Purdue names Garimella associate vice president for engagement

June 17, 2011

Suresh V. Garimella

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A distinguished professor, who this year is a Jefferson Fellow in the U.S. Department of State, has been appointed Purdue University's first associate vice president for engagement.

Suresh V. Garimella, Purdue's R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the NSF Cooling Technologies Research Center, will begin his role on Aug. 15. This past year Garimella has been part of a U.S. State Department program to engage the science, technology and engineering communities in the formation and implementation of foreign policy.

"Dr. Garimella has distinguished scholarly, research and service experience that will ensure our engagement efforts, led so ably for the past several years by Vic Lechtenberg, are sustained," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "He has worked with faculty around the world and now is advising the State Department. Under his leadership, Purdue will continue to move forward, engaging not only our state, but the nation and the world."

Garimella will report to Julie K. Griffith, the former Duke Energy vice president for government affairs and foundation relations in Indianapolis, who will become Purdue's vice president for public affairs Monday (June 20). In addition to economic development efforts, Griffith will oversee government and community relations.

The Office of Engagement has a leadership role on issues affecting the state's prosperity and quality of life. Areas of focus have included economic development, P-12 education, community service and lifelong learning.

Lechtenberg, who led the Office of Engagement since 2004, will serve as an adviser to Griffith and a special assistant to the president until his previously announced retirement in June 2012.

Lechtenberg said he looks forward to the next year.

"I am glad I can provide a degree of continuity to our efforts," he said. "We have come a long way, but we have only just begun. I have always believed that an important attribute of our engagement efforts is the involvement of leading faculty members. There is ample evidence to show that Suresh will keep the faculty engaged in economic development and the state's many initiatives that foster growth and opportunity for its citizens."

As the program grows, it will enhance and build on its efforts for the state of Indiana, Garimella said.

"Vic has left some very big shoes to fill, and I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of my faculty colleagues for his many years of dedicated service to Purdue," Garimella said. "I appreciate that he will be available to help with the transition.

"I am honored to be entrusted with this important responsibility and look forward to working with the newly configured Office of Public Affairs to fulfill President Córdova's vision to expand our engagement at the local, state, national and global levels."

The U.S. State Department in 2010 appointed Garimella as a Jefferson Science Fellow to help sustain a model for engaging the American academic science, technology and engineering communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. Garimella will also continue his work in the lab, which includes efforts to develop energy-efficient cooling technologies for computers and investigating the precise physics behind how cooling takes place in miniature systems. He has co-authored more than 450 refereed journal and conference publications, edited or contributed to several books, and has been recognized with various research and teaching awards.

"By continuing his research efforts, Dr. Garimella not only will advance discovery, he will keep in touch with the faculty who make engagement possible," said Timothy Sands, Purdue's executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Garimella is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, associate editor of the journal Thermal Science and Engineering Applications, and an editor of Applied Energy and Experimental Heat Transfer. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1985 from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State University in 1986 and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 1989.

Writer:  Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Sources:   France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu

                    Suresh V. Garimella, 765-494-5621, sureshg@purdue.edu

                    Victor Lechtenberg, 765-494-9095, vll@purdue.edu  

                    Timothy Sands, 765-494-9709, tsands@purdue.edu  

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