Jean-Lou Chameau, President
Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair
As the eighth president of the California Institute of Technology, Jean-Lou Chameau has led one of the world's preeminent centers of instruction and research in engineering and science since September 2006. Caltech is recognized for its select student body, outstanding faculty and groundbreaking research and discoveries. Caltech also operates several renowned off-campus facilities, including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the W. M. Keck Observatory, and the Palomar Observatory.
Chameau is committed to fostering the Institute's unique values, as well as to promoting a multidisciplinary approach to research and education. He encourages the development of programs in areas of societal impact, including energy, information technology, medical science, and the environment. Chameau also places great emphasis on improving students' educational experiences, increasing the diversity of the community, and advancing entrepreneurial and international opportunities for faculty and students. He is a strong proponent of the Institute taking a leadership role in sustainability. Chameau is also committed to diversifying Caltech's resources and making the Institute as effective in administration as it is innovative in science and engineering.
Having earned his PhD in civil engineering at Stanford University, Chameau joined the civil engineering faculty at Purdue University in 1980, where he ultimately became head of the geotechnical engineering program. Moving to Georgia Tech in 1991, he was named director of the school of civil and environmental engineering. Chameau was the president of Golder Associates Inc., an international geotechnical consulting company, from 1994 to 1995, after which he returned to Georgia Tech as Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and vice provost for research. He was named dean of its college of engineering, the largest in the country, in 1997, becoming provost of the university and vice president for academic affairs in 2001.
Chameau currently serves on the boards of the Council on Competitiveness, John Wiley & Sons, MTS Systems, and Safran. He also serves on the Academic Research Council of Singapore and the Advisory Committee of InterWest Partners. His technical interests include sustainable technology, environmental geotechnology, soil dynamics, earthquake engineering, and the liquefaction of soils. Chameau was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Arthur Casagrande Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Rodney Chipp Memorial Award from the Society of Women Engineers, the Prix Nessim Habif from the École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers, and the Benjamin Garver Lamme Award from the American Society for Engineering Education. He was elected Chevalier de la Légion d' Honneur, and is a member of the French Académie des Technologies and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.