Office of the Provost


April 5, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

After seventeen years of service as Vice Provost for Research, Dr. George E. Klinzing has asked to step down and return to the faculty in September 2012.  It is with mixed emotions that we thank him for his outstanding loyalty and service to the University, and wish him the very best.

As Vice Provost for Research since 1995, George helped the University community navigate through a period of tremendous growth in funded research and increased government regulation of the research enterprise.  At the same time, his personal and creative approach has fostered the development of new interdisciplinary areas of research that have become part of the core strength of the University.

He has served as chief research officer during a time in which Pitt’s funded research more than quadrupled, and has led efforts to expand the capability of the Office of Research to meet the demands of a rapidly growing research operation.  Importantly, he also has engaged researchers and connected them to the research enterprise, including to funding agencies.

No one at the University has done more than George to foster collaboration among the best and brightest of Pitt researchers. He played a key role in the development and expansion of interdisciplinary research through the creation of centers such as the Peterson Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, the Simulation and Modeling Center, the Center for National Preparedness, and the Center for Energy.  He also has facilitated the development of many other interdisciplinary research areas across the University that have successfully obtained outside funding.

George has spearheaded a number of initiatives to bring the fruits of Pitt researchers out of the laboratories and into the marketplace. In 2001, the Technology Commercialization Alliance, overseen by George, developed a proactive, synergistic process in order to facilitate the commercialization efforts of Pitt faculty, staff, and students. From that effort, the number of invention disclosures received at the University has increased six-fold during his time as Vice Provost for Research. 

During his tenure, George has served as the Provost’s Office contact to the Schools of the Health Sciences, Computing Services and Systems Development, and the Office of Technology Management. As an active member of numerous University committees, including the Technology Transfer Committee, the Conflict of Interest Committee, the Information Technology Steering Committee, and others, George has helped to shape the research landscape at the University. He has chaired the University Research Council, which examines emerging research issues nationally; the Strategic Corporate Research Committee; and several ad hoc committees.

George received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1959 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in 1963. He joined the University of Pittsburgh as Assistant Professor on the Ecuador Project in 1963, and was promoted to Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in 1966. He has held the Whiteford Energy Professorship since 1990. Among his many other duties, he also served as the Interim Director of the University Center for International Studies from 2000-2001.

An accomplished scholar who has continued to pursue his research and advise students during his tenure as Vice Provost, George has published 245 peer-reviewed papers and three books on the topic of materials processing, specifically pneumatic conveying. He served as a Fulbright Lecturer in Barranquilla, Colombia in 2001 and has taught and consulted on Engineering Education with the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria in Valparaiso, Chile. George is the holder of three U.S. patents and seven U.S. copyrights.

George’s contributions to research and scholarship have been honored with numerous recognitions.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (A.I.Ch.E.), and he has received the Western Electric Teaching Award, the A.I.Ch.E. Particle Technology Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Gary Leach A.I.Ch.E. Award for Leadership and Service, and the McAfee Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

George will continue to serve as an advisor to me on interdisciplinary research teams and energy. As he continues his remarkable career at the University of Pittsburgh, I know you all will join me as we celebrate his seventeen exemplary years of service to the Office of the Provost. A screening committee will be formed soon with the intention of identifying Dr. Klinzing’s successor before the beginning of the fall term.



Patricia E. Beeson

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