SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eugene A. Fitzgerald, the Merton C. Flemings-Singapore MIT Alliance Professor of Materials Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore established in partnership with the National Research Foundation of Singapore. He is also the Lead Principal Investigator (PI) of SMART Low Energy Electronic Systems (LEES) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG). He replaces Daniel Hastings, who returns to MIT to Head the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Prof Hastings served as SMART CEO & Director from 2014 - 2018.
Professor Fitzgerald has a distinguished career as an academic, researcher and serial entrepreneur with a keen awareness on innovation. He started his career as a research scientist in AT&T Bell Labs in 1989 upon attaining his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University and a BS degree in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT. Leveraging his experience at AT&T Bell Labs, he and colleagues invented high mobility strained silicon and commercialized the technology through AmberWave System Corporation - a company he co-founded in 1998 with his former MIT graduate student Mayank Bulsara. The majority of silicon integrated circuits in cell phones, computers, and other applications use the technology today. Since 2004, he also founded or co-founded six other enterprises in the areas of semiconductors, water purification, and silicon-based high efficiency multi-junction solar cells. Professor Fitzgerald is the co-author of the book “Inside Real Innovation” which promotes innovation as an iterative process where one goes through several cycles in the areas of technology, market and implementation. In 2008 he co-founded a not-for-profit entity that formed joint corporate-university innovation teams to help corporations find new innovative directions as well as educate participants through participating in early-stage real-world innovation project exploration.
“Professor Fitzgerald is an experienced academic leader and an accomplished innovator and entrepreneur. He is well-regarded in both the research and enterprise spheres in Singapore. I am confident that he will carry on the excellent leadership and propel SMART into the next phase of growth,” said MIT Provost Martin Schmidt.
SMART unites faculty, researchers and graduate students from MIT and Singapore with academic and industry researchers in Singapore and Asia to collaborate in new areas of science and technology, and propel innovations into the enterprise space.
Fitzgerald said: “Having been involved with MIT programs in Singapore from the start in 1998, I have seen MIT and Singapore evolve together through collaboration in research, innovation, and enterprise, and look forward to building more capabilities and success in all areas.”
SMART comprises five large-scale research programmes (or IRGs) and the Innovation Centre. The IRGs are: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM), Disruptive & Sustainable Technologies for Agricultural Precision (DiSTAP), Future Urban Mobility (FM) and Low Energy Electronic Systems (LEES).