Professor Subra Suresh

Distinguished University Professor


Prof Subra Suresh is the 4th President and the inaugural Distinguished University Professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, since January 2018. 

Prof Suresh served as Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF), a position to which he was nominated by the President of the United States, and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate (2010-2013). He has been the President of Carnegie Mellon University (2013 – 2017); Dean of Engineering (2007-2010) and Vannevar Bush Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Professor of Engineering at Brown University (1983-1993).  He graduated from high school at the age of 15 and received his engineering doctorate degree from MIT in two years.  

Prof Suresh’s research has focused on the properties of engineered and biological materials and their implications for human diseases and technologies across a broad spectrum of industries and applications. He has authored three books, more than 300 research articles and 30 patent applications, and has co-founded two technology start-ups.  The Innovation Corps (I-Corps) programme which he created while serving as NSF Director in 2011 is now regarded as one of the most impactful initiatives in translating scientific discoveries into commercial practice.

Prof Suresh is amongst a rare group of researchers elected to all three branches of the US National Academies: National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine. He has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, and to leading science and/or engineering academies in China, France, Germany, India, Spain, Singapore, and Sweden.  He has been awarded 18 honorary doctorate degrees from institutions around the world.  His alma mater, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, awarded him an honorary doctorate degree during its Golden Jubilee Convocation in 2013 where he was the commencement speaker.

Prof Suresh is the recipient of some of the most prestigious honors for advancing science, technology, education, research, and innovation through his scholarship and leadership: the 2020 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal; an Honorary Fellowship of St. Hugh’s College at Oxford University in 2018; the 2015 Industrial Research Institute Medal; the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science; the 2012 Timoshenko Medal and the 2011 Nadai Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the 2011 Padma Shri award, one of the highest civilian honors from the President of India on Republic Day; the 2007 Gold Medal of the Federation of European Materials Societies; and the 1995 Presidential Young Investigator Award from the White House.