Carnegie Mellon names National Science Foundation Director as its ninth president
- Qatar: Thursday, February 07 - 2013 at 12:05
Carnegie Mellon University named Dr. Subra Suresh as its new president, succeeding Dr. Jared L. Cohon, who is stepping down from the position after 16 years. Dr. Suresh will assume the post of Carnegie Mellon president on July 1.
Dr. Suresh is the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States, a $7bn independent government science agency charged with advancing all fields of fundamental science, engineering research and education. Previously, Dr. Suresh served as the dean of the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was nominated in 2010 to be NSF director by U.S. President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Dr. Suresh will become the ninth president in Carnegie Mellon's 113-year history.
"Dr. Suresh possesses the strategic vision, international expertise and commitment to technology research and education that will continue to build CMU's reputation as a world leader in higher education," said Ray Lane, partner at Kleiner Perkins, chairman of Hewlett-Packard and chairman of Carnegie Mellon's Board of Trustees. "Amongst hundreds of candidates, Dr. Suresh stood out as uniquely qualified to lead Carnegie Mellon — an institution internationally known for education and research in computer science, engineering, the arts and business. He also recognizes Carnegie Mellon's interdisciplinary capabilities — including its work in science, public policy, humanities and social sciences — to research and solve the world's most complex problems," Lane added.
In his leadership roles at MIT, Dr. Suresh helped create new state-of-the-art laboratories, the MIT Transportation Initiative, and the Center for Computational Engineering; led MIT's efforts in establishing the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Center; and oversaw the recruitment of a record number of women faculty in engineering.
While at NSF, Dr. Suresh launched several new initiatives aimed at furthering innovation, interdisciplinary research, global engagement, international collaboration, and human capital development, as well as broadening participation. Under his leadership, and in response to an invitation from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, NSF hosted a Global Summit on Scientific Merit Review in May 2012. This summit included the participation, for the first time, of the heads of leading science funding agencies from nearly 50 countries. Summit participants formed the Global Research Council as a potential vehicle for multinational collaborations among developed and developing countries and for harmonizing global science.
At MIT, Dr. Suresh's experimental and modeling work on the mechanical properties of structural and functional materials, innovations in materials design and characterization, and discoveries of possible connections between cellular nanomechanical processes and human disease states have shaped new fields. He has co-authored more than 240 journal articles, registered 21 patents and written three widely used materials science books.
"Dr. Suresh's leadership experience and accomplishment at both MIT and NSF have positioned him perfectly to lead the next stage of great accomplishment by CMU," said Dr. Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering. "He is a leading researcher in engineering and applied science, a dedicated academic, and a seasoned executive."
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