McCormick associate dean to run NU’s research efforts

Olivia Liu

Joseph T. Walsh, senior associate dean for the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was appointed as Northwestern’s new vice president for research earlier this month.

Walsh, who will assume the position on Dec. 1, is succeeding C. Bradley Moore, who stepped down after serving since May 2003.

The quest for a new vice president for research was a national search, wrote Provost Daniel Linzer in an announcement.

“Jay Walsh stood out as the person best equipped to take up the responsibilities of this critically important position,” Linzer wrote.

Walsh has been a part of the McCormick faculty for biomedical engineering since 1988 and was named the McCormick School’s Teacher of the Year in 1997. He has been the senior associate dean for McCormick since 2002.

Walsh served as the president of American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc., from 2003-04. His research focuses on polarization-based imaging, optical stimulation of nervous tissue, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for quantification of analytes.

Joseph Schofer, associate dean of McCormick and professor of civil and environmental engineering, called Walsh a “very strong, accomplished researcher.”

“He has a very good perspective of the research enterprise at universities, especially at Northwestern,” Schofer said.

Walsh said his experience as an engineer, scientist and researcher will help him in the new position. While conducting research, he has collaborated with different departments in the medical and engineering schools. This will further the development of interdisciplinary research on campus, Walsh said.

Walsh said he plans to increase NU’s cooperation with national institutes, such as the Argonne National Laboratory and the Fermilab, which focuses on physics.

“The connection with Argonne and Fermi is important for them and us,” Walsh said. “They have strengths that we look for and we have strengths that they look for.”

Walsh also plans to emphasize the role of students in the university’s research.

“In academia, we discover and invent new knowledge,” Walsh said. “Students are an essential part of the research mission of academia. Not only do students learn while here, but they are active participants in the discovery and invention process.”

Reach Olivia Lui at [email protected]