Maryland MSE Alum Pamir Alpay Named VP of Research at UConn

news story image

Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and materials science and engineering alum Pamir Alpay speaks to National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan at the University of Connecticut’s Innovation Partnership Building in May, 2022.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) alum Pamir Alpay has been appointed vice president for research, innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Connecticut (UConn) after serving on an interim basis since last year.  

Pamir Alpay Ph.D. ’99, is overseeing the institution’s $320 million research portfolio including the main campus, UConn Health, the School of Law and other regional campuses, UConn President Radenka Maric announced

“The UConn Research Enterprise continues to grow through our endeavors into critical areas such as sustainability, climate change mitigation, quantum technologies, and many other grand challenges of the 21st century that require interdisciplinary approaches,” Alpay said. “I am equal parts humbled to lead such an enterprise and gratified that my own research and contributions have been recognized.” 

His research at the intersection of materials science, condensed matter physics, and surface chemistry has raised over $30 million in funding from federal, state and industry agencies; he is currently the principal investigator of an $18 million Air Force Research Lab project dedicated to the optimization of manufacturing technologies for aerospace components. More recently, Alpay led a statewide coalition that would secure a National Science Foundation Regional Innovation Engine award in collaboration with Yale University.

Prior to joining UConn as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering and physics in 2001, Alpay served as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, a period that he remembers as foundational for his career. 

“I am grateful to my alma mater, the University of Maryland, and the expert guidance and instruction that has helped shape my own research,” he said. “People like my major advisor, Dr. Alexander Roytburd, and Drs. Manfred Wuttig and Ramamoorthy Ramesh of Rice University, prepared me for a successful career. They have my deep admiration and appreciation.”

Retired UMD Professors Alexander Roytburd and Manfred Wuttig, will be honored for their contributions to the MSE field as educators, researchers and mentors during the department’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on November 7. 

If you’re an alum interested in attending the event, please follow this link to RSVP.

Published October 3, 2023