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Dr Sethuram Panchanathan Appointed as National Science Foundation Director

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
Saumy Deepak Tripathi

Renowned India American Scientist Dr. Sethuram Panchanathan has been appointed as the Director of the National Science Foundation by the US Senate. The National Science Foundation is an American body that supports fundamental research in non-medical fields of science and engineering.

He will replace France Cordova, who has been leading the agency for the past six years and whose term ended in March. He is expected to take charge of his post in the first week of July.

Panchanathan completed his bachelor's in B.Sc from Vivekanand College, University of Madras, and later earned a B.E. in Electronics and Communications from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore after which he went to Canada and got his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa.

He started his academic career at the same university as an assistant professor and was promoted as Associate Professor in 1994. He moved to Arizona S(state University where he was promoted as full professor in 2001. It was here that he founded the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbIC) which used technologies and devices that would assist disabilities. He was appointed as the University Chief Research officer in 2009.

He has served as the vice president of Strategic Initiatives of the National Academy of Inventions (NAI). He was also a Chai of Council on Research of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and Co-Chair of the Extreme Innovation Taskforce of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils.

“My mission is to inspire, empower and serve humanity through life-changing innovations that have the potential to alter the face of how we view 'different abilities’ on a global scale”. Dr. Sethutram said on his website.

His nomination was unanimously supported by both Democrats and Republicans which shows his talent for the job. He is the second Indian to be appointed to this post with Dr. Subra Suresh who led the agency from October 2010 to March 2013.

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