By Patrick Fancher
Former vice president of research for OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences Rick Spinrad recently departed from the university to accept a position as new chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, DC. It didn’t take long to find a new interim VP to fill the void; OSU executive associate vice president for research and former engineering dean Ron Adams has been named to the position.
Adams has led the OSU Advantage program, which provides the state with graduates ready to join the workforce, launch new businesses, solve problems, and bring new ideas to the market. Before his three-year stint as associate vice president for research, he was the dean of the College of Engineering for 13 years. There he was instrumental in helping the university increase its PhD program and research funding considerably, leading to the creation of over a dozen companies. Adams also left OSU and spent 14 years at the Tektronix company (a top supplier of test and measurement equipment) where he worked as the vice president of technology and developed color printing technologies.
He received his BS and PhD degrees from OSU and later got his MS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Adams was also in the US Air Force, in addition to working at MIT Lincoln Labs, prior to his arrival at OSU. He originally joined the university faculty as an assistant, eventually claiming the position of associate professor of mechanical engineering.
In addition to working alongside OSU President Ed Ray on the hunt for the next VP of research, Adams will continue to create more opportunities and address challenges in many educational disciplines so the university can have a meaningful impact on global issues such as climate change, food and water safety, and clean energy practices.