James R. Martin, II, is Vice Chancellor for STEM Research and Innovation where he drives transformative initiatives ranging from the university's core STEM landscape to regional campuses. Focused on enhancing Pitt’s $1.3 billion research portfolio and expanding STEM access, he leads collaborations to spawn new research growth, builds innovation ecosystems, and connects rural areas to city centers via urban-rural research bridges. As a senior advisor and thought leader, he influences national action from the White House to major funding agencies to think tanks. Locally, he is a board member for Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and was a foundational advisor for Neighborhood 91 at Pittsburgh International Airport.
Before assuming his current role, Dr. Martin served as U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. Under his leadership, the Swanson School of Engineering achieved unprecedented milestones, including record research expenditures, PhD students, first-year enrollments, faculty and student diversity, retention, graduation rates, annual giving participation rates, and novel industry and government partnerships, including national labs. He played a pivotal role in the university's COVID-19 response, co-chairing the central task force with the provost.
Prior to Pittsburgh, Dr. Martin served as the Bob Benmosche Professor and Chair of the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University. His leadership resulted in the development of new curricula and degree programs, record research growth, and innovative partnerships with industry. He chaired the strategic plan for the engineering college, advocating for expansion of regional innovation campuses, and served as founding director of the Risk Engineering and Systems Analytics Institute (RESA), a pioneering collaboration between academia and industry.
Preceding Clemson, Dr. Martin served more than two decades at Virginia Tech as a professor of civil engineering and six years as a university center director. He built an international reputation for his work in geotechnical earthquake and risk engineering, creating major impacts on national building codes. Leading global field teams following major earthquakes, Martin contributed to field studies in Turkey, Japan, and throughout the U.S., and served as director of the Disaster Risk Management Institute at Virginia Tech. He has provided international engineering consulting for nearly 100 firms and government agencies on major infrastructure projects.
Dr. Martin received a B.S. in civil engineering from The Citadel, and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He has received numerous national, state, and university awards for research, teaching, scholarship, and service, including the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Norman Medal, the highest honor for published work in his field. He was inducted into Virginia Tech's Civil Engineering Department's Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2015. His dedication to broadening participation, fostering innovative collaborations, and regional engagement continues to shape STEM education, research, and innovation.