Jack Lesko

Professor,  Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director of Engineering Research ,  the Roux Institute

Contact

Social Media

Office

  • 540-553-5456

Research Focus

emerging interdisciplinary design involving lightweight polymeric multifunctional materials, structural design and reliability, packaging, and energy systems

About

Dr. John “Jack” Lesko is leading engineering research at the Roux Institute.  Jack is also Emeritus Faculty in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech and was recently the Rolls Royce Commonwealth Professor of Mechanical Engineering.  He has also served as the Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies and as a Special Assistant to the Vice President of Research.

Jack has 30+ years of design and analytical experience as an engineer, with a background in polymer physics, mechanics, and interdisciplinary material system design/characterization. His research and education efforts focus on the emerging interdisciplinary design of lightweight polymeric multifunctional materials and their structural design, durability, and reliability.  His work has resulted in several patents on new materials and implementation of in-service structures/systems using new multifunctional technologies and systems and creating standards for their design.

Jack is also the co-founder of the startup PowerHub Systems, a startup and purchased in 2016 by Fermata Energy.  PowerHub Systems developed, designed, and manufactured stationary battery electric storage and power processing systems for electric utility distribution systems.  Through this startup experience, Jack has initiated problem-based learning pilot programs through interdisciplinary engineering education and entrepreneurial training experiences.  Jack is also a Co-PI for the NSF I-Corps Mid Atlantic Regional Node (DC I-Corps) and is a National Instructor for the training programs guiding technical professionals through the Lean Startup approach.

Jack has recently served on the Boards of Directors of the National GEM Consortium and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and the architect and past Director of the Rolls Royce University Technology Center.

Education

  • PhD Engineering Mechanics, 1994, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • MS Engineering Mechanics, 1991, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • BS Mechanical Engineering, 1987, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Honors & Awards

National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 1997

Research Overview

emerging interdisciplinary design involving lightweight polymeric multifunctional materials, structural design and reliability, packaging, and energy systems

  • Areas of interest:
    • polymer physics, mechanics, and interdisciplinary material system design/characterization
    • emerging interdisciplinary design of lightweight polymeric multifunctional composite materials and their structural design, durability, and reliability
    • implementation of in-service structures/systems using new multifunctional technologies and systems
    • desalination
    • renewable energy storage and smart grid technologies
    • advanced manufacturing
    • building energy efficiency, design and construction

Selected Publications

  • B. Vondrasek, C. Wen, S. Cheng, J. Riffle, J. Lesko, “Hydration, Ion Distribution, and Ionic Network Formation in Sulfonated Poly(arylene ether sulfones).” Macromolecules 2021, 54, 1, 302–315.
  • S. R. Choudhury, O. Lane, D. Kazerooni, G. S. Narang, E. Soung Jang, B. D. Freeman, J. J. Lesko, and J. S. Riffle. “Synthesis and characterization of post-sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) membranes for potential applications in water desalination.” Polymer (2019).
  • R. M., Joseph, M. M. Merrick, R. Liu, A. C. Fraser, J. D. Moon, S. R. Choudhury, J. Lesko, B. D. Freeman, and J. S. Riffle. “Synthesis and characterization of polybenzimidazole membranes for gas separation with improved gas permeability: A grafting and blending approach.” Journal of Membrane Science 564 (2018): 587-597.
  • G.S. Narang, J.D. Moon, W. Zhang, G.C. Miller, S.R. Choudhury, A. Shaver, B. Vondrasek, J.J. Lesko, J. Fallona, M. Bortner, C. D’Ambra, B.D. Freeman, J.S. Riffle. “Synthesis and characterization of a phosphine oxide based Poly (arylene ether ketone) and blends with poly (2, 6-dimethyl-1, 4-phenylene oxide) for gas separations.” Polymer 138 (2018): 156-168.
Jack Lesko

Faculty

Jul 09, 2021

New Faculty Spotlight: Jack Lesko

Jack Lesko joins the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering department in July 2021 as a Professor and Director of Engineering Research, with a joint appointment in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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