CMU official named vice chancellor for research infrastructure

Robert Cunningham, associate director of cyber assurance at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, is joining Pitt as vice chancellor for research infrastructure, beginning Sept. 1.

Robert Cunningham standing outsideThe role will help strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration and transformative research. Cunningham will be responsible for the strategic leadership of Pitt’s research infrastructure, focusing on the effective operation, financial stability and future growth opportunities across all Pitt research platforms. This includes both physical and virtual laboratories, institution-scale equipment and facilities, and a renewed focus on all Pitt centers and institutes. 

“Investing in systemic support for cross-disciplinary teams has long been a priority for the chancellor and me,” said Rob Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for Research. “Rob will spearhead new efforts to bring teams of faculty together to form new centers and institutes and seek ‘solution scale’ external funding for both new and existing centers. He will also serve as deputy director for our longstanding Pittsburgh Quantum Institute and work to broaden PQI’s visibility and reach.”

At CMU, Cunningham also is an adjunct professor of cybersecurity and electrical and computer engineering. Prior to his appointment at Carnegie Mellon, he directed the Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland. He has also held several leadership posts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, where he led multiple groups working on computer security projects.

“Rob’s expertise in assembling and leading enterprise-scale teams of faculty and staff will significantly increase our ability to mentor new teams to attack new problems at Pitt,” Rutenbar said.

He received an bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Brown University, an master’s in electrical engineering from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in cognitive and neural systems from Boston University.

Read more about Cunningham in Pittwire.