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Thomas Katsouleas is executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia and was most recently the dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering from 2008 to 2015. He is also the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia.
A specialist in the use of plasmas as novel particle accelerators and light sources, Dr. Katsouleas previously served on the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering and is a graduate and former faculty member of UCLA. His inventions or co-inventions include the plasma wakefield accelerator concept, the plasma afterburner, plasma lens, surfatron, and novel radiation sources including Cherenkov wake radiation in magnetized plasma. He received the Plasma Science Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2011. He has given more than 50 major invited talks and authored or coauthored more than 200 publications, including several highlighted on the covers of Nature, Physical Review Letters and the CERN Courier.
Dr. Katsouleas organized, along with Yannis Yortsos at USC and Richard Miller at Olin College, the first NAE Grand Challenges Summit in Durham in 2009, and coorganized a series of regional, national and now global Summits (most recently in Beijing, September 2015) that have helped transform an extraordinary list into a national and now international movement. He formed the first NAE Grand Challenge Scholars program at Duke, and it has now spread to 20 active programs around the country. In March, he led a delegation of 50 deans to the White House to present a commitment by 122 deans of engineering across the US to form similar Grand Challenge Scholar Pograms at their institutions and to graduate some 20,000 engineers over the next decade with the special skills and motivation to tackle the Grand Challenges. He cochairs the NAE Grand Challenges Advisory Committee.