Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry
Director of the Mountaintop Initiative
303 Alumni Memorial Building
27 Memorial Drive West
Bethlehem, PA 18015-3089
Phone: (610) 758-4568
Khanjan Mehta is the inaugural Vice Provost for Creative Inquiry and Director of the Mountaintop Initiative at Lehigh University. Mehta champions the creation of learning environments and ecosystems where students, faculty, and external partners come together to increase their capacities for independent inquiry, take intellectual risks and learn from failure, recognize problems and opportunities and effect constructive and sustainable change. In a previous avatar, Mehta was the Founding Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program, Assistant Professor of Engineering Design, and Affiliate Professor of International Affairs at Penn State.
Mehta has led technology-based social ventures in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and other countries. These ventures range from telemedicine systems and ruggedized biomedical devices to low-cost greenhouses, solar food dryers, cell phone-based social networking systems, and knowledge sharing platforms for self-employed women. Mehta’s research interests encompass affordable design; systems thinking; social entrepreneurship pedagogy; agricultural technologies and food value chains (FVCs); global health and telemedicine systems; cellphones, social networks and trust; indigenous knowledge systems; development ethics and grassroots diplomacy; women in engineering and entrepreneurship; and informal lending systems for micro-enterprises. He has published three books and over 130 journal articles and refereed conference proceedings with ~20 more in the pipeline. Mehta serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and Contributing Editor for the Engineering 4 Change portal. His latest book, Solving Problems that Matter (and Getting Paid for It, takes a comprehensive loop at STEM careers in social innovation and global sustainable development. Mehta publishes a daily cartoon series called Frame Changers that captures learning moments in HESE and sustainable development.
Mehta has served on several university-wide and international committees and taskforces. He has delivered invited talks and keynote speeches on technology innovation, social entrepreneurship, and global sustainability at several universities and international conferences. The HESE program was the recipient of the 2013 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award (Northeast Region) from APLU, 2011 Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program Award from the US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and was named by Popular Mechanics as one of thirty “Awesome College Labs” across America.