Dr. Subra Suresh
"Crossing Boundaries, Transforming Lives" is the theme of Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh's inauguration, and it has been a constant ideal motivating his research career for 30 years.
President Suresh is an engineer and scientist, who, in collaboration with his students, post-doctoral researchers and collaborators, has identified new connections between the properties of biological cells and diseases such as malaria, sickle cell anemia and some types of cancer. This work has been widely recognized, nationally and internationally, from professional and honorific societies representing engineering, sciences and medicine.
"Dr. Suresh's key area of expertise is the mechanics of materials," said Greg Rohrer, the W. W. Mullins Professor and head of Carnegie Mellon's Department of Materials Science and Engineering. "What makes him one of the world's top materials scientists is the way he has used his creativity and vision in applying this expertise to advance knowledge in every area of the field, including metals, ceramics, composites, coatings, nanostructured materials and biological materials.
"In this way, his research has influenced the aircraft industry, the electronics industry and medicine. The interdisciplinary impact of his research is one of the qualities that makes him an ideal leader for Carnegie Mellon."
In recognition of his work, Dr. Suresh was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science in April, and he was inducted into the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. This year, he also was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras and Zhejiang University in China.
Two weeks ago, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine, the branch of the U.S. National Academies that recognizes leading researchers in health and medical research. He is one of only 16 American scientists to be a member of all three National Academies, having been inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2002, and the National Academy of Sciences in 2012. He is also the only current university president to have this distinction.
At the university, Dr. Suresh holds appointments in four departments: Materials Science and Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Engineering and Public Policy; and the Heinz College.
He will discuss his research in a lecture titled "The study of human diseases at the intersections of engineering, science and medicine," at 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7, in Rashid Auditorium in the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies. The talk is free and open to the public.
As part of welcoming Dr. Suresh to the university, a formal investiture ceremony will take place Nov. 15. The event will include remarks from faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon; a keynote speech by Dr. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google and former university trustee; performances by Carnegie Mellon graduates, faculty and students; and an inaugural address by Dr. Suresh.
In addition, symposia on data science, the science and technology of learning, and energy are scheduled for November 14–15; additional symposia on other key strengths of the university will be scheduled for the spring semester.