June 27, 2019

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia receives honorary doctorate

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia and Moisés Ronald Vásquez Caicedo Ayras Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, vice president for Discovery Park, receives the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from Moisés Ronald Vásquez Caicedo Ayras, rector of by the Universidad Nacional del Centro del Peru. (Photo provided) Download image

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, vice president for Discovery Park, has been recognized with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad Nacional del Centro del Peru (UNCP). The degree was approved by the faculty senate on May 28 and awarded in a formal investiture ceremony on June 17 at UNCP in Junin, Peru.

Moisés Ronald Vásquez Caicedo Ayras, rector of UNCP, announced the appointment last month and gave credit to Díaz de la Rubia’s contributions to the collaboration between Purdue and Peru, his scientific achievements and merits, and his extensive career as an international scientist.

“UNCP, created 60 years ago by the indigenous communities of the region of Junin, has the great pleasure investing the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Dr. Tomás Díaz de la Rubia for his outstanding record as researcher, academic leader, and innovator,” Vásquez Caicedo Ayras said.

“It is an immense honor to receive this distinction from UNCP, a leading university in Peru,” Díaz de la Rubia said. “It is a recognition of the global impact of Discovery Park and of the tremendous efforts of all of the faculty, postdocs, students, and staff who are dedicated to improving the quality of life and long-term sustainability of the communities of Junin through research, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Díaz de la Rubia also addressed the students of UNCP and acknowledged that “it is great to do academic work, research, publications, and conference presentations, but we should aim for more than that; we should seek that our science makes an impact in the lives of our communities. We study and become scientists so we can apply our knowledge to solving pressing local and global challenges.”

Purdue became involved with UNCP after signing an agreement with the Core Foundation in 2016 agreeing to explore opportunities to provide solutions and economic innovations to help developing communities, especially those in Latin America. Core Foundation represents 19 universities in Peru with the mission to promote economic development through strategic partnerships between universities, government and private companies in North and South America. The agreement between Purdue and UNCP will explore technical assistance, education, workforce development, and professional services to further the mission of UNCP.

Diaz de la Rubia graduated with a Ph.D. in physics from the State University of New York, Albany in 1989. Before coming to Purdue, Díaz de la Rubia served as deputy director for science and technology and chief research officer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a $1.6 billion research organization focused on fundamental and applied science and engineering for national, energy and economic security. In addition to his duties as vice president for Discovery Park, he is also a professor of materials science, physics and of strategic management (by courtesy) in Krannert School of Management.

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