S. Shankar Sastry: Leadership in a changing world

Berkeley Engineering 150When S. Shankar Sastry was named dean of Berkeley Engineering in 2007, he described the college as a “fountain of innovation” that is transforming our world. Sastry’s internationally recognized expertise in autonomous systems, computer vision, sensor networks and cybersecurity may have given him some prescient understanding of the revolutionary changes driven by artificial intelligence and automation. It is not surprising that as dean, Sastry, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a distinguished alumnus awardee from the Indian Institute of Technology, helped ensure that Berkeley Engineering remained well-positioned to take a leading role in these technological and societal changes. 

Dean Sastry with Diane Green and Paul JacobsDean Shankar Sastry speaking with Berkeley Engineering supporters, including Diane Greene of Google and Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm. (Photo by Matt Beardsley)Under Sastry’s leadership, the total research expenditures in the college grew by 5 to 12 percent each year. During his tenure, numerous multi-disciplinary institutes and centers were launched, global partnerships were formed and innovative engineering educational programs were developed. 

Sastry, the Roy W. Carlson Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, steps down as dean on June 30, 2018, to return full time to teaching and research. He holds joint faculty appointments in the bioengineering and mechanical engineering departments, and he is faculty director of the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

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