Personnel Detail

Steve McKnight
  • Vice President, National Capital Region
  • Professor, Engineering Science and Mechanics
  • Member, Stakeholders Committee


900 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22203


Steve McKnight serves as vice president for the National Capital Region, developing and overseeing strategic initiatives for Virginia Tech in the region. He also coordinates services and program initiatives for the university’s seven sites in the region.

Prior to joining Virginia Tech in March 2014, McKnight served as director of the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Division (CMMI) within the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF), a position he held since 2009. At CMMI, he continued the division’s support of fundamental research activities directed at advances in civil, mechanical, industrial, materials design, and manufacturing engineering, has been instrumental in promoting greater emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative research endeavors and ensured CMMI participation in cross-foundational initiatives and interagency partnerships, and has represented NSF on several Office of Science and Technology Policy committees, subcommittees, and interagency working groups. Notably McKnight has led NSF’s efforts in advanced manufacturing and played a key role in the Administration’s advanced manufacturing initiatives and partnership efforts.

Before joining NSF, McKnight served in a number of leadership programs at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. He led the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Materials Division, where he directed a comprehensive advanced materials and manufacturing intramural research program largely conducted and in collaboration with academic and industrial partners. He was instrumental to establishing the Army's nanotechnology research program and twice co-chaired the Army's Nanotechnology Integrated Product Team.

His personal research focuses on advanced polymer composite materials and polymer adhesion science, including innovative composites manufacturing techniques. McKnight has advised graduate and post-graduate researchers at the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials, where he holds a visiting scientist appointment. He has twice won Army R&D Achievement Awards as well as the Paul A. Siple Memorial Award for outstanding research presented at the U.S. Army Science Conference. McKnight earned a B.S. in materials engineering from Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Delaware. In 2009 he was recognized by the University of Delaware with the College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award.