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A Conversation with the Dean

A Leadership Role

A Leadership Role

Dr. Anand Gramopadhye became dean of the College of Engineering and Science in July 2013. He previously was chair of Clemson’s Industrial Engineering department, a position he held for a decade.

Gramopadhye has been principal investigator on more than 75 research grants and awards, generating more than $45 million in funding. He has been recognized twice by the National Academy of Engineering through the Frontiers of Engineering program as one of the top 60 engineers in the country.

“Any successful enterprise represents a team effort, so one of my key responsibilities as dean is to establish an open, nurturing environment that encourages everyone to bring the best ideas to the forefront,”

Dean Gramopadhye

He said, “Finding solutions to the grand challenges facing our community, state and nation will require the pursuit of cutting-edge research that engages virtuoso talent.”

Clemson's land-grant tradition

While the University’s land-grant model is still in place, Clemson has added a new dimension by creating enterprise campuses at strategic locations throughout South Carolina to encourage collaboration with key economic players. The University has investments in:

  • Automotive and transportation research at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville
  • Advanced materials research at the Advanced Materials Research Center in Anderson
  • Restoration industries and environmental and sustainable technologies at the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) at the former Charleston Naval Complex
  • Health and biomedical research at the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBEInC) at Greenville Health System’s Patewood Medical Campus.

Nature of the College

Gramopadhye said, “The key to understanding the nature of the college can be found in its name-- engineering and science. This combination sets the stage for a unique collaborative environment, a synergy that gives faculty the freedom to push boundaries and explore innovative solutions.”

“We need to build bridges beyond our college and, just as importantly, institutionalize these efforts, if we are to be successful. We could, for example, build a partnership that would lead to a graduate degree in business engineering or in entrepreneurship and innovation. To be successful, the global citizens of the future must have experience, not only in their primary discipline but also skills beyond. We can provide those experiences for our faculty and students only if we look at collaborative opportunities that exist on the education, research and service fronts. Such collaboration is key if we are going to move this college forward.”

Collaboration underscores Gramopadhye’s philosophy and vision. As chair of the industrial engineering department, he joined corporate and industry partners in several strategic educational and research initiatives that have increased enrollment, research and scholarship.

Corporate partnerships, for example, led to the establishment of the department’s Master of Engineering program in capital project supply chain and logistics. Other collaborations have resulted in a health systems research initiative and additional applied research in various areas around the globe, including India, China and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

All of these accomplishments reflect an engaged, dynamic Industrial Engineering Department, benefitting from partnerships started under Gramopadhye’s leadership.

Relationship between the College and departments

Gramopadhye said, “The critical work of a university or college happens in the departments. That includes teaching, scholarship and faculty interaction with students. To ensure the success of this work, the college should serve as a catalyst, making sure the necessary resources are available to the departments, faculty, staff and students. To make this happen, the college should function in a servant/leadership role, marshaling assets and providing appropriate incentives and guidance.”

Need for STEM experiences

STEMIn addition to serving as department chair, Gramopadhye was also Clemson’s associate vice president for workforce development. In that role, he helped create the Center for Workforce Development. The center partners with K-12 institutions, technical colleges, industry and other academic institutions and centers. Its goal is to meet the needs of South Carolina’s 21st-century knowledge economy by advancing education in STEM-- science, technology, engineering and math. The center is home to the National Science Foundation Advanced Technical Education Center for Automotive and Aviation Education.

“I’m sure many of you have heard President Obama talk about the need for STEM education. Investing in STEM programs means investing in infrastructure, bringing world-class facilities to our students, using technology and developing an innovative curriculum that embraces novel approaches based on pedagogical research. We want to create global engineers and scientists of the future. To do so successfully requires creative pedagogies. For instance, we must appropriately implement online education and training so that we can enhance and extend what we fondly call the ‘Clemson experience.’”

According to Interim Provost Nadim Aziz, who has worked with Gramopadhye for more than a decade, “Dr. Gramopadhye brings with him a wealth of leadership experience and the entrepreneurial skills necessary for building partnerships and developing strong research and educational programs. These attributes are essential to position the College of Engineering and Science for national and international recognition as a leader in engineering and science education, research and technology.”

Developing and maintaining intellectual capital

“An educational institution is defined by its intellectual capital. In my view, intellectual capital is comprised of the students, faculty and staff. As dean, I have been focusing on development, a key area. If we are going to attract new and retain existing talent, we need to make sure that we have the resources to keep faculty and staff in the Clemson family. We also need to attract the best students.

“Even as the economy improves, funds are limited. Creating new professorships, looking for endowment opportunities to provide scholarships and seeking new research opportunities are some of my major focus areas.

“As our successes build, I believe we are resolving two issues. We are retaining top talent, and we are helping solve the perennial business problems that plague most state institutions.

“I am excited about the possibilities. We want to be known for addressing the grand challenges facing us; creating world-class educational and research infrastructure, experiences and programs for our students; and graduating students who will be recognized nationally and internationally as leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Fast Facts
  • Research focuses on solving human-machine system design problems and modeling human performance in technologically complex systems, such as health care, aviation and manufacturing.
  • More than 300 publications
  • Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers
  • Editor in chief of the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in production engineering from the University of Bombay, India, a Master of Science in 1989 and a Ph.D. in 1992, both in industrial engineering from the State University of New York, Buffalo