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July 6: Rick McCullough Named Vice President of Research


Ken Walters

Carnegie Mellon University Names Rick McCullough Vice President of Research

New Position Further Strengthens University's Research Commitment

Rick McCulloughPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has named Rick McCullough, dean of the Mellon College of Science (MCS), its vice president of research. In this new senior leadership position, McCullough will nurture interdisciplinary research initiatives; oversee sponsored research, technology commercialization and a number of cross-college research centers; and work closely with development officers to obtain funding from foundations and corporations for research activities. McCullough will report directly to Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon, and will begin his new position Sept. 1.

"Rick's extensive background as both a researcher and an entrepreneur makes him the perfect person for this position," said Cohon. "He has done an excellent job as dean of the Mellon College of Science, and we know he'll bring the same expertise and energy as our vice president of research."

Since McCullough became dean in 2001, MCS has experienced record enrollment in many of its programs and seen a steady increase in research initiatives college-wide. A professor of chemistry, McCullough was the principal investigator in recent research showing that attaching "grease" to electronic plastics makes them vastly better electrical conductors — a finding that could influence the production of the next generation of printable electronic devices such as tiny switches for transistors in radio frequency identification tags, flexible screen displays, and debit or key cards.

In addition to his research expertise, McCullough founded Plextronics, the world leader in developing active layer technology for printed electronics devices, such as organic light-emitting diode displays, polymer solar cells and plastic circuitry. Since its inception in 2002, the Pittsburgh company has grown to more than 40 employees and received numerous honors, among them being named the 2006 Start-up of the Year by the Organic Semiconductors Industry and inclusion in the Red Herring 100 this past May.

"Our focus has always been on purposeful research that helps provide solutions to complex, real-world problems," said Carnegie Mellon Provost and Senior Vice President Mark Kamlet. "Rick's research abilities and his experience in bringing research applications to market will strengthen this focus and benefit Carnegie Mellon greatly in the future."

"I am deeply honored and excited to be chosen for this opportunity," McCullough said. "Research plays a vital role in the life of this university, and I look forward to working with our administration, faculty, staff and students to foster research and technology that impact both the university and society at large."