Announcing the new Dean of Engineering

June 23, 2017

To the members of the MIT community,

I am very pleased to share the news that Anantha P. Chandrakasan, the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and current head of the Department of EECS, will become the next Dean of the School of Engineering, effective July 1, 2017.

Anantha will succeed Ian Waitz, who last February expressed his intention to step down this June, having served as dean since 2011.

Raised in Chennai, India, Anantha moved to the US as a high school senior. Inspired by his mother’s career as a research biochemist, he was determined even then to become a professor of engineering. After earning three degrees in electrical engineering from Berkeley, in 1994 he joined the faculty at MIT.

Through his prolific and influential research, Anantha has pioneered the development of exceptionally energy-efficient integrated circuits, designed to extend battery life and in some cases even to scavenge energy from the environment. As one measure of his technical impact, Anantha was celebrated at the 2013 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) for having authored the highest number of publications in the 60-year history of the conference.

In 2006, Anantha became director of MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories, and in 2011 was asked to lead EECS. In six years as department head, he has launched and nurtured a wide range of new efforts, many geared to help undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs better envision and prepare for the careers they seek, from academia to entrepreneurship. Highlights include:

  • SuperUROP, which enhances the UROP experience with a focus on publishable research, a year-long class that Anantha himself teaches. This year, it expanded to include a joint program with SHASS that funds scholars working at the intersection of computer science and the humanities.
  • The Rising Stars program, an annual event designed to create a community of highly promising graduate and post-doc women and to foster their interest in academic careers.
  • StartMIT, a special IAP class that connects MIT undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs with start-up and industry leaders to explore pathways to entrepreneurship.

A passionate teacher, Anantha brings to his work a personal perspective on the MIT student experience: the oldest of his three children just graduated with the Class of 2017, focused on mechanical engineering and economics.

A people-centered and innovative leader, Anantha served as the faculty lead on the team that created The Engine, MIT’s new start-up accelerator. He continues to serve on its board of directors, and recently led a working group that developed policies and procedures to help faculty, students, staff and post-docs make the most of what The Engine has to offer.

Having observed Anantha’s collaborative approach to building a shared vision within EECS, I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for the School of Engineering, as he works with colleagues across the School — and across MIT — to synthesize a vision to sustain and magnify the School’s exceptional strength. 

I very much look forward to working with Anantha and hope you will join me in congratulating him as he begins his new leadership role in Engineering. I would also like to thank the Provost’s Advisory Committee (named below), chaired by Krystyn Van Vliet, for their outstanding efforts in advising me on the selection of the best candidate to lead the School.


Martin A. Schmidt

Advisory Committee members:

Regina Barzilay (EECS)
Emery Brown (BCS/IMES)
Jacopo Buongiorno (NSE)
Martin Culpepper (MechE)
Colette Heald (CEE)
Harry Lee (EECS)
Andrew Lo (Sloan/IDSS)
Scott Manalis (BE)
Greg Rutledge (ChemE)
Krystyn Van Vliet (DMSE), committee chair
Karen Willcox (AeroAstro)