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Lora Weiss Named Senior Vice President For Research

Georgia Institute of Technology senior vice president and interim director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute Lora Weiss has been appointed Penn State’s senior vice president for research, and will officially begin her tenure September 16. She replaces Neil Sharkey, who retired after a 22-year career with the university last November.

“Penn State is nationally and internationally recognized for being an innovative and bold research organization, and I am thrilled to be returning to work with this excellent team and to amplify and grow the research directions that Neil Sharkey has initiated,” Weiss said in a release. “The University attracts world-class researchers and staff with diverse backgrounds. I look forward to partnering with interdisciplinary groups and leading our organization as we continue to be known for our ability to not only solve problems but also to anticipate challenges that society may face and to tackle the unforeseen.”

In addition to her responsibilities at Georgia Tech, Weiss works as a Regents’ Researcher for the University System of Georgia, which is the highest honor given to faculty members. She helped increase Georgia Tech Research Insitute’s research portfolio by more than 25% in 2018 and exceeded $640 million in the fiscal 2019 year — a record for the program.

At Penn State, Weiss will serve as the principal academic and administrative officer for the Office of the Vice President for Research, which “advances, facilitates, and manages” all research activities across the university. She will also serve as a member of Penn State’s President’s Council.

This won’t be Weiss’ first time on campus, though. She previously earned her doctorate in acoustics in 1993 and worked for more than 16 years as an associate professor of acoustics in the College of Engineering and at the Applied Research Laboratory. Weiss joined the laboratory as a research assistant and worked her way up to head of the Autonomous Controls and Intelligent Systems Division.

Before earning her doctorate at Penn State, Weiss earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Boston University and her master’s degree in mathematics from the University of California-Los Angeles.

“I am so pleased to welcome Lora Weiss back to Penn State,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “She’s an innovative leader with extensive experience in higher education and research administration that will help the University stay at the forefront of scientific exploration.”

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a sophomore majoring in journalism and is Onward State's copy editor and interim social media manager. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and sudoku whiz hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]


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