John M. Sankovic President & CEO Ohio Aerospace Institute


Dr. John M. Sankovic, named president and CEO of Ohio Aerospace Institute. As OAI’s new leader, Dr. Sankovic will prioritize developing multi-university partnerships, driving research from university laboratories to Ohio’s industrial aerospace manufacturers and fostering novel collaborations between governments, industries and private organizations.

“As a native Ohioan, I’m excited to build on Ohio’s rich history as the birthplace of aviation and the home of so many astronauts,” said Sankovic. “I truly believe that by building partnerships across the deep resources within the state, Ohio can lead the effort of ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness of the aerospace sector.”

Dr. Sankovic comes to OAI following a distinguished 31-year career at NASA, where he most recently served as center chief technologist and director of the Office of Technology Incubation and Innovation. There, he received numerous awards, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, six Agency Honor Group Achievement Awards and an R&D100 technology innovation award.

An industrious academic, Dr. Sankovic earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from The University of Akron, his MBA degree from Cleveland State University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Ohio with distinction by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers for highest achievement on both licensure examinations. He holds three U.S. patents.

Inclined to share his knowledge and passion with future generations of innovators, Dr. Sankovic has taught numerous university courses over the past 15 years and authored or co-authored more than 70 technical publications on topics ranging from space propulsion and power to fluid mechanics and biomedical sciences. Board Chairman Dennis Irwin expressed confidence in Dr. Sankovic’s transition to president and CEO. "Jeff made great strides in astutely building relationships with our historical constituent base—he was truly transformational,” said Irwin. “John is Ohio's shining star in aerospace. With his special combination of intellect, leadership and management skills, he is uniquely qualified to continue and realize the transformation in OAI that Jeff Rolf so ably began.”