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The School of Engineering’s dean takes on new role with Pitt Research

Martin in a suit in front of Benedum Hall with the Cathedral in the background

James Martin is making moves. After four years as the U.S. Steel Dean of the Swanson School of Engineering, Martin is settling into his new role as vice chancellor for STEM research and innovation in the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research. His transition was effective Aug. 1.

As vice chancellor, Martin will work to integrate and diversify STEM programs across the University of Pittsburgh. The role supports a growing need for graduates who are trained across multiple disciplines to tackle complex, boundary-spanning problems.

“We must embrace STEM research and innovation as the economic engine to maintain competitive advantage and national security,” Martin wrote in a message to his colleagues earlier this month.  

Martin also emphasized the importance of broadening participation in STEM — including diversity in both geography and demographics — to benefit both the region and the country. “In terms of higher education, that means we must shift from silos to systems in the way that we create new knowledge and inspire learning,” he said.

James Martin has been a valued strategic partner since his arrival at Pitt,” said Senior Vice Chancellor for Research Rob A. Rutenbar. “My team and I look forward to working with him on some exciting challenges across our STEM research landscape.”

Martin, a widely respected expert in earthquake engineering, joined the Swanson School from Clemson University, where he served as a civil engineering chair. During his deanship at Pitt, he boosted research, PhD student enrollment and undergraduate diversity, according to Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd. “I thank Dr. Martin for his contributions to the school and look forward to working with him in his new role,” she said of the transition.           

Cudd also announced Sanjeev Shroff as interim dean of the Swanson School. Shroff is a distinguished professor, the Gerald E. McGinnis Chair of the Department of Bioengineering and an expert in cardiovascular structure and engineering. He is no stranger to the University, having earned his Doctorate of Philosophy and completed over two decades of faculty service at Pitt.