School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

UT Dallas names Professor-Researcher VP for Research, Economic Development

Dr. Bruce Gnade to Lead Drive to Expand Funded Research Portfolio

RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 30, 2006) —Dr. Bruce E. Gnade, a highly regarded professor in the Electrical Engineering and Chemistry departments at The University of Texas at Dallas, will become UT Dallas’ vice president for research and economic development Nov. 1.

Gnade’s strong record of research in materials science and his experience coordinating a major campus construction project are key aspects of his qualifications for the role. He will report to UT Dallas President Dr. David E. Daniel.

Gnade was selected from a “rich pool of talent” consisting entirely of internal candidates, said Daniel.  “The entire group was stellar, and choosing among them was a difficult task.”Dr.  Robert Helms, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, served as chair of the search committee.  “We faced a challenge most institutions would be very lucky to have – an extraordinarily talented group possessing superb qualifications.  I’m very enthusiastic about Bruce’s potential as a collegial leader of our growing research effort.”
 
Gnade will be instrumental in helping UT Dallas dramatically expand its funded research portfolio, which will lead to an increase in the number and quality of Ph.D. candidates attending the university, the president said. “Bruce’s unique combination of experience as a scholar, researcher and administrator in university, industry and government settings will serve UT Dallas well as it pursues its goal of becoming a top-tier research institution,” Daniel added.

Gnade will continue his own research program at UT Dallas, which involves nearly 20 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers studying novel applications for electronic materials such as flexible display screens.

“The lifeblood of a great research university is the innovative work done by faculty members, researchers and graduate students from many disciplines in laboratories across the campus,” Gnade said.    “I wanted to be able to continue my own work, which is immensely rewarding, as well as to help enhance and expand the research environment at UT Dallas.  This new assignment will permit me to do both.”

UT Dallas’ stated goal is to join the ranks of the nation’s elite public research universities – those institutions whose research expenditures exceed $100 million annually.  That will require nearly tripling research dollars.

“Although the numbers appear daunting, we have an excellent chance of achieving that goal in coming years, during which the university expects to hire hundreds of new faculty members, many of whom will be conducting funded research,” Gnade said.  “We have to make certain that, coming in, these new colleagues understand that UT Dallas both demands and supports research.”

In the near term, one potential draw for researchers may be the new Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory nearing completion on the north end of the UT Dallas campus. The $100-million, 182,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility has taken shape over the past two-and-one-half years with leadership from Gnade, who has served as the faculty liaison to the project.

According to Gnade, the new building will promote interdisciplinary, collaborative research by housing scientists from such disparate areas as chemistry, biology, physics, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, and behavioral and brain sciences side-by-side.  Approximately one-third of the space in the facility will be reserved to help lure new faculty members and researchers to UT Dallas following the building’s expected opening in early 2007.

Gnade expects that the bulk of increased research funding at UT Dallas in coming years will come from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.  As funding grows, so, too, will the number of Ph.D. students graduating from the university – a number he expects to eventually grow to 300 annually from the current 125.

Gnade came to UT Dallas in 2003 from the University of North Texas where he was chair of the Materials Science Department.  Prior to that, he was a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the central research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense, and a visiting scientist at the University of Maryland at College Park.  He also served as a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a federal technology agency.

From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, Gnade held a number of technical and managerial positions in research and development functions at Texas Instruments Incorporated in Dallas.

He earned a Ph.D. degree in nuclear chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.A. degree in chemistry from St. Louis University.

Gnade replaces Dr. Da Hsuan Feng.  Feng last August moved to a new position, assistant to the president for global strategies and international relations, responsible for advancing UT Dallas’ visibility and impact on the world stage.  Feng was the university’s first vice president for research and economic development.

News Contact: Steve McGregor, UTD, (972) 883-2293

  • Updated: December 19, 2007