USC announced Tuesday that scientist and engineer Ishwar Puri will be joining the university as vice president of research, effective Aug.1.

Puri comes to USC from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he is dean of the engineering school, a professor in the department of mechanical engineering, and an associate member of the department of engineering physics.

In announcing the appointment, Charles F. Zukoski, USC’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said Puri “is ranked among the top two percent of scientists in the world. He is an expert in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology, transport phenomena, fluid mechanics, combustion, mathematical biology and higher education.”

“As a scientist and engineer, he sits on the forefront of breakthrough research in areas that promote evidence-based solutions to improve society, enable innovative applications and advance a revolutionary age for science and technology around the world,” according to Zukoski, who added that Puri is the author of more than 200 publications and books and has founded and mentored numerous startups.

“Under Dr. Puri’s guidance, McMaster is ranked among Canada’s top engineering programs, where he oversaw substantial growth in the research enterprise and directed the only data center research facility in Canada,” according to Zukoski.

Puri “also led strategies that improved the first-to-second year retention of undergraduate engineering students; the development of a new interdisciplinary Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences Plus program; and the transformation of the undergraduate engineering curriculum,” according to the announcement.

“Under his leadership, the number of doctoral students greatly expanded. He also focused on improving McMaster’s inclusivity by introducing diversity training for everyone involved in faculty recruiting and expanding the representation of women among engineering and computer science faculty and integrated biomedical engineering students.”

Prior to joining the faculty at McMaster, Puri spent nearly a decade at Virginia Tech, where he was head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics.

He also spent 14 years at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he rose to the position of associate dean for research and graduate studies and executive associate dean of engineering.

Puri obtained his doctoral and master of science degrees in engineering science from UC San Diego and also holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delhi.

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