|Vice Provost for Research:
July 16, 2013,
Volume 60, No.1
Provost Vincent Price announced the appointment of Dawn A. Bonnell, Trustee Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and Director of the University of Pennsylvania Nano/Bio Interface Center, as Vice Provost for Research, effective July 1, 2013.
“Dawn Bonnell is a widely recognized leader in nanotechnology research,” said Provost Price, “who has a profound understanding of the opportunities and challenges of the current global research environment. As the founding director of Penn’s Nano/Bio Interface Center, she has significant experience integrating knowledge across campus, working with a wide range of departments and colleagues to advance Penn’s distinction in scientific research and interdisciplinary education.
I am indebted to the consultative committee, chaired by Jennifer Pinto-Martin of the School of Nursing, whose judicious deliberations and valuable insights helped bring about this outstanding result.”
Dr. Bonnell has taught at Penn since 1988, following two years at the IBM Thomas Watson Research Center. In 2004, she became the founding director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center—created through an initial $11.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation— which brings together researchers across Penn’s Schools to study the intersections of technology and biology at the nanoscale or molecular level. The Center also partners with the School District of Philadelphia to introduce nanotechnology to students and increase scientific literacy and with universities around the world to advance pathbreaking nanotechnology research.
An editor of seven books and an author of more than 200 papers, she was elected this year to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest honors in the engineering profession, is one of only seven awardees of the Staudinger-Durrer Medal from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and has served as President of the American Vacuum Society and Vice President of the American Ceramic Society. Her work has been recognized by a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the Robert B. Sosman Award and Ross Coffin Purdy Award from the American Ceramic Society, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Michigan, and numerous other awards and prestigious national and international lectureships.
Her research focuses on the properties of surfaces, especially at the atomic scale, with wide implications for understanding the behavior of devices from biosensors to solar cells to computer processors. This work includes the first imaging of atoms on oxide surfaces and new methods of harvesting the energy of light, innovating hybrid nanostructures, and inventing new probes that reveal the behavior of small structures.
The earned a PhD, MS, and BSE in materials science and engineering from the University of Michigan and studied on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Vice Provost for Research develops and implements policies that promote research excellence across the University; manages key elements of the University’s research infrastructure, including grant administration and research compliance; and guides the strategic efforts of the University in advancing research commercialization. She also serves as a champion for the research enterprise at Penn, leading research collaborations across Schools, exploring new areas for research, and representing Penn to local, regional, and national constituencies. Dr. Steven Fluharty, who had served since 2006 as Vice Provost and then Senior Vice Provost for Research, became Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences on July 1, 2013.