Subra Suresh Age, Wife, Children, Family, Biography

Biography Profile

Subra Suresh

Subra Suresh

Some Lesser Known Facts About Subra Suresh

  • Subra Suresh was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra and moved to Tamil Nadu where he pursued his schooling. At the age of 21, he moved to USA.
  • After completing his formal education, he became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and worked there till 1883.
  • In December 1983, he began working as an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Brown University and in July 1986, he was promoted to Associate Professor. After working there for three years he became a Professor at Brown University in July 1989.
    Subra Suresh (centre) with his colleagues at Brown University

    Subra Suresh (centre) with his colleagues at Brown University

  • In 1991, Cambridge University Press published his book Fatigue of Materials. His book was cited more than 7,800 times in scholarly publications and has been translated into various languages including Chinese and Japanese. The book was adopted as both a textbook and a reference work.
  • Suresh became an R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT in 1993. In 2000, he became the Head of MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and led the department up till 2006.
  • In 2007, he became the Dean of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and became the first Asian born to be appointed as the Dean of MIT. During his tenure as the Dean created new state-of-the-art laboratories, a new undergraduate curriculum in materials science and engineering, the MIT Transportation Initiative, and the Center for Computational Engineering;
  • He also helped establish the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Center, and under his tenure, MIT set the recruitment of a record number of women faculty in engineering. As Dean of Engineering, he launched or oversaw several of MIT’s major international programs in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.
  • In 2010, he was nominated to become the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent agency of the United States federal government that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering, by U.S. President Barack Obama.
    Subra Suresh (right) with U.S. president Barack Obama

    Subra Suresh (right) with U.S. President Barack Obama

  • He remained the director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) till 2013. While leading the NSF, Subra Suresh established various initiatives including Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE), Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI), NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative, Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW), and the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps).
  • He has served as a member of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), an Executive Branch of the United States. He co-chaired the NSTC Committee on Science and the Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education.
  • He has also served as a member of the cabinet-level National Ocean Council.
  • Suresh also led the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), which helped set priorities for future arctic research across the federal government.
  • During his time at the IARPC, he helped in releasing a multiagency five-year strategic plan.
  • During his time as the NSF Director, Suresh created an I Corps programme which is regarded as one of the most impactful initiatives for translating scientific discoveries into commercial practice. The program has been used by various institutional institutes including the National Institutes of Health and Dept of Energy. The program has led to the setting up of more than 1,700 start-ups.
  • In May 2012, he chaired a Global Summit on Scientific Merit Review at NSF. The Summit has now become a key annual forum for interactions among major research funding agencies from 50 countries.
  • In 2013, Subra Suresh was appointed as the 9th president of Carnegie Mellon University and remained till 2017.
    Subra Suresh with students of the Carnegie Mellon University

    Subra Suresh with students of the Carnegie Mellon University

  • At Carnegie Mellon University, he held faculty appointments in CMU’s Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, School of Computer Science, and Heinz College.
  • In 2014, he became the director of a private nonprofit applied science and technology development company Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He worked there till 2017.
  • In 2017, Suresh formally came forward in support of the student’s protest at the CMU against President Trump’s immigration ban.
  • On 1 January 2018, he was appointed as the 4th President of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Soon after his appointment as the president of NTU, he started an initiative to turn the NTU campus into a Smart campus. Under this, he focused on building eco-friendly buildings, greater use of robotics, and driverless electric buses.
  • In 2018, he launched the Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows program at NTU.
    Subra Suresh at the NTU

    Subra Suresh at the NTU

  • He created an NTU 2025 Strategic Plan under which he created a sustainability manifesto with NTU becoming the first academic entity in the world to issue sustainability-linked public bonds along with the commitment to achieve 100% Green Mark Platinum certification for all eligible buildings on its main campus, and carbon neutrality by 2035.
  • In 2020, Iowa State University honoured him by establishing a doctoral program in his name known as the Subra Suresh Faculty Fellows program.
  • In 2022, the California Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras launched the Subra Suresh Distinguished Lecture Series in his name.
  • On 6 June 2022, Suresh released an official notice that he would be resigning as NTU President by the end of December to return to the US to be with his family.
  • In 2023, Brown University launched the Subra Suresh Colloquium Series.
  • Subra Suresh is a member of various educational institutes across the globe including member of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain, the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences; the German Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the French Academy of Sciences.
  • He holds 20 honorary doctorate degrees from educational institutions in various countries including the United States, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, India, China, and the United Kingdom.
  • Subra has served as a member of various tech companies including Lord Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, and Singapore Exchange (SGX).

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