South Dakota State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dennis Hedge announced today Sanjeev Kumar has accepted the position of endowed dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering. Kumar comes to SDSU from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he has served as a professor and director of the School of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering. Kumar will start at SDSU June 22.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Kumar join our academic leadership team as the next endowed dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at South Dakota State University,” Hedge said. “His unique experience in the private sector, combined with his background and knowledge of higher education, will be tremendous assets in setting strategic priorities for the college. Sanjeev will champion our land-grant mission and I am excited about the impact his leadership will have on the college, university, state and region.”
Kumar worked as a junior engineer and assistant engineer in India before working as a staff engineer, senior engineer and principal engineer with Geotechnology Inc. in Missouri. He served as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor and distinguished teacher, chair, interim associate dean and director throughout his career at Southern Illinois University, which started in 1998.
“I am honored to be named dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering and look forward to joining the Jackrabbits family,” Kumar said. “I envision the Lohr College of Engineering being a premier college in the nation—recognized for its academic excellence, accessibility, industrial partnerships and community engagement.
“Being the dean of this college and having the opportunity to work with Mr. Lohr is a privilege. I will strive to make a real impact and inspire everyone to reach their highest potential as we work together to achieve the land-grant mission of SDSU,” he continued. “I strongly believe in building relationships and cultivating a work environment where everyone’s opinions are respected and considered. I immediately felt a unique connection with the people I met during my visit and knew this is where I belong. My family and I are very excited to start a new chapter of our life and call SDSU our home.”
Kumar’s teaching interests have included soil mechanics, soil dynamics, soil improvement, environmental geotechnology, earthquake engineering and measurement of soil properties. He has received more than 50 grants to conduct research in similar areas, while being published more than 150 times.
Kumar earned a diploma in civil engineering at Thapar Polytechnic in India, a baccalaureate in civil engineering from the Institution of Engineers, India, and his M.S. and doctorate from the University of Missouri-Rolla.