George E. Klinzing, Pitt Vice Provost for Research, to Return to Faculty

Issue Date: 
April 16, 2012

George E. Klinzing, vice provost for research at the University of Pittsburgh since 1995, has requested to return to the University’s faculty, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson has announced. Klinzing—who has been Whiteford Energy Professor since 1990 and professor of chemical and petroleum engineering since 1966—will resume his faculty duties full-time in September 2012.

During his 17 years as Pitt’s vice provost for research, Klinzing has helped the University community navigate a period of tremendous growth in funded research and increased governmental regulation of the research enterprise.

“George Klinzing has served as the University’s chief research officer during a period in which Pitt’s funded research has more than quadrupled, resulting in hundreds of millions of additional dollars flowing into the Commonwealth annually, creating not only untold advances in the health sciences, basic science, and engineering, but thousands of new jobs,” said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg.

“George’s personal and creative approach has helped shape the research landscape at Pitt, and he has headed a number of initiatives that have brought the fruits of Pitt researchers out of the laboratories and into the marketplace,” the Chancellor added. “In 2001, for instance, he oversaw the development of the Technology Commercialization Alliance’s successful process to commercialize the research work of Pitt faculty, staff, and students. Since then, the number of invention disclosures at Pitt has increased sixfold. The University will always be grateful for the extraordinary range and impact of George’s service.”

“No one at the University has done more than George Klinzing to foster collaboration among the best and brightest of Pitt researchers,” said Beeson. “He has played a key role in the development and expansion of interdisciplinary research through the creation of centers such as the Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, the Simulation and Modeling Center, the Center for National Preparedness, and the Center for Energy. He also has facilitated the development of many other interdisciplinary research areas across Pitt that have successfully obtained outside funding, and he has continued to lead efforts to expand the capability of the Office of Research to meet the demands of a rapidly growing enterprise.

“During his tenure as vice provost, George has continued his work as a scholar, pursuing research and advising students,” Beeson added. “His total dedication to the University in all areas of his vast expertise has been and will continue to be an inspiration for us all.”

Klinzing served as a Fulbright Lecturer in Barranquill, Colombia, in 2001, and he has taught and consulted in engineering education with the Universidad Technica Federico Santa Maria in Valparaiso, Chile.  He holds three U.S. patents and seven copyrights, and he has had 245 peer-reviewed papers and three books published on the topic of materials processing.

Klinzing is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (A.I.Ch.E.). He is the recipient of the Western Electric Teaching Award, the A.I.Ch.E. Particle Technology Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the A.I.Ch.E. Award for Leadership and Service, and the McAfee Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Klinzing’s service as vice provost for research has included active membership in numerous University committees, including the Technology Transfer Committee, the Conflict of Interest Committee, and the Information Technology Steering Committee. He has chaired the University Research Council, which examines emerging research issues nationally, and the Strategic Corporate Research Committee, among others.

Klinzing received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Pitt in 1959, earning his PhD in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in 1963. He joined Pitt as assistant professor on the Ecuador Project in 1963. He also served as the interim director of the University Center for International Studies from 2000 to 2001.

Klinzing will continue to serve as an advisor on interdisciplinary research teams after he resumes his role as a full-time engineering faculty member. A screening committee is under way with the intention of identifying Klinzing’s successor before the beginning of the fall semester.