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Venkatesh

Mailing address

Littauer 370
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
79 John F. Kennedy St., Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti

Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

Co-Principal Investigator, Explorations in Cyber International Relations

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-495-1464
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: venky@seas.harvard.edu

 

Experience

"Venky" Narayanamurti is the Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy and a Professor of Physics at Harvard. He is also the Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1965. He also has an Honorary Doctorate from Tohoku University. He spent much of his scientific career at Bell Laboratories where he became Director of Solid State Electronics Research in 1981. From 1987–1992, he served as Vice President for Research at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At Sandia, he oversaw a research portfolio of $250 million which spanned its missions in defense, energy, environment, and economic competitiveness. From 1992–1998, he served as Richard Auhll Professor and Dean of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). During his tenure there, the number of faculty elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in the UCSB College of Engineering grew from three to nineteen. In 2005, through the generosity of an anonymous donor, an endowed chair in his name was established at UCSB. From 1998–2008, he served as Dean of the Division and then School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. At Harvard, he saw the renewal of Engineering and Applied Sciences through a greatly enlarged faculty and the creation in 2007 of the first new school in seventy years. During his tenure as Dean, twenty-two endowed chairs were raised, research funds doubled to approximately $40m, and new linkages with industry were established. During 2003–2006, he was concurrently Dean of Physical Sciences at Harvard. Several enhancements to the physical infrastructure including a new 90,000 squarefoot Laboratory for Interface Science and Engineering were undertaken. Narayanamurti has published widely in the areas of low temperature physics, superconductivity, semiconductor physics, electronics, and photonics. He is the author or co-author of more than two hundred peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Narayanamurti is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Indian Academy of Sciences. Over the years, he has served on numerous advisory boards of the federal government, research universities, national laboratories, and industry. This service has included Chair of the Department of Energy's Inertial Confinement Fusion Advisory Committee, Chair of the Committee of Visitors of the National Science Foundation's Division of Materials Research, Chair of the National Research Council Panel on the Future of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, member of the President's Council for the University of California Managed National Laboratories, and member of the Governing Board of Brookhaven National Laboratory. He currently serves as a trustee for the ARPA-E, U.S. Department of Energy, the Governing Board of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Sandia National Laboratories, as Chair of the American Physical Society Panel on Public Affairs, the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (CSEPP) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Advisory Committees for Energy Frontier Research Centers at MIT, the University of Michigan, and UCSB. In addition to his duties as professor, Narayanamurti lectures widely on solid state, computer, and communication technologies, and on the management of science, technology and public policy. He was elected to the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010. In 2011, he was elected Foreign Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering for a 4-year term.

Administrative Coordinator: Karin Vander Schaaf
Tel: 617-496-5584; Email: karin_vander_schaaf@harvard.edu

Photo by Eliza Grinnell

 

 

By Date

 

2014

Martha Stewart

Fall/Winter 2014-15

"Harvard’s Incomparable Venky"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Josh Burek, Communications and Outreach Director and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

Some of America’s most distinguished leaders in academia, science, and technology gathered at Harvard in September to celebrate the 75th birthday of renowned Harvard scientist Venkatesh “Venky” Narayanamurti—and to discuss the future of innovation in America.

 

 

Martha Stewart Photo

September 29, 2014

Harvard's Incomparable Venky: A Birthday Tribute and Innovation Symposium

News

By Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

Some of America's most distinguished leaders in academia, science, and technology gathered at Harvard September 19 and 20 to celebrate the 75th birthday of renowned Harvard scientist Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti — and to discuss the future of innovation in America.

 

 

July 2014

Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation

Book

By Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

How much should the U.S. government invest on energy R&D, and where should those investments be focused? How can the government work with the private sector to accelerate energy innovation? This book addresses these and other important questions to meet the energy challenge with new analytical methods and data.

 

 

June 2014

"Prospects for Policy Advances in Science and Technology in the Gulf Arab States: The Role for International Partnerships"

Journal Article, International Journal of Higher Education, issue 3, volume 3

By David P. Hajjar, Former Senior Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2013–2014, George W. Moran, Afreen Siddiqi, Visting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Joshua E. Richardson, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) policies in the Gulf Arab States are as diverse as the individual economies and political processes that characterize its member states. During the past decade, a number of expert review groups have argued that science and technology policy needs to be reformed and revitalized in the Gulf Arab States.

 

 

May 2014

"Semiconductor Research Corporation: A Case Study in Cooperative Innovation Partnerships"

Journal Article, Minerva, issue 2, volume 52

By Nathaniel Logar, Former Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP)/Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group (ETIP), 2012–2014; Former Research Fellow, STPP/ETIP, 2009–2012, Laura Diaz Anadon, Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Associate Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-PI, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

In the study of innovation institutions, it is important to consider how different institutional models can affect a research organization in conducting or funding successful work. As an industry collaborative, Semiconductor Research Corporation provides an example of a privately funded institution that leverages the inputs of several member companies, along with federal funding, to accomplish innovation in its mission area.

 

2013

Fall 2013

"On Soloists, Symphonies, and Transdisciplinary Research"

Journal Article, Issues in Science and Technology

By Nancy C. Andrews and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

"A new report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, ARISE 2: Unleashing America's Research & Innovation Enterprise, proposes that addressing the complex problems facing today's societies will require even greater integration of scientific and technologic disciplines and better alignment of resources from government, academia, and industry."

 

 

February 2013

"The Discovery-Invention Cycle: Bridging the Basic/Applied Dichotomy"

Discussion Paper

By Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Tolu Odumosu, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age and Lee Vinsel

In this paper we hope to provide an alternative point of view. By examining both the evolution of the famous "linear model of innovation" — which holds that scientific research precedes technological innovation — and the problematic description of engineering being "applied science" we seek to challenge the existing dichotomies between basic / applied research, science and engineering, tracing how knowledge travels between different knowledge domains through a case study of a selected group of Nobel Prizes in physics.

 

 

Winter 2013

"RIP: The Basic/Applied Research Dichotomy"

Journal Article, Issues in Science and Technology, issue 2, volume XXIX

By Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Tolu Odumosu, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age and Lee Vinsel

"This mini-history reveals how knowledge grows through a richly interwoven system of scientific and technological research in which there is no clear hierarchy of importance and no straightforward linear trajectory. Accepting this reality has profound implications for the design of research institutions, the allocation of resources, and the national policies that guide research. This in turn can open the door to game-changing discoveries and inventions and put the nation on the path to a more sustainable science and technology ecosystem."

 

2012

December 3, 2012

"4 Ways to Get Phone Service the Next Time a Hurricane Sandy Calls"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

By Tolu Odumosu, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age and Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

In the aftermath of a disaster such as superstorm Sandy, two-way communication is essential. People need to be able to receive news and updates, and to request assistance and provide status updates to loved ones. Yet after hurricane Sandy, large portions of New York, New Jersey, and other areas lost their communication systems — their mobile phone network, cable TV, and Internet. Some sought out the last few pay phones as the only equipment that worked. Here are four ways to better prepare our phones and other devices for the next disaster.

 

 

September 2012

"The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, physicstoday, issue 9, volume 65

By Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy; Professor of Physics, Harvard; Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program; Co-Principal Investigator, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group

"In my view, we need new modalities of public–private partnerships to enable radical innovation for the public good. The Idea Factory is well worth delving into as a source of lessons learned in how to build forward-looking, innovative technology institutions."

 

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We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.