Subra Suresh joins Caltech’s Board of Trustees


Our Bureau

Pasadena, CA

Subra Suresh, the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering Emeritus at MIT and president of the Global Learning Council, an education-focused innovation platform, recently began his service as a Caltech trustee this month.

Suresh also serves as Brown University Professor at Large, a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences, a member of the Board of Overseers of Koç University in Istanbul, and a member of the Board of Directors of Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Passionate about education, diversity and equity in STEM, and nurturing a global perspective among scientists and engineers, Suresh discusses his early connection to Caltech and what makes the Institute special.

“I had the pleasure and the privilege of spending two sabbaticals at Caltech at different times, one around 1999 in GALCIT and the other in 2004 as the Gordon Moore Scholar,” Suresh recalls. He fondly remembers chatting about his research with Moore (PhD ’54) for two hours when the Intel Corp. co-founder visited his office.

“One of the things that has always impressed me about Caltech is the impact it has had on new scientific discoveries, innovation, translation of science to industry, start-ups, and leadership in different domains all over the globe, especially given its extremely small size.”

A former director of the National Science Foundation, Suresh designed and created the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, a successful initiative focused on translating scientific discoveries into commercial applications.

He previously served as the President of Carnegie Mellon University and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, following positions as dean of engineering at MIT and professor of engineering at Brown University.

At Carnegie Mellon, Suresh launched the institution’s largest infrastructure development initiative in decades, leading to the creation of the Tepper Quadrangle and the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. He also established the Presidential Scholarships program for undergraduates and the Presidential Fellowships program for graduate students with more than $250 million in combined endowed funds. Suresh has authored three books and more than 300 research articles. He also has 30 patent applications.

Last year, Suresh was awarded the National Medal of Science, the highest honor for a scientist or engineer in the United States, by President Biden. Suresh has been elected to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in recognition of his research into the properties of engineered and biological materials and their potential to advance innovation and human health care. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.

Suresh has also received the French Legion of Honor, the highest decoration awarded by France; and the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards given by the President of India. Additionally, he is a foreign member of major academies in China, France, Germany, India, Spain, and Sweden.

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