||As eighth president of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Jean-Lou Chameau leads one of the world's preeminent centers of instruction and research in engineering and science. Caltech is recognized for its highly selective student body of 900 undergraduates and 1,300 graduates, and for its outstanding faculty, including several Nobel laureates and numerous members of the National Academies of Engineering and of Sciences. In addition to its prestigious on-campus research programs, Caltech operates such renowned off-campus facilities as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the W. M. Keck Observatory, and the Palomar Observatory. Established by Theodore Von Kármán in the 1930's, JPL is a NASA center staffed and managed by Caltech.
|Committed to the development of multidisciplinary talent in faculty and students, Chameau places a strong emphasis on improving the educational experience of students, increasing diversity, and fostering research as well as entrepreneurial and international opportunities for faculty and students. Before he assumed the presidency of Caltech on September 1, 2006, Chameau was provost of Georgia Tech in Atlanta. During his career there, he worked to enhance the university's education and research programs and position Georgia Tech as an international leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Chameau received his secondary and undergraduate education in France and his graduate education in civil engineering from Stanford University. In 1980 he joined the civil engineering faculty at Purdue University, where he subsequently became full professor and head of the geotechnical engineering program. In 1991, he became the director of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech. He was the president of Golder Associates, Inc., an international geotechnical consulting company, from 1994 to 1995, when he returned to Georgia Tech and was named a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Before becoming provost in 2001, he was dean of Georgia Tech's College of Engineering, the largest in the country. He currently serves on the boards of directors for MTS Systems Corporation, the Academic Research Council of Singapore, the Council on Competitiveness, and l'Ecole Polytechnique.
Chameau's technical interests include sustainable technology; environmental geotechnology; soil dynamics; earthquake engineering; and liquefaction of soils. He was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the ASCE Arthur Casagrande Award, the Rodney Chipp Memorial Award from the Society of Women Engineers, and the Prix Nessim Habif from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts-et-Métiers.