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Darsh T. Wasan Biography

Darsh T. Wasan Ph.D.

Darsh T. Wasan
Vice President for International Affairs
Distinguished Motorola Professor of Chemical Engineering
Affiliate Professor, Stuart School of Business


Darsh Wasan leads the university's international initiative, serving as IIT's chief ambassador. Darsh is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the Indian National Academy of Engineering.  Since joining the IIT faculty in 1964, he has made wide-ranging contributions:  In 1988, he secured a gift of a five- building campus from CPC International, Inc., and, with an initial grant of $3.7 million from the U.S. Food Drug Administration, founded an innovative national center for research and education in food safety (now called the Institute for Food Safety and Health), which became a model for cooperation among academe, industry, and government. In 1997, he initiated delivery of cutting-edge master’s programs to India via distance learning. He established global centers in India, Europe, China, and Korea; forged relationships with universities around the world; and increased international enrollment from 15 percent to 50 percent of IIT’s total enrollment in the fall of 2015. In his 51 years at IIT, he has also held nearly every leadership post, including department chair, dean of engineering, vice president for research and technology, provost, and senior vice president for academic affairs.  

Darsh came to the U.S. from India as an undergraduate. He earned his B.S. at the University of Illinois (1960) and his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley (1965).   He has coauthored more than 400 publications, including a textbook 
Interfacial Transport Processes and Rheology with David Edwards (Ph.D. 1987) and Howard Brenner, and holds 10 patents.  

Darsh has supervised and mentored more than 60 doctoral students, 65 M.S. students, and 15 postdoctoral fellows. His numerous awards include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  Commissioner’s Special Citation, the American Chemical Society National Award in Colloid and Surface Chemistry, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Fundamental and Applied Research, the American Society for Engineering Education Chemical Engineering Division Lectureship Award, the Western Electric Fund Award for excellence in instruction of engineering students, and the IIT Excellence in Teaching Award.  He served as editor-in-chief of the 
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science for more than 20 years.