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  • Kekas Receives National Leadership Award

     


    Dennis Kekas, Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Partnerships at NC State’s Centennial Campus, has received the Leadership Award from the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) for his “outstanding contribution to the success and total community impact of a university research and technology park.”

    Kekas received his award at AURP’s annual conference in Oklahoma City. 

    “This award is well-deserved,” said Alan Rebar, Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Economic Development. “Not only has Dennis led some of the most important developments on Centennial Campus, but he has been instrumental in developing and nurturing the collaborative partnerships that exist between NC State and our government and industry partners.”

    The former IBM manager has been a pivotal leader in attracting dozens of companies who develop partnerships with the University's faculty and students. Since 2006, employment at the park has nearly skyrocketed from 1,800 to 3,200 employees, despite a recession-slowed economy.

    He has also been a major player in garnering some of the largest contracts and research awards in the history of Centennial Campus and NC State, including: Eastman Chemical ($10 million); the Department of Defense's Laboratory for Analytical Science, or LAS ($65 million); and the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation grant from the Department of Energy ($146 million consortium and the largest in the university's history).

    Prior to coming to NC State, Kekas was Division Director of Technical Strategy for IBM’s Networking Division and also held other executive positions with experience in product development in networking, point-of-sale, and financial transaction systems. He is also currently the Executive Director of the Institute for Next Generation IT Systems (ITng) in the College of Engineering.

    Kekas holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University and holds eight worldwide patents. 


     

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