The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Krishnamurty Named Isenberg Distinguished Professor in Engineering

Sundar Krishnamurty


Professor Sundar Krishnamurty – the head of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, director of the Center for e-Design, and associate director of the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring – has been named the second Ronnie & Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor in Engineering. The Isenberg professorship was created in 2003 at UMass Amherst to enhance interdisciplinary teaching and research among the fields of management, engineering, and science.

Krishnamurty follows in the footsteps of former College of Engineering Dean and current UMass Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Michael Malone, who stepped down last year as the first Isenberg Professor.

As Krishnamurty explains about his appointment to this esteemed position, “I am honored to have this unique opportunity to establish a vibrant ecosystem to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the college. I look forward to working closely with the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at the Isenberg School of Management to advance ‘I&E’ across the campus to benefit our students, faculty, and the region.”

The Isenberg Professorship in Engineering brings together engineering and business by supporting a recognized engineering scholar who can teach and conduct research at the College of Engineering and also participate in the Isenberg Center at the Isenberg School of Management.

The Isenbergs’ original establishing gift of $850,000 made this endowment yet another link in their remarkable chain of support at UMass Amherst. It is also what Malone called one of “three legs in the stool” supporting the Isenbergs’ vision of creating three professorships in management, the natural sciences, and engineering. Together, the three Isenberg professorships encourage collaborative teaching and research programs focused on technology innovation and driven by interdisciplinary work in these three areas.

Eugene Isenberg passed away in his Palm Beach home in 2014 at the age of 84.

Krishnamurty joined the MIE department in 1989. Among many other honors he has accumulated since then, he is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), an elected member and department head/chair of the ASME Executive Committee, a member of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Task Force at UMass Amherst, the winner of the Stavros Paul Winske Access Award for Work on Assistive Technology, and the recipient of two National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Awards (the first person on campus to receive this honor).

In addition to his duties as MIE head while overseeing the department as its national rankings jumped by 20 spots, Krishnamurty directs the Center for e-Design, an NSF-supported Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. The mission of the center is to serve as a nucleus of excellence for the creation and dissemination of a systematic body of knowledge in intelligent e-design and product realization.

During his tenure as director of the center, Krishnamurty has directed its growth from its original two sites to seven academic institutions with an active industry advisory board represented by more than 20 membership, fee-based companies, thus leading to the center’s recognition as the premier program for product design and realization.

Krishnamurty is also the associate director of the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring, which accelerates the development and commercialization of low-cost, multi-function, wearable, wireless sensor systems for personalized health care and biometric monitoring. In that capacity, he has led the campus efforts in establishing a vibrant manufacturing ecosystem, including his service as the founding director of the Advanced Design and Digital Fabrication core-facilities lab with state-of-the-art metal 3D printers and related equipment.

Krishnamurty earned his B.S. at the Indian Institute of Technology, his M.S. at the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. (August 2020)