Amr Elnashai, dean of engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, will become the next vice chancellor/vice president for research and technology transfer at the University of Houston and the University of Houston System.
UH System Chancellor and University President Renu Khator announced the hiring Wednesday following a national search, which was chaired by senior vice chancellor/vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost, Paula Myrick Short. Elnashai will take office in July 2017. The UH System Board of Regents is set to confirm the appointment at its February 23 meeting.
“Dr. Elnashai’s vision and execution have led to transformative changes wherever he has been,” Chancellor Khator said. “As a comprehensive research university, we have ambitious goals for UH research and scholarship, and Amr has the right credentials and experience to guide us there.”
Elnashai, who holds the Harold and Inge Marcus Endowed Chair of Engineering at Penn State, previously served as Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his undergraduate degree from Cairo University, his Master of Science and doctoral degrees from Imperial College in London and is a fellow of the British Royal Academy of Engineering. Elnashai follows Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at UH, who has served as interim vice chancellor/vice president of research and technology transfer since 2015, a position he will continue until Elnashai arrives.
UH is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university, Annual research expenditures, expected to top $160 million in 2016, have increased 74 percent since 2011. UH is the top-ranked institution in the nation for licensing revenue among public universities without a medical school, exceeding $22 million in fiscal year 2015. The university has emerged as a leader in technology commercialization with concentration in advanced materials, energy, biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and information technology. UH incubator and accelerator programs have fostered a strong entrepreneurial environment that supports new innovation and startup ventures.
Elnashai will also oversee five nationally-funded research centers, including the Advanced Superconductor Manufacturing Institute, the Borders, Trade and Immigration Institute, the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping, the Subsea Systems Institute and the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, along with a number of university-supported research centers and core research facilities.
“I am thrilled to have been selected for this position at one of the fastest growing, highest quality universities in the nation. I look forward to working with Chancellor Khator and the rest of the leadership team at UH and the UH System to further develop the research enterprise and help take it to even higher levels of accomplishment,” said Elnashai.