NSF chooses UF professor to head engineering directorate
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The National Science Foundation has selected University of Florida engineering professor Pramod P. Khargonekar to serve as assistant director for the Directorate of Engineering, known as the ENG.
Khargonekar, who will retain his position at UF, will lead the ENG directorate with an annual budget of more than $800 million. ENG invests in frontier engineering research and education, cultivates an innovation ecosystem, and develops the next-generation engineer.
Currently, Khargonekar is the deputy director for technology at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, known as ARPA-E. He is the Eckis Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UF, a position he has held since 2001. He served as the dean of the University of Florida’s College of Engineering from 2001 to 2009.
“Dr. Khargonekar brings to NSF extensive leadership, creativity and initiative in engineering research,” said NSF Director Subra Suresh. “He has helped pioneer interdisciplinary efforts between the biological and engineering research communities and demonstrated a deep appreciation for developing the STEM workforce, which is an NSF priority.”
NSF’s investments in engineering research and education aim to build and strengthen a national capacity for innovation that can lead over time to the creation of new shared wealth and a better quality of life. The engineering directorate also supports NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
Khargonekar’s engineering research encompasses control systems theory and applications, smart grid and renewable energy, semiconductor manufacturing, and modeling and control of neural systems, among other areas. He has received many awards and honors, including the IEEE Baker Prize, American Automatic Control Council’s Donald Eckman Award, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher. He is a Fellow of IEEE.
Most recently, Khargonekar has been a member of NSF’s Engineering Advisory Committee, where he provided guidance to ENG on strategic directions.
He will begin his NSF appointment in March 2013.