Prof. Subra Suresh, appointed next Dean of the School of Engineering at MIT

Subra Suresh

Subra Suresh, Ford Professor of Engineering, former head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and member of the Board of Trustees of IMDEA-materials, will succeed Institute Professor Thomas L. Magnanti as the next Dean of the School of Engineering, effective July 23, 2007.

Professor Suresh, who served as Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from the year 2000 to 2006, is not only an accomplished academic leader but also a scholar and teacher of the highest distinction.He holds faculty appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Biological Engineering, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as well as in DMSE and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

As head of DMSE, Professor Suresh provided significant leadership in the recruitment of nearly a third of the faculty members currently in this top-ranked department, the launching of new laboratories along MIT’s Infinite Corridor, and important educational and research programs including a new undergraduate curriculum and a new M.Eng. Degree Program.Working closely with the Department of Physics, he played a key role in the launch of the PDSI project, whose renovations and new construction for Physics, DMSE, and the Spectroscopy Laboratory are now nearing completion.

Professor Suresh is a strong proponent of innovative international collaborations in teaching and research.He was the founding chair of the Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMA) Program on Advanced Materials and is the founding director of the Global Enterprise for Micromechanics and Molecular Medicine (GEM4), which brings together 14 participating institutions from the United States and a number of foreign countries.

Professor Suresh’s own current research focuses on experimental and computational studies of the mechanical responses of single biological cells and molecules and their implications for human health and diseases. His prior and ongoing work has also led to seminal contributions in the area of nano- and micro-scale mechanical properties of engineered materials. His many awards and honors include election to not only the NAE but also the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences and honorary academies of engineering and/or science based in Germany, India, Italy, and Spain.Last year, he received the Acta Materialia Gold Medal for "pioneering" research into the mechanical properties of materials and was selected by MIT’s Technology Review magazine for its TR10 list as one of the 10 scientists whose research will have "a significant impact on business, medicine, or culture" in the years ahead.The Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS), representing professional societies from 24 European countries, selected Professor Suresh as the 2007 European Materials Medalist; he is the first scientist based outside of Europe to be chosen for this highest honor given by FEMS.

A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in 1977, Professor Suresh received a master’s from IowaStateUniversity in 1979 before pursuing doctoral studies at MIT, where he received the Sc.D. in 1981.After two years of post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the faculty at BrownUniversity, where he rose to the rank of Professor of Engineering in 1989 before returning to the Institute in 1993 as the R. P. Simmons Professor.