Puri  Ishwar 02

Dr. Ishwar K. Puri is dean of the Faculty of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. At McMaster, he is also an associate member of the departments of engineering physics and school of biomedical engineering. He is founding academic director of the McMaster Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC).

Dr. Puri is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a licensed professional engineer (P.Eng) registered in Ontario.

For nearly three decades, Professor Puri has directed and mentored the Multiphysics Research Group (MuRG) whose members reside worldwide. For an academic genealogy of the group, which runs through noted scientists such as Theodore Von KarmanLudwig PrandtlGustav Heinrich Wiedemann and the Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicusplease click here, or here for a pdf version.


He obtained his Ph.D. (1987), and M.S. (1984) degrees in Engineering Science (Applied Mechanics) from the University of California, San Diego after obtaining a B.Sc. (1982) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delhi (Delhi College of Engineering). 

He is the author of over 175 archival publications and books. These publications have been cited over 5.500 times in the literature per Google Scholar with an H-Index of 44 (i.e., forty four of his publications have been cited at least 44 times).

Dr. Puri is best known for his contributions to the sciences of magnetic fluid and particle transport (by providing insights into thermomagnetic convection, dynamic self assembly and magnetic inks for 3D printing), nanoscale transport phenomena (that elucidates new insights into heat transfer and soft matter behavior), combustion (with applications to fire safety and combustor design), and  mathematical biology of disease (that explains the cancer stem cell hypothesis and Alzheimer's disease).

He was a founder and mentor of NanoSpin, a startup that developed a cooling system for computers and electronic devices that uses a liquid dispersion of magnetic nanoparticles to dissipate waste heat, which led to the founding of CIRC.

He serves as chair of the Canadian National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science) and is also chair of the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering (CODE).

Dr. Puri has served as Secretary of the American Academy of Mechanics, on the executive committee of the international Global Engineering Deans Council, on the executive of NCDEAS and as chair of its advocacy committee. 

In 2010, his alma mater, St. Xavier's School, Delhi, honored him with the Xaverian Excellence Award for his outstanding achievements, pioneering spirit, leadership and public service, and, in 2014, he received its Xaverian Lifetime Achievement Award.

He  has edited a book on the Environmental Implications of Combustion Processes, written a textbook on Advanced Thermodynamics Engineering, now in its second edition, and another on Combustion Science and Engineering.

At McMaster, Dr. Puri leads a Faculty that is organized into two schools, the student-centred research-focused School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the student-centred practice-focused Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology (SEPT). With about 160 faculty members in SEAS and 26 in SEPT, McMaster Engineering is home to 185 faculty members who, along with 150 administrative, technical and research staff members, educate 4,800 undergraduate students and about 1,000 graduate students.  His efforts have led to 51 faculty hires since 2013.

The centerpiece of the strategic vision that Dr. Puri has helped create enables innovative thinking to tackle profound local and global grand challenges that face society today. This vision, Innovation from Excellence, improves inclusion and diversity among students, faculty and staff members, illuminates a path towards greater student engagement by offering opportunities for students to grow into transformational thought leaders and also be eminently employable, and enhances the student experience through community engagement, extracurricular activities and summer research opportunities.

The aspiration to become a global top 75 engineering program by 2025, is coming to fruition. ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017 ranked civil engineering among the top 30 programs in the world at number 29, and three programs (metallurgical engineering, computer science and engineering, and transportation science and engineering) among the top 75 in their areas. These four programs already meet the aspiration of a top 75 engineering school. Two programs (water resources, and telecommunications engineering) are ranked among the top 101-150 programs in the world, within striking distance of moving into the top 75.

Under his watch, a student-centered building is improving experiential and problem based learning. Another bioinnovation building is being constructed to also allow for student and faculty expansion. The MacChangers grand challenge scholars program is an extracurricular activity that provides resources, coaching and support to interdisciplinary teams of students as they work together to create innovative and realistic changes that will contribute to positive change both locally and globallyThere is focus on recognizing teaching and learning.

In partnership with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Puri initiated the university’s – and first of its kind in Canada – Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences Program (IBEHS). The program offers students a five-year biomedical program that integrates engineering and health sciences, allowing multiple pathways to careers in health, engineering and entrepreneurship. After a common first year, students enter either the Bachelor of Engineering and Biomedical Engineering (B.Eng.BME) where they graduate with designations in both a traditional engineering discipline and in biomedical engineering, or the Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health, Engineering Science and Entrepreneurship (B.H.Sc.) degree program.   

During his tenure, McMaster Engineering has significantly increased its doctoral student population and research funding through major investments. A culture of thematic interdisciplinary faculty hiring has been strengthened. The Faculty of Engineering has formalized a mentoring program through its Faculty Development Academy and a Faculty Leadership Fellow program. Dr. Puri’s initiative led to twenty new honorific positions for Distinguished Engineering Professors, Distinguished Engineering Educators and Distinguished Engineering Fellows in the McMaster Faculty of Engineering, some of which have been endowed. McMaster announced  that is being built.

Prior to his appointment at McMaster, Dr. Puri was the N. Waldo Harrison Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) at Virginia Tech where he served as Department Head of ESM for nine years from 2004 through 2013. During that period, he helped move the ESM program into new convergences at the intersections of the life and physical sciences, and promoted transformative scholarship, particularly through several new faculty hires. He also facilitated comprehensive curricular revisions. 

These efforts increased the visibility and reputation of the department. Upon his departure, it was ranked fifth in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 in the undergraduate engineering physics/engineering science category.

He was selected to assume the Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Leeds in the UK during the 2014 academic year but declined the offer in order to assume his new position at McMaster University. The Fulbright Distinguished Chair Program comprises approximately forty distinguished lecturing and research awards across disciplines ranging from three to 12 months. These awards are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Candidates should be eminent scholars and have a significant publication and teaching record.

After receiving his doctoral degree  he served as an Assistant Research Engineer at the University of California, San Diego from 1987-90. In 1990, Dr. Puri was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 1994, and to the rank of Professor in 1999.

He served at UIC as Director of Graduate Studies of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering programs from 1994-97, and 1999-2000; as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (2000-01); and as Executive Associate Dean of Engineering (2001-04). He served on the steering committee of the UIC Institute for Environmental Studies, and helped facilitate UIC's micro- and nanotechnology initiatives.

While at UIC, he was a 1993 American Association for the Advancement of Science-Environmental Protection Agency (AAAS-EPA) Environmental Fellow, and a 1992 NASA/Stanford University Center for Turbulence Research Fellow. He is an editor of the journal Experimental Heat Transfer and serves on the Chemical Physics Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports, a journal published by Springer Nature.

Dr. Puri has historically been involved with a number of interdisciplinary and campus-wide initiatives. Under his stewardship, ESM was the first department at Virgnia Tech to develop a computational science and engineering program and house the university's graduate certificate in the area. 

He led nanotechnology education and ethics (graduate ethics education) programs through grants from NSF. He directed the US Department of Education FIPSE EVALUATE-E Atlantis project that evaluated transatlantic collaborative degree programs in engineering. He was an organizer of the Emerging Issues in Technology Seminar Series that was a partnership between TCE (of the Tata Group of Companies) and Virginia Tech.

Dr. Puri writes on matters of technology and society, and has also been a TEDx speaker.

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Since April 18, 2013

© Ishwar K. Puri 2013-2017