Office of the Provost


August 14, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Mark S. Redfern has accepted my offer to become the University of Pittsburgh’s Vice Provost for Research, effective September 1, 2012.  Dr. Redfern, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Swanson School of Engineering, earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering Science and his master’s and doctoral degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan.  As Associate Dean in the Swanson School, he has helped to support and build the School’s research effort during a period of rapid expansion in the funded research conducted by the faculty.  He has worked closely and successfully with the Office of Research, the Office of Technology Management, and the Provost’s Office on a number of research-related issues and has established positive relationships with leaders across campus that will serve as a strong foundation in his new position. 

Professor Redfern joined the University of Pittsburgh as assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology in the School of Medicine with a secondary appointment in Industrial Engineering in 1988. In 2000, his primary appointment was moved to the newly created Department of Bioengineering, where for over a decade as vice-chair for undergraduate education, he was a member of the leadership team that built one of the most highly ranked and respected Departments of Bioengineering in the country.  In addition to Otolaryngology, Dr. Redfern holds secondary appointments in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, and Rehabilitation Science reflecting an interdisciplinary background which provides him with an understanding of the needs of researchers from across the campus.

During his twenty-four years at Pitt, Dr. Redfern has built a successful research program with funding from a variety of sources including the NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, industry and foundations, and has developed strong collaborative relationships with researchers from across the University. These collaborations and his interdisciplinary background provide him with an understanding of the needs of researchers from across the campus.  He is widely recognized for his contributions to the fields of ergonomics and human factors engineering.  Much of his work has focused on deepening our understanding of posture control, locomotion, and measurement systems, particularly as they apply to preventing fall-related injuries in older adults and movement control in individuals with balance disorders; and on using biomechanical analysis of jobs to limit and prevent musculoskeletal injury on the job. He serves or has served on the editorial boards of Gait & Posture, the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, and Clinical Biomechanics.  

I am delighted that Dr. Redfern has agreed to serve as Vice Provost for Research and have great confidence that his scholarly leadership, collaborative research experience and commitment to excellence will serve us well in his new role.  I look forward to working closely with him. His talent, enthusiasm, and integrity will help us continue to build on the University’s existing strengths in research.


Patricia E. Beeson

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