$20M gift to SEAS will boost nano

A Penn alumnus recently gave a very large gift to support the study of the very small.

In August, it was announced that Krishna Singh gave $20 million to the School of Engineering and Applied Science—the single largest gift in the school’s history—to create the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology. The facility is slated to be 100,000 square feet and will serve as a place for multi-disciplinary research, education and innovation for the campus and the region.

“Those who know him understand that this is a gift from the heart,” said SEAS Dean Eduardo Glandt. “His wise counsel and investment in the future of Penn Engineering will leave an indelible mark.”

Singh grew up in poverty in India and received scholarships that enabled him to attend high school and college there. He received his Master’s in engineering mechanics in 1969 and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1972 from Penn, funded by fellowships.

Singh is the founder, president and CEO of Holtec International in Marlton, N.J., an energy-technology company he established in 1986. Holtec recently won the contract to design, license, establish and commission a fuel storage facility at the Chernobyl facility in Ukraine, the site of the worst accident in the history of nuclear power. Singh keeps just $1 from his annual salary and donates to rest to his charitable KPS Foundation, which funds health and education research projects.

He is also a member of the SEAS Board of Overseers and has served as adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at Penn.

In a recent interview with a Philadelphia Inquirer online publication, Singh was asked what prompted him to make the donation to Penn. “Today, it’s a new century and I firmly believe that America’s future lies in staying ahead in the technology race,” he responded. “The university will play a leading role in that.”

Originally published Sept. 20, 2007.

Originally published on September 20, 2007