, Purdue’s executive vice president for research. “His leadership and research from both the public and private sectors will greatly enhance our applied and translational research efforts.”

“I’m delighted to have Kevin on board as my partner as we build the PARI team,” CEO Mark Lewis said. “His experience covers many of the technologies in PARI’s focus, and his operational leadership will be key to achieving our mission.”

Massey’s research career has spanned academia, government and the private sector. He was director of science and technology for U.S. business development at Raytheon. He also served in leadership roles at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Security Cooperation Organization and on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. Massey earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in aerospace engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Massey also served as the head of two academic departments at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and conducted research at the Georgia Tech Research Institute for nearly 20 years. He has led tests and engineering efforts in guided weapons, jet noise reduction and blast survivability among various other noise and vibration projects.

“I am so pleased to be part of such a talented team at PARI,” Massey said. “I look forward to advancing cutting-edge technologies important to driving national security and economic prosperity for our country.”

Massey is among several new hires to the PARI team:

  • Gerald “Jerry” Trepkowski has joined as chief legal officer and secretary. He serves as senior counsel alongside the broader Purdue legal team that supports PARI contracts, cooperative agreements, grants, policies, procedures and processes to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Trepkowski came from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he was senior government contract attorney advising leadership, program managers and staff on programs and critical contributions for the Defense Department and other national security activities.
  • Camilla Shanley is the incoming chief of staff to Lewis, playing a central role in PARI’s research organizational strategy. Camilla will join PARI on June 19 from the Emerging Technologies Institute, where as senior manager she was responsible for strategic programs, hiring and stakeholder management.
  • Belinda Tsao Hickman has joined as executive assistant to Lewis. Hickman came to PARI from the National Defense Industrial Association, where she was an executive assistant.

Purdue established PARI in 2021 through its Next Moves initiative, a set of strategic investments to extend the reach and impact of the university’s research strengths and top-ranked academic programs in engineering, agriculture, science and technology, especially in hypersonics, energetics, cybersecurity, secure microelectronics and other research areas essential to national security.  

About Purdue 

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

About PARI 

The Purdue Applied Research Institute (PARI) is the nonprofit applied research arm of Purdue University. PARI significantly enhances Purdue’s ability to translate discoveries into innovative solutions and services for mission-oriented government, industry, NGO and foundation partners, through increases in applied research and program personnel, state-of-the-art facilities, and infrastructure. It also serves as an incubator for advanced development and transition of leading ideas and technology with potential for significant impact through large-scale prototypes, pilots and startups.