Engineering, Physics Researcher Named Interim Vice Chancellor at UIC

Mitra Dutta, distinguished professor and head of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former senior executive with the U.S. Army Research Office, has been named interim vice chancellor for research at UIC.

The appointment is pending approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at its January meeting.

“Dr. Dutta’s distinguished record as a researcher, administrator and teacher makes her the ideal choice to take on this vital position,” said Paula Allen-Meares, UIC chancellor, in announcing the appointment.

Dutta will replace Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, who is stepping down from the vice chancellor position he has held since February 2010. Garcia was named the university’s vice president for health affairs in June and had planned on relinquishing the vice chancellor position after a period of transition.

A longtime senior researcher and director with the Army laboratories who supervised $310 million in grants to universities, Dutta has combined that professional experience with adjunct professor appointments at nearby universities, including Rutgers, Maryland, North Carolina State and North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She joined UIC in 2001 to head the newly formed Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“What attracted me to UIC was the quality of the faculty and its energy, and these are the same attributes that make me very eager to take on the position of interim vice chancellor for research,” Dutta said.

Dutta has authored about 300 journal publications and book chapters and co-authored or co-edited seven books. She also has 30 patents issued and several more in application status. She has won numerous professional honors for her pioneering research in the field of novel heterostructure optoelectronic devices and her characterization of compound semiconductor materials. Since joining UIC, Dutta has been the principal or co-principal investigator on about 20 grants totaling more than $7.5 million. She is a past recipient of the Society of Women Engineers’ Achievement Award, the organization’s highest honor.

She holds a B.Sc. from Gauhati University in India, an M.Sc. in physics from the University of Delhi, and a master’s and doctorate in physics from the University of Cincinnati.

A national search for a new permanent vice chancellor for research will commence shortly.

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