Dr. Subra Suresh, a prominent Indian-American scientist, was honored with the prestigious National Medal of Science by President Joe Biden. This recognition celebrated his groundbreaking contributions to engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences. His exceptional work in material science and its application to various disciplines earned him this distinguished award. The National Science and Technology Medals Foundation highlighted Dr. Suresh’s dedication to cross-border research and collaboration, showcasing how science can foster understanding and cooperation among people and nations.
Subra Suresh, born in 1956, is an accomplished Indian-born American bioengineer, materials scientist, and academic. His remarkable career includes several notable roles: Between 2018 and 2022, Suresh held the position of the fourth President at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. During this period, he also served as the inaugural Distinguished University Professor at NTU. Prior to his leadership at NTU, Suresh was the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also served as the Dean of the School of Engineering at MIT from 2007 to 2010.
In recognition of his significant contributions to the fields of science and engineering, he was appointed as the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) by former President Barack Obama. His tenure at the NSF extended from 2010 to 2013. Furthermore, from 2013 to 2017, Suresh served as the President of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where he played a pivotal role in advancing the institution’s growth and development. Suresh’s extraordinary achievements also include his election to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2002, followed by his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 and the Institute of Medicine (now known as the National Academy of Medicine) in 2013. Notably, he is one of the very few individuals in the United States to have been elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies, marking a significant distinction.
In addition, Suresh holds the unique honor of being the first Asian-born professor to lead one of MIT’s five schools, and he was also the first Asian-born scientist to lead the NSF. Suresh’s expertise is further evidenced by his role as a member of the Engineering and Computer Science jury for the Infosys Prize in 2009 and 2010, reflecting his involvement in recognizing outstanding contributions to the fields of engineering and computer science. Subra Suresh’s career stands as a testament to his exceptional leadership and contributions to the domains of science, engineering, and education.