IIT is proud to welcome National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh to present the 2012 Darsh T. Wasan Lecture, “Challenges and Opportunities for Global Science.”
The lecture will be held at 4 pm on Tuesday, September 18 in the Smith Olson Auditorium in Perlstein Hall, followed by a reception.
Subra Suresh, Sc.D.
Director, National Science Foundation
A distinguished engineer and professor, Subra Suresh was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2010, and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, to serve as the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Prior to his appointment to lead the $7 billion federal agency, Suresh was dean of the School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His 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 in the fertile intersections of traditional disciplines.
He has co-authored more than 240 journal articles, registered 22 patents, and written three widely used materials science books. In his leadership roles at MIT, Suresh helped create new state-of-the-art laboratories, the MIT Transportation Initiative, and the Center for Computational Engineering. He also led MIT’s efforts in establishing the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center and oversaw the recruitment of a record number of women faculty in engineering.
Suresh has been elected to 10 different science or engineering academies including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, he has been elected a fellow or honorary member of all the major materials research societies in the United States and India and has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees. In 2006, Technology Review magazine selected Suresh as a top 10 researcher whose research “will have a significant impact on business, medicine, or culture.”
His many other honors include the 2006 Acta Materialia Gold Medal, the 2007 European Materials Medal, the 2008 Eringen Medal of the Society of Engineering Science, the 2011 General President’s Gold Medal from the Indian National Science Congress, the 2011 Nadai Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the 2012 R.F. Mehl Award from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, and the 2012 Timoshenko Medal from ASME. In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian honors, for his work in science and engineering by the President of India.
Since joining NSF, he has established several new initiatives including Integrative NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education; Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research, in collaboration with USAID; Science Across Virtual Institutes; the NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative; and the NSF Innovation Corps. In May 2012, he led the inaugural summit of heads of science funding agencies from 47 developed and developing countries that led to the creation of the Global Research Council, a virtual entity aimed at harmonizing global science.
The Darsh T. Wasan Lecture was established in 2008 in honor of IIT Motorola Chair and Vice President of International Affairs Darsh T. Wasan’s extraordinary contributions to the university over the last forty-five years. It seeks to bring some of the best and brightest internationally-known leaders to speak on cutting-edge topics of global issues. The lectureship series is made possible by donations from former students of Wasan, friends, and faculty.