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Indian-American engineer-physicist named US varsity VC

Tuesday June 19, 2012 09:51:03 AM, Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington: Mitra Dutta, a distinguished Indian-American engineer-physicist, who has studied at Guwahati and Delhi universities, has been named vice chancellor for research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dutta, a former senior executive with the US Army Research Office, has served as interim vice chancellor at one of America's leading research universities since January, overseeing a research enterprise with annual expenditures of more than $340 million.

Announcing her appointment, Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares said: "Dr. Dutta's outstanding performance as interim vice chancellor and her distinguished record as a researcher, administrator and teacher make her the ideal choice to take on this vital role."

In accepting the position, Dutta said, "It's a privilege to serve in this position and work with so many excellent researchers across our campus. We want to provide the best environment possible for our faculty to carry on their important work."

The vice chancellor is responsible for the enhancement of excellence in research throughout the campus, and assuring academic integrity in research endeavours and compliance with federal, state and local regulations pertaining to research, including protection of human participants in research trials.

Dutta joined Illinois University in 2001 to head the newly formed department of electrical and computer engineering.

A longtime senior researcher and director with the Army laboratories who supervised $310 million in grants to universities, she is past recipient of the Society of Women Engineers' Achievement Award, the organization's highest honour

Dutta has authored about 300 journal publications and book chapters and co-authored or co-edited seven books. She has 30 patents and several more in application status.

Since joining Illinois University, she has been principal or co-principal investigator on about 20 grants totalling more than $7.5 million.

Dutta received a BSc from Gauhati University, an MSc in physics from the University of Delhi, and a master's and doctorate in physics from the University of Cincinnati.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at










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