Dr. Timothy Sands

    Timothy D. Sands

Timothy D. Sands is the 16th president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  Prior to starting his term in June of 2014, Sands had served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was acting president during the summer and fall of 2012, before Mitchell E. Daniels became the 12th president of Purdue. 

Sands earned a bachelor's degree with highest honors in engineering physics and a master's degree and doctorate in materials science from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Purdue faculty in 2002 as the Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering in the schools of materials engineering and electrical and computer engineering. Prior to becoming provost, he served as the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue's Discovery Park. From 1993-2002, Sands was a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and before that, he performed research and directed research groups at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) in Red Bank, New Jersey. Throughout his career, Sands has participated in and led research teams and academic programs that have been characterized by open collaboration across a wide array of disciplines.

Sands has published more than 250 refereed papers and conference proceedings and has been granted 20 patents in electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices. His recent research efforts have been directed toward the design and development of novel nanocomposite materials for environmentally friendly and cost-effective solid-state lighting, direct conversion of heat to electrical power and thermoelectric refrigeration. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Materials Research Society (MRS) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Tim Sands is joined at Virginia Tech by his wife, Dr. Laura Sands, a professor of gerontology in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech.  All four of their children graduated from Purdue.