our-people | faculty - research


Jack Lesko

Director of Engineering Research
[email protected]

John “Jack” Lesko is the director of engineering research at the Roux Institute, where he will focus on use-inspired research and discovery. Lesko comes to the Roux Institute from Virginia Tech, where he was Emeritus Faculty in Mechanical Engineering and the Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He also served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and as a Special Assistant to the Vice President of Research.

Lesko has 30+ years of design and analytical experience as an engineer, with a background in polymer physics, mechanics, and interdisciplinary material system design and 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 and systems using new multifunctional technologies and creating standards for their design.

The cofounder of PowerHub Systems, a company acquired by Fermata Energy in 2016, Lesko has used his startup experience to integrate problem-based learning programs through interdisciplinary engineering education and entrepreneurial training experiences.

He is also a Co-PI for the NSF I-Corps Mid-Atlantic Regional Node (DC I-Corps) and a National Instructor for the training programs guiding technical professionals through the Lean Startup approach. Lesko is a lover of anything water-related and looks forward to enjoying the New England coast sailing, diving, swimming, and fishing.