Michael J. Cima has been named co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative and associate dean of innovation for the School of Engineering.
Cima, the David H. Koch Professor of Engineering, will begin his new roles on March 1. He will also continue as faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, a role he took on in 2009. Peko Hosoi, the Neil and Jane Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering, also serves as an associate dean in the School of Engineering.
“Michael’s enthusiasm is contagious,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “His passion for hands-on innovation and entrepreneurship education will be of great benefit to students.”
Cima is taking over from Vladimir Bulović, the Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology, who had served as the associate dean of innovation in the School of Engineering and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative since 2013. Bulović has been named the inaugural director of MIT.nano.
A professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cima has an appointment at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He studied chemistry and chemical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and joined the MIT faculty in 1986. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2011, and to the National Academy of Inventors in 2016.
Cima is a recognized expert in the field of materials processing. He is actively involved in materials and engineered systems for improvements in human health, such as treatments for cancer, metabolic diseases, trauma, and urological disorders. He is also a co-inventor of MIT's three-dimensional printing process, co-founder of four companies in the health-technologies field, and advisor to the MIT Glass Lab.
“I am excited by the opportunity to serve MIT in these new capacities,” says Cima. “These roles provide an opportunity to work with my colleagues in the School of Engineering and across all five schools in developing our next generation of innovators.”
As the new co-director of the MIT Innovative Initiative, Cima will help to equip the Institute community and its partners to move powerful ideas from conception to impact. Fiona Murray, co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative and the Bill Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship and associate dean of innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management, sayse she's gratefor to Bulović “for his tremendous leadership of MITii over the past years.”
“At the same time, the entire MITii team is really excited to welcome Michael and value his expertise as a a researcher, innovator, and successful entrepreneur,” Murray says.
Gene Keselman, the executive director of MITii who took on his role on the team last September, says: “We welcome Prof. Cima’s perspective, and his deep experience as a scientist and inventor, as we embark on the next phase of the Innovation Initiative.”
Cima’s passion for both invention and the advancement of educational opportunities is also evidenced by his ongoing commitment as faculty director with the Lemelson-MIT Program, which recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.