Ishwar K. Puri
Ishwar K. Puri

Dr. Ishwar K. Puri is dean of the Faculty of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is also an affiliate member of the departments of engineering physics, and materials science and engineering.

Dean Puri has directed and mentored the Multiphysics Research Group (MuRG) whose members reside worldwide. For an academic genealogy of the group, which runs through noted scientists such as Theodore Von KarmanLudwig PrandtlGustav Heinrich Wiedemann and the Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus,please click here, or here for a pdf version.

He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, which comprises many of Canada’s most accomplished engineers who have expressed their dedication to the application of science and engineering principles in the interests of the country and its enterprises. He is also an elected Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS). He serves as chair of the Canadian National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science (NCDEAS), and has served on the excutive committee of the international Global Engineering Deans Council.

In 2010, his alma mater, St. Xavier’s School, Delhi, honoured him with the Xaverian Excellence Award for his outstanding achievements, pioneering spirit, leadership and public service, and, in 2014, he recieved its Xaverian Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Puri has moved McMaster Engineering through the Invest for Excellence bottoms-up initiative. This has, for instance, resulted in a digital learning strategy through which McMaster launched its first MOOC through CourseraInvestments in a new student-centered building have been made to improve experiential and problem based learning. New Dean’s Entrance Scholarships target the selectivity of undergraduate students who are admitted. Improvements in innovation spaces are enhancing the first-year experience.

McMaster Engineering is on a path to increase its doctoral student population by a third from 2013 through 2016 and, with similar investments, research funding is growing. A culture of thematic interdisciplinary faculty hiring has been strengthened. The Faculty of Engineering has formalized a mentoring program and a new Faculty Leadership Fellow program enables a more robust succession across positions and strengthens informal leadership provided through governance.

His initiative led to twenty new honorific positions for Distinguished Engineering Professors, Distinguished Engineering Educators and Distinguished Engineering Fellows in the McMaster Faculty of Engineering. He has raised resources and created opportunities to make McMaster Engineering an international hub for industry-university collaborative partnerships. He has also raised funds through philanthropic giving.

Prior to his appointment at McMaster, Dr. Puri was the N. Waldo Harrison Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) at Virginia Techwhere he served as Department Head of ESM for nine years from 2004 through 2013. During that period, he helped move the ESM program into new convergences at the intersections of the life and physical sciences, and engineering mechanics, and promoted transformative scholarship, particularly through several new faculty hires. He also facilitated comprehensive curricular revisions. These efforts increased the visibility and reputation of the department. Upon his departure, it was ranked fifth in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 in the undergraduate engineering physics/engineering science category.

He is the author of over 160 archival publications and books. These publications have been cited over 4,300 times in the scientific literature per Google Scholar with an H-Index of 36 (i.e., thirty six of his publications have been cited at least 36 times) and an i10-index of 104 (i.e., 104 of his publications have been cited at least 10 times).

Dr. Puri obtained his Ph.D. (1987), and M.S. (1984) degrees in Engineering Science (Applied Mechanics) from the University of California, San Diego after obtaining a B.Sc. (1982) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delhi (Delhi College of Engineering).

Thereafter, he served as an Assistant Research Engineer at the University of California, San Diego from 1987-90.

In 1990, Dr. Puri was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 1994, and to the rank of Professor in 1999. He served at UIC as Director of Graduate Studies of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering programs from 1994-97, and 1999-2000; as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (2000-01); and as Executive Associate Dean of Engineering (2001-04).

While at UIC, he was a 1993 American Association for the Advancement of Science-Environmental Protection Agency (AAAS-EPA) Environmental Fellow, and a 1992 NASA/Stanford University Center for Turbulence Research Fellow. He is an editor of the journal Experimental Heat Transfer.

Dean Puri writes on matters of technology and society, and has also been a TEDx speaker.


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