Exciting move for Krystyn Van Vliet

August 25, 2022
Cynthia Barnhart, Provost | Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research |

To the members of the MIT community,

We write today to announce that Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Research Krystyn Van Vliet will step down effective October 10, 2022, to serve as the vice president for research and innovation at Cornell University.

The Michael (1949) and Sonja Koerner Professor, Krystyn joined the MIT faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) in 2004, and received a dual appointment in the Department of Biological Engineering in 2011. She leads the Laboratory for Material Chemomechanics, and has co-directed the minor in biomedical engineering since 2008.

As Krystyn prepares to depart MIT, we want to pause and reflect on her significant accomplishments on behalf of the MIT community. During her time in leadership roles at the Institute, she has been instrumental in helping to develop new campus spaces, improving campus planning processes, and fortifying the Institute’s research infrastructure. Krystyn also played a key role in responding to Covid-19 and managing day-to-day campus operations during the pandemic.

Krystyn has made long-term positive impacts on our campus and on the way our research community works. Appointed in 2017 as associate provost, Krystyn took on an extensive portfolio of responsibilities, including oversight of campus space renovations and planning, IT governance, and the Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Transfer (OSATT), which includes the Technology Licensing Office, OSATT Core, and Corporate Relations. In 2021, Krystyn was also appointed associate vice president for research, adding to her responsibilities Research Administration Services (RAS), Research Development, and other related research support teams.

Krystyn chaired or co-chaired many MIT committees, including the MIT Task Force 2021 and Beyond working group focused on reimagining and repositioning the Institute for the post-Covid world, the MIT Safe & Sustainable Labs Task Force, and the MIT Task Force on Research Computing. She also co-chairs the Committee for Renovation and Space Planning, the Institute’s primary body for making decisions and recommendations about all projects and assignments to space, planning, and capital projects.

In keeping with the MIT 2030 framework, Krystyn worked with MIT colleagues to ensure the ongoing development of the Institute’s major building projects, including the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing and the design and construction of many new buildings and labs. She was also key in advancing the renovation of the Hayden Library in Building 14 and the renovation of the Green Building and the addition of its adjacent new building serving the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Environmental Solutions Initiative, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute activities on campus. All of these projects are transforming our campus for generations of students and scholars.

Working closely with colleagues across the academic research community, Krystyn led efforts to improve the non-disclosure agreement and data use agreement portal and to develop a new PI Dashboard. She also fostered new connections among teams spanning academic units and OSATT, RAS, and other MIT administrative offices.

She currently heads the Singapore-MIT Alliance in Research and Technology’s Critical Analytics for Manufacturing Personalized-Medicine interdisciplinary research group. From 2004 to 2012, Krystyn directed the DMSE Nanomechanical Technology Laboratory, a shared user facility. She also served as director of manufacturing innovation within MIT’s Innovation Initiative, and as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Program team co-led by MIT that developed national recommendations in 2014 for U.S. manufacturing innovation and workforce development.

An MIT PhD alumna in materials science and engineering, Krystyn also earned a bachelor of science degree in materials science and engineering from Brown University.

The offices of the Provost and Vice President for Research are currently undertaking a search for an associate provost/associate vice president for research; we will update you on that search as it proceeds.

In the meantime, we hope you will join us in thanking Krystyn for her dedication and incredible service to MIT and wishing her the best in her new position.

Cynthia Barnhart

Maria Zuber
Vice President for Research