For several years, Seshu Desu served Binghamton University as Senior Advisor to the Provost, Executive Director for the Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP), and Dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. In these positions, Seshu Desu was responsible for accomplishments that bolstered one of the nation's top public schools.
A unique venture within Binghamton University, CASP unites faculty members from the electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, and chemistry departments with the goal of creating an integrated solar energy system. The recipient of a Ph.D. in Materials Sciences and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Seshu Desu contributed years of academic and technical experience to the task of harnessing the sun's energy to create a low-cost power source. Desu played a key role in establishing CASP and received approximately $4 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to start it and later obtained another $4 million from ONR for this center.
In his role as Dean, Seshu Desu led one of the northeast’s most notable engineering schools with a budget of $30 million. Along with supporting the institution’s 75 faculty members, Desu assisted over 1,500 undergraduates and 700 graduate students studying bioengineering, systems science, electrical engineering, and similar sciences. Through his guidance, the school earned more than $8 million from private entities, created more than 100 jobs for the local community, and spent $13 million on research annually, which is an increase of over 25 percent. Faculty members also benefited from Seshu Desu, who hired 14 people, implemented raises, and secured the tenure of 7 teachers.
Prior to becoming a member of Binghamton University, Seshu Desu spent eight years with the University of Massachusetts Amherst in its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. There, Desu promoted diversity among students and faculty, raised millions, and created programs with the University’s other schools instructing students about the societal impact of their work. Seshu Desu also served as Director of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Center for Advanced Ceramic Materials and taught pupils about engineering, technology and sciences.