Former Harvard Engineering Dean to Give ENG Commencement Address

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Venkatesh Narayanamurti, College of Engineering Commencement speaker and the inaugural dean of the School of Engineering at Harvard University.
Venkatesh Narayanamurti, College of Engineering Commencement speaker and the inaugural dean of the School of Engineering at Harvard University.

Venkatesh Narayanamurti, the inaugural dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and former dean of Physical Sciences at Harvard University, will be the keynote speaker at the College of Engineering Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 17.

In 2007, Narayanamurti led Harvard’s transition from a Division of Engineering and Applied Science into the full-fledged School of Engineering. During his 10 years as leader of Harvard’s engineering arm, Narayanamurti oversaw a 60 percent increase in sponsored research, a 50 percent rise in the number of engineering faculty, a tripling in the number of graduate student applications, and greatly enhanced the visibility of engineering at Harvard.

Narayanamurti is the John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Physics at Harvard, and director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Prior to Harvard, in an academic and professional engineering career that spans five decades, Narayanamurti served as the Richard A. Auhll Professor and dean of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara, vice president of research at Sandia National Laboratories, and director of solid state electronics research at Bell Labs. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Akshay Navaladi (BME ’08) will give the student address. Graduating magna cum laude, Navaladi’s contributions to the College of Engineering include serving as president and vice president of the Biomedical Engineering Society; EK 100 student advisor; member of the University board of student conduct; member of honor societies Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Eta Mu Beta; and president and secretary of the Engineering Student Government.  A first prize winner for his research poster at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, he is the recipient the recipient of the Adam M. Miller Memorial Award for service to the Biomedical Engineering Department.

Sunday’s convocation concludes a weekend-long series of events for College of Engineering graduates and their families. New this year is a doctoral hooding ceremony on Saturday evening, replacing the hoodings that have taken place during the Sunday Commencement. For a full schedule and locations of College of Engineering activities during commencement weekend, including the hooding ceremony, baccalaureate service, and the pre-commencement reception, please click here.