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Panchanathan named senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development

October 09, 2011

Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, ASU’s deputy senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development, university chief research oficer, and professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering, has been named senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development, ASU President Michael M. Crow announced.  

Panchanathan succeeds R. F. “Rick” Shangraw, who was named CEO and president of the ASU Foundation for a New American University.

In his new position, Panchanathan oversees ASU’s growing annual research portfolio, currently at a nearly $350 million, ranking ASU as one of the top 20 research institutions in the country without a medical school. The university’s major interdisciplinary research institutes and initiatives are part of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development (OKED). These include the Biodesign Institute, Global Institute of Sustainability, Flexible Display Center, LightWorks, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative and Decision Theater. 

“Panch is a valued member of ASU’s senior management team who has compiled a record of outstanding achievement in a variety of positions, including as the university’s chief research officer in OKED,” Crow said. “He is a very successful academic and has garnered national and international reputation. Panch is an excellent example of leader-scholar. He is the perfect person to continue the momentum that Rick has built in our research enterprise and take it to its stated goal of having a research portfolio of $700 million.”

“I am thrilled to be a part of the team realizing the New American University vision of President Crow and building a world class knowledge enterprise at Arizona State University,” Panchanathan said. “It’s an honor to work with the outstanding caliber faculty, researchers and students at ASU advancing research, economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship activities.

"I am grateful to Dr. Shangraw for his excellent vision and leadership which has propelled ASU into the league of top research universities. It has been a privilege to work with Rick. I look forward to accelerating the momentum and building a successful knowledge enterprise at ASU.”

Panchanathan is a foundation chair in Computing and Informatics, and director of the Center on Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC). He was the founding director of the School of Computing and Informatics and instrumental in founding the Biomedical Informatics Department at ASU. He also was the chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department and the operational leader for the Biomedicine@ASU Initiative in the Office of the Provost.

His research interests are in the areas of human-centered multimedia computing, designing ubiquitous computing environments for enhancing quality of life for individuals with disabilities, health informatics, human-centered multimedia computing, and haptic (touch-based) user interfaces. He has published more than 400 papers and has mentored more than 100 graduate students, post-docs, research engineers and research scientists who occupy leading positions in academia and industry.

Panchanathan founded the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC), which is a transdisciplinary research center that is focused on the design and development of novel devices and technologies for improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. CUbiC’s flagship project, iCARE, won the Governor’s Innovator of the Year Academia Award in 2004. His team also has won other prestigious awards such as the Microsoft Imagine World Cup.

He has been a chair, invited speaker and panel member in many international conferences. He was the editor-in-chief of IEE Multimedia magazine and is on the editorial board of several professional journals. 

Panchanathan was invited to the US-India Business Council team that was part of President Obama’s executive mission to India for exploring innovation and economic development opportunities. He was a member of the Electronic Health Steering Committee appointed by the Governor of Arizona to define the roadmap for the future of e-health.  He also was part of a select team of experts invited by former Gov. Napolitano on her visit to Canada to explore academic, industrial and governmental partnerships. Panchanathan is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE) and a member of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.