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Speaker Biography

Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau

Dr.  Jean-Lou Chameau
Jean-Lou Chameau took office as the President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on July 1, 2013.

Prior to joining KAUST, Dr.Chameau was President Emeritus of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the United States, which he led for seven years. Caltech is one of the world's preeminent centers of instruction and research in engineering and science, as well as the home of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Throughout his career, he has been committed to fostering excellence in science and technology, as well as promoting a multidisciplinary approach to research and education. He encourages the development of programs in such areas as energy, medical science and the environment, which can provide the dramatic scientific advances and new technologies society is seeking. He is also a strong champion of industry-university partnerships and the involvement of universities in economic development, including the creation of new businesses with an emphasis on advancing entrepreneurial and international opportunities for faculty and students.

After receiving his engineering degree in France at the EcoleNationaleSuperieure des Arts et Metiers and earning his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, he had a distinguished career as a professor and administrator at Purdue University and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He then served as president of Golder Associates, a geotechnical consulting company, before returning to Georgia Tech as Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Vice Provost of Research. He became Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering, the largest in the United States, and then Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs until 2006, when he joined Caltech.

His research interests include sustainable technology, environmental geotechnology, soil dynamics, earthquake engineering and the liquefaction of soils. He has received numerous awards for his research and contributions as an educator and academic leader. He is a member of both the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the French Académie des Technologies. In his native France, Dr.Chameau was elected Chevalier de la Légion d' Honneur. Dr.Chameau's industry and public service roles have included appointment to the boards of the Council on Competitiveness, John Wiley & Sons, MTS Systems, Safran, the Academic Research Council of Singapore and the Advisory Committee of InterWest Partners.

He is married to Dr. Carol Carmichael, an expert in sustainability and science and technology policy. She is the former director of the Institute for Sustainable Technology and Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology.