Published: March 15, 2022

Provost Russell Moore today announced he has appointed Professor Massimo Ruzzene to the post of acting vice chancellor for research and innovation and dean of the institutes, effective June 1. Ruzzene succeeds Terri Fiez, who has held the post since 2015 and who announced her retirement on Feb. 22. 

“Massimo Ruzzene is one of CU Boulder’s most accomplished researchers and a true leader in his dual fields of mechanical and aeronautical/astronautical engineering,” said Moore. “His combined experience within the College of Engineering and Applied Science and with the National Science Foundation as a program director, along with his long record of published scholarship, give him a strong grounding and insight into CU Boulder’s research mission.”

As associate dean for research in CEAS, he heads the college’s Research Support Office, which offers faculty support across the life of research proposals from idea to submission, execution and publication. He and the Research Support Office team have led many advancements in the college’s research enterprise, including two record-breaking years in research awards that are part of a five-year upward trend. They have led the launch of three additional Interdisciplinary Research Themes and the Quantum Engineering Initiative that have expanded CEAS’s research impact.

Ruzzene is also the Slade Professor of Mechanical Engineering in CEAS, leading a research team that focuses on metamaterials, structural dynamics, structural health monitoring and a series of related subdisciplines. 

Ruzzene joined CU Boulder in 2019 from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where he held the Pratt and Whitney Endowed Professorship in Aerospace Engineering. Prior to that, from 2014 to 2016, he held a two-year directorship with the National Science Foundation’s Dynamics, Control and System Diagnostics unit of its Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division. He held other professorships in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech and at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.  

He holds a bachelor’s degree (laurea) and doctorate in mechanical engineering from The Politecnico di Torino in Torino, Italy. 

“I am honored to serve in this important post and to help continue the great progress and success of CU Boulder’s research and innovation mission,” said Ruzzene. “I am looking forward to working with the university leadership team, the research institutes, and all academic units to further enhance the reputation of CU Boulder as a leading research institution.”

From April 1 to May 31, Ruzzene will work with Fiez to ensure a smooth transition for our research mission. She will continue to lead the division during this transitional period.  

Moore has appointed Sr. Vice Provost of Online and Extended Education and Dean of Libraries Robert McDonald to chair the search advisory committee that will conduct a national search to fill the position. Interested parties may volunteer or nominate someone to be considered to serve on the search committee.