Steve McKnight

Steve brings more than 25 years of leadership and research experience in government, academia, and the nonprofit sector. Steve previously served as the Vice President for Strategic Alliances at Virginia Tech where he advanced strategic partnerships and oversaw executive-level engagement with federal agencies, research sponsors, and labs. While at Virginia Tech, Steve also served as the Vice President and Executive Director of National Capital Region Operations—the university’s senior administrator in the region and advisor to the President and Executive Vice President and Provost on strategy and university operations.

Before joining Virginia Tech, Steve spent five years at the National Science Foundation (NSF) where he served as the Deputy Assistant Director of Directorate for Engineering and the Division Director for Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation. Steve led efforts in advanced manufacturing; oversaw operational, budgetary, and administrative functions; and directed a research portfolio across 20 different engineering programs and cross-disciplinary initiatives.

Steve also spent 13 years at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) where he held a number of leadership positions, including Chief of Materials and Manufacturing Science Division and Chief of Multifunctional Materials Branch and Chief Polymers Research Branch. At ARL, he led a comprehensive advanced materials and manufacturing research program and helped establish the Army's nanotechnology research program.

He has been honored with the NSF Director’s Award for Collaborative Integration, the University of Delaware College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Army Research and Development Achievement Award. 

Steve holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Delaware and a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is also a professor of biomechanical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech’s Macromolecular and Interfaces Institute and Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.