Shekhar Garde, Dean of Engineering

Shekhar Garde

Dr. Shekhar Garde is the Dean of Engineering and Elaine and Jack Parker Chaired Professor in the Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Background: Garde received his B. Chem. Eng. (University of Bombay, 1992) and Ph.D. (U. Delaware, 1997) in Chemical Engineering.  He was Director’s post-doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1997 to 1999. He joined Rensselaer in 1999 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate in 2004, and to Full Professor in 2006. He was appointed the Parker Chaired Professor in 2006, and as the Head of Chemical and Biological Engineering Department in 2007 and served in that role for seven years before becoming the Dean of Engineering in 2014.

Leadership: As the Chief academic and executive officer of Rensselaer Engineering, Garde provides leadership, including strategic planning and implementation, academic programs, personnel, budgets, government and industry relations, alumni engagement, communications, and fundraising in collaboration with Institute portfolios.  The School of Engineering enrolls approximately 3000 undergraduate students (>30% women) and >700 graduate students (450 PhD Students), representing >50% of the Institute student body.  The school includes 7 engineering departments that offer 11 undergraduate and 18 graduate degrees. Engineering faculty of over 150 (tenure and non-tenure track faculty) include members of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, Fellows of many National and International Societies, and many winners of NSF, ONR, DOE, and other young investigator awards.  The school is home to many interdisciplinary centers, including NSF funded Engineering Research Centers, NY State funded centers for technologies, and has overall research expenditures over $50M.

Research and Awards: Dr. Garde employs statistical mechanical theory and molecular modeling and simulation tools to understand the role of water in biological interactions. He has published over 100 papers in leading scientific journals, which have been cited over 11,000 times (h=54). He has given over 150 invited talks at leading universities, industries, and international conferences, including many keynote lectures, and moderated panel discussions on a range of topics focused on emerging areas of technology.  He has received several awards including the prestigious CAREER Award by the US National Science Foundation (2001), School of Engineering Research Award (2003), Rensselaer Early Career Award (2004), and the 2011 Robert W. Vaughan Lecturer-ship at California Institute of Technology. He was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (2014) and of American Association for Advancement of Science (2015).

STEM Outreach: Dr. Garde co-led the Molecularium Project, aimed at exciting the next generation about the world of atoms and molecules. He has pioneered integration of data from large-scale molecular dynamics simulations into Disney-Pixar style animations.  He is a co-executive producer of the movie Molecules to the MAX, available in 2D- and 3D-IMAX and DVD versions. Garde was honored with the 2011 Explore~Imagine~Discover Award by the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology, in the Capital District, NY. The Nanospace gaming portal of the Molecularium project received ‘Best of the Web’ award in Education by the Center for Digital Education in 2013.

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