Vistasp Karbhari

Professor & Immediate Past President

University of Texas at Arlington

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Vistasp Karbhari

Professor & Immediate Past President

University of Texas at Arlington

Vistasp M. Karbhari is a Professor in the Departments of Civil Engineering, and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he served as the 8th president from 2013 to 2020. He is passionate about the mission of public universities and focuses on issues related to enhancing access, inclusivity and comprehensive excellence, transfer pathways, returning adult students, the importance of impactful research and innovation, credentials and certifications, online/digital learning, and the integration of academic knowledge and skills needed for success in the workforce.

Prior to joining UTA, Dr. Karbhari served in administrative, teaching and research roles at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Delaware. Dr. Karbhari earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree with a specialization in structures, both from the University of Poona in India, and a Ph.D. with a dissertation in composite materials from the University of Delaware.

Envisioning the public urban research university as the 21st century analog of land grant institutions envisioned by the Morrill Act, under his leadership UTA followed a bold vision set forth in a Strategic Plan built around enabling a sustainable megacity as the DFW metroplex increases in size and population to megacity levels. Under his leadership, UTA achieved Carnegie R-1 status, was named a Hispanic-Serving Institution, was ranked as the top institution in the nation for Veterans, among the top 5 for transfer students, and the top university for success of first generation students in Texas, and among the most diverse in the nation. Degree attainment between AY 12-13 and AY 19-20 increased by over 45% with over 13,700 degrees awarded annually. Success metrics included being ranked #1 in Texas among all 4-year institutions for the number of Bachelor’s (#11 nationally) and Masters (#14 nationally) degrees awarded to African American students, and ranked #1 in Texas (#17 nationally) for the number of Master’s degrees awarded to all minority students.

An internationally reputed researcher, Dr. Karbhari is an expert in the processing and mechanics of composites, durability of materials, infrastructure rehabilitation, and multi-threat mitigation and has authored/coauthored over 460 papers in journals and conference publications and is the editor/co-editor of 6 books. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); the National Academy of Inventors (NAI); the American Society of Civil Engineers; ASM International; the International Institute for Fiber-reinforced Polymers in Construction; the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure; ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute, and is an elected member of the European Academy of Science and Arts.

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