Professor Subra Suresh

Nanyang Technological University Singapore

Prof Subra Suresh is the 4th President and inaugural Distinguished University Professor of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, since January 2018. He is a globally recognized materials scientist, biological engineer, author, and entrepreneur.

Prof Suresh served as the Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF), a position to which he was nominated by President Barack Obama, and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate (2010-2013). He has been the President of Carnegie Mellon University (2013 – 2017) and its inaugural Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair; Dean of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Engineering (2007-2010) and its Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering; and Professor of Engineering at Brown University (1983-1993). Prof Suresh, who graduated from high school at the age of 15 and received his doctorate degree from MIT in two years, is the first Asia-born professor to lead any of the five schools at MIT and the first Asia-born to lead NSF and Carnegie Mellon.

Prof Suresh’s research has focused on the properties of engineered and biological materials and their implications for human diseases and technologies across a broad spectrum of industries and applications. He has authored three books, more than 300 research articles and 30 patent applications, and has co-founded two technology start-ups. The Innovation Corps (I-Corps) programme which he created while serving as NSF Director in 2011 is now regarded as one of the most impactful initiatives in translating scientific discoveries into commercial practice, and it has been emulated by many organisations in the USA and abroad.

Prof Suresh is amongst a rare group of scientists elected to all three US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for his pioneering research in materials science and engineering, mechanics, and biomedicine. He has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, and to leading global science and/or engineering academies in China, France, Germany, India, Spain, Singapore, and Sweden.

Prof Suresh is the recipient of some of the highest honours for his leadership in advancing science, technology, education, research, and innovation. He has been awarded 18 honorary doctorate degrees from institutions in the USA, UK, China, India, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Greece, and Russia. Prof Suresh’s honours include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal; an Honorary Fellowship of St. Hugh’s College at Oxford University; the Brown University Engineering Leadership Medal; the Industrial Research Institute Medal; the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science; Timoshenko Medal and the Nadai Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the Padma Shri award, one of the highest civilian honours from the President of India; and the Gold Medal of the Federation of European Materials Societies, the first non-European to receive this recognition.