Mridul Gautam has been appointed interim associate vice president for research and economic development at West Virginia University, University officials announced.

Gautam, Robert C. Byrd Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, will devote 70 percent of his time to the interim appointment and 30 percent of his time to departmental duties including continuing his research program.

I am pleased that Dr. Gautam has agreed to assume this position as we continue to seek ways to assist the faculty in competing for extramural funding from federal agencies,said Curt Peterson, interim vice president for research and economic development at WVU .His considerable involvement and knowledge of the research agenda at WVU will be valuable to this office as he works with the faculty and research associate deans to continue to implement the WVU Strategic Plan for Research and Economic Development.