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Speaker Biography

Prof. Alice Gast

Prof. Alice Gast
Dr. Alice P. Gast, an internationally renowned scholar, researcher and academic leader, was appointed the 13th president of Lehigh University in August 2006.

Prior to her appointment at Lehigh, Dr.Gast served as the vice president for research and associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and held the Robert T. Haslam chair in chemical engineering. She previously spent 16 years as a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.

She is the co-author of Physical Chemistry of Surfaces, 6th edition, a classic textbook on colloid and surface phenomena, and has co-authored numerous scientific publications.

In 2010, Dr.Gast was named to the prestigious post of U.S. Science Envoy by the U.S. State Department. As one of three science envoys named in 2010, Dr.Gasttravelled to the Caucasus and Central Asia and has advised the White House, the Department of State, and the U.S. scientific community about ways to deepen existing ties and foster new relationships there. Additionally, Dr.Gast is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

In 2010, Dr.Gast was awarded an honorary degree from The University of Western Ontario, where she was described as “a scholar, a researcher and a leader who is a great inspiration to female and male students alike, who aspire to enter the profession of engineering.” In 2012, she was awarded an honorary professorship from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST).

She spent several years of her scientific career overseas, first as a postdoctoral student on a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) fellowship at the ÉcoleSupérieure de Physique et de ChimieIndustrielles in Paris. While serving as professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University, she returned to Paris for a sabbatical as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in 1991. In 1999, she was an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow in Munich, Germany.