NM EPSCoR has announced the appointment of Ganesh "Gunny" Balakrishnan as its new director, effective March 1. Ganesh Balakrishnan succeeds Bill Michener, who will retire this year.
Balakrishnan brings more than 10 years of experience to NM EPSCoR, serving as PI on 15 large grants in addition to numerous co-PI appointments. Prior to the EPSCoR directorship, he was the program chair for the Optical Science and Engineering Program and the associate department chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He will continue to teach in UNM's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and will be actively involved in research at UNM's Center for High Technology Materials, working on semiconductor materials and devices.
"Gunny’s exemplary record as a researcher, educator, administrator, and communicator uniquely position him to serve as the next Director of New Mexico EPSCoR," said current EPSCoR Director Bill Michener. "I am confident that he will work tirelessly and successfully to advance research and education across all of our state’s colleges and universities."
As director of NM EPSCoR, Gunny will be responsible for both operational excellence of the current $20 million NM SMART Grid Center award and the successful submission of New Mexico's next $20-million NSF EPSCoR proposal slated for Summer 2022.
"I am very excited to join NM EPSCoR’s leadership team," said Balakrishnan. "This organization has been at the forefront of shaping New Mexico’s research landscape for two decades. I am looking forward to working with the incredible institutions in this state to promote research and to develop the workforce of the future."
Balakrishnan holds a Ph.D. in Optical Sciences and Engineering from the University of New Mexico and a Masters and Bachelors of Engineering from University of Toledo and University of Madras respectively. He has a publication record that spans two decades with over 120 peer-reviewed journal publications and has raised over $12 million in research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.
He and his wife Prasanna are avid dog lovers and have fostered close to 100 dogs and puppies over the past 10 years. He also likes to ride his bicycle on Albuquerque’s beautiful cycling trails.
New Mexico EPSCoR is funded by the National Science Foundation to build the state's capacity to conduct scientific research while cultivating a diverse, well-qualified STEM workforce. Since 2000, NM EPSCoR has brought $182 million to the state in direct and co-funded awards, supported the hire of 33 university faculty, and directly involved nearly every higher education institution in New Mexico.
Visit www.nmepscor.org to learn more.