The University of Pennsylvania recently announced that Vijay Kumar has been appointed Dean of the Nemirovsky Family of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Her term will end on June 30, 2027, the statement said, adding that university president Amy Gutmann and rector Wendell Pritchett made the announcement.
Under the leadership of the Native American professor for the past six years, the school’s strategic plan, Penn Engineering 2020, has catalyzed growth across all dimensions of the school, particularly in the areas of engineering, health, data science and computing, and energy science and technology, he said.
Kumar and the Penn Engineering community continue to focus their collective efforts on critical areas of importance throughout the school, including diversity, equity and inclusion; collaborative and translational research; and educational innovation in online learning and investment in educational technologies, according to the university’s statement.
“Penn Engineering has achieved truly remarkable growth under the leadership of Dean Kumar,” said Gutmann. She cited the growth of her preeminent faculty, adding 44 new tenure-track professors from 2015 to 2020; the modernization and growth of its physical plant, highlighted by the future Data Science Building; growth in the quality, selectivity and diversity of students; the growth of interschool and interdisciplinary partnerships, with prominent examples including the Penn Center for Health, Devices and Technology (Penn Health-Tech), energy science and technology initiatives; the growth of new innovative study programs, including the first online Master in Computer Science and Information Technology; and student entrepreneurship programs, according to the report.
“Under the exemplary leadership of Dean Kumar, the school’s response to the pandemic has been nothing short of heroic,” Gutmann added. “Students have come together to manufacture and mass produce essential life-saving PPE; researchers developed diagnostics, treatments and therapies in partnership with Penn Medicine and other schools of health sciences; and faculty members reconfigured hundreds of long-standing courses for a virtual format.
According to his biography, Kumar has positions in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science, and Electrical and Systems Engineering at Penn. He received his Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur and his PhD. from Ohio State University.
Kumar was previously Deputy Director of Robotics and Cyber-physical Systems in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2012 – 2013). His laboratory has created many startups in the field of robotics and he is the founder of Exyn Technologies. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.