The South Asian Times

21 May 2018 20:12 PM

Anantha Chandrakasan is new dean of MIT's engineering school


New York:  An India-born academician at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been named as the dean of its engineering school.

Anantha Chandrakasan, the Vannevar Bush Professor and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) was last month named the dean of the MIT's School of Engineering.

He assumed his new role effective July 1. Chandrakasan succeeded Ian Waitz who is now MIT's vice chancellor, a statement from the MIT said.

The Chennai-born academician had previously headed the MIT's largest academic department, spearheading a number of initiatives that opened opportunities for students, postdocs, and faculty to conduct research, explore entrepreneurial projects.

MIT President Rafael Reif said in the statement that in a time of significant challenges, from new pressures on federal funding to the rising global competition for top engineering talent, he is confident that Chandrakasan would guide the school of engineering to maintain and enhance its position of leadership.

"And I believe that in the process he will help make all of MIT stronger, too," Reif said.

In an email, Provost Martin Schmidt described Chandrakasan as "a people-centered and innovative leader."

Since joining the MIT faculty in 1994, Chandrakasan has produced a significant body of research focused largely on making electronic circuits more energy efficient.

The MIT statement said that while at the helm of the EECS, Chandrakasan launched a number of initiatives on behalf of the department's students.

"That's what excites me about an administrative job. It's how I can enhance the student and postdoc experience. I want to create exciting opportunities for them, whether that's in entrepreneurship, research, or maker activities. One of the key things I plan to do as dean is to connect directly with students," the statement quoted Chandrakasan as saying.

Chandrakasan also initiated the 'Rising Stars' program in EECS, an annual event that convenes graduate and postdoc women for the purpose of sharing advice about the early stages of an academic career.

"I'm also very passionate about helping our faculty explore new research areas," said Chandrakasan, who as department head has sought unrestricted grants and other funding to provide faculty with this flexibility.

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Update: 04 Aug, 2017