New York: An Indian-American expert, known for his groundbreaking work on autonomous robots, has been named dean of a prestigious US university in Pennsylvania.
An IIT-Kanpur alumnus, Vijay Kumar, who has earlier served in the White House, will take over as the dean of University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science on July 1, Penn president Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price have announced.
Kumar is widely recognised for his groundbreaking work on the development of autonomous robots and on biologically inspired algorithms for collective behaviour.
He has served in the White House as assistant director for robotics and cyber physical systems in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, during a scholarly leave in 2012-14.
"I am honoured and excited to serve as the next dean of Penn Engineering. I look forward to partnering with Penn Engineering's incredible faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends to take our school to even greater heights," he said.
Kumar, an author of more than 400 refereed articles and papers and more than 20 books and book chapters, said that technology will play a key role in addressing global challenges in the coming decade, from health care to security to sustainability and beyond.
"Vijay's superb academic judgement, compelling vision for the future of engineering and applied science, and proven track record as a leader and administrator make him the perfect choice to lead Penn Engineering," Penn President Amy Gutmann said.
Kumar joined the Penn Engineering faculty in 1987 and currently serves as UPS Foundation Professor with appointments in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science and Electrical and Systems Engineering.
Kumar is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Besides, he is also the recipient of numerous awards and honours.