Carnegie Mellon University

Indira Nair

Indira Nair

Vice Provost of Education, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Carnegie Mellon, 1978-
After receiving her Ph.D., Professor Nair taught high school physics, chemistry, and biology for several years. Since coming to Carnegie Mellon, most of her work has been in research on science and engineering education, women in engineering, and the biological effects of low-frequency magnetic fields. She has been active in developing and teaching innovative undergraduate courses, in curriculum design in the local schools, and in enabling and encouraging students of all ages to participate in technology in a responsible way. The Carnegie Mellon Chapter of Student Pugwash was founded by Professor Nair to give students a forum for discussion.


  • Ph.D. (Physics) 1972, Northwestern University
  • M.S. (Physics) 1969, Kansas State University
  • M.Sc. (Physics) 1963, University of Bombay, India
  • B.Sc. (Physics and Mathematics) 1960, University of Bombay, India


Professor Nair's research and teaching focus in the areas of environmental science, policy and individual decision making; green design; the risks of low-frequency electric and magnetic fields; risk assessment and communication; pre-college science and technology education; engineering education and assessment, including factors for attachment and retention of students; student development, and engineering and environmental ethics. She is also involved in the teaching of science and mathematics at the pre-college levels. The teaching of ethics, and enabling students to reflect on the long-term consequences of the career decisions they make, are central to her interests at Carnegie Mellon.


  1. I. Nair, "LCA and Green Design: A Context for Teaching Design, Environment and Ethics," Journal of Engineering Education, October 1998.
  2. I. Nair, "Decision Making in the Engineering Classroom" Journal of Engineering Education, pp. 349-356, October 1997.
  3. J. Zhang, I. Nair and J. Sahl, "Effects Function Analysis of 60 HZ Magnetic Field Exposure in the Electric Utility Work Environment," Bioelectromagnetics, vol. 18, pp. 365-375, 1997.