The Office of Research and Translation

Dear WSE faculty and staff,

Over the past seven years, the Whiting School has experienced tremendous growth according to just about every quantifiable measure, including the size of our faculty, students, and staff, our research funding, the major new cross-disciplinary and cross-divisional research centers and institutes we’ve launched, and our new external partnerships. We recognize that we have reached a point where changes, including increased support and resources, are needed if we are to realize our vision for the future and ensure our ongoing leadership in engineering research and education.

We are working to update the school’s organizational structure, with the goal of creating one that addresses our current needs, aligns with our overall strategic goals and the findings of the 2020 TECH Report, and that can be scaled for future growth. I am writing today to share with you the first phase of this iterative process.

As one of the first steps, WSE’s Office of Research is undergoing a major transformation and expansion, resulting in the creation of the Office of Research and Translation. This new entity, to be led by Larry Nagahara, will provide greatly increased services and an infrastructure, including an expanded staffing structure, that not only will better support our research and translational activities but also is designed to spur and accommodate our projected growth. As part of this effort, Larry will take on the role of WSE’s Vice Dean for Research and Translation. These changes are effective December 1, 2021.

In his new role, Larry will have a broad portfolio of responsibilities that reflect the wide range of activities that the Office of Research and Translation now comprises. These range from driving the commercialization of WSE faculty innovations, increasing corporate engagement, providing expanded resources for proposal development, and establishing new industry partnerships to increasing our students’ experiential education and internship opportunities. Other areas that fall under the new Office of Research and Translation include oversight of core/shared facilities, research and safety compliance, and conflict of interest and commitment.

With this new structure and resources in place, WSE will better be able to provide faculty with the tools and layers of support they need to be truly competitive when it comes to securing grant support for large multi-institution/industry/government agency efforts. Faculty will have access to a team of WSE-based experts in technology commercialization as well as assistance with technical writing and graphics for grant proposals, and we anticipate significant growth in our industry partnerships. Many activities will involve enhanced university-wide partnerships that combine work currently being led by WSE’s Corporate and Government Program office with the traditional activities of our former Office of Research. Additionally, working in collaboration with JHTV, we also will provide greater divisional-level support for technology commercialization efforts.

As we proceed with these efforts, we will continue to keep you informed.


Ed Schlesinger
Benjamin T. Rome Dean