OU VP for Research to Join Defense Science Board

Mike Seals - August 7, 2020 9:39 am

NORMAN, OKLA. – For 60 years, the national Defense Science Board has provided solutions to technological, operational, and managerial challenges faced by the Department of Defense. Today, Tomás Díaz de la Rubia vice president for research and partnerships for the University of Oklahoma joined the team that meets those challenges.

“Glad to see the Trump Administration appoint Tomás Díaz de la Rubia as a consultant to the Defense Science Board,” Senator Inhofe said. “Tomás has proven himself a leader in his field, holding numerous leadership positions at a number of prestigious institutions, including his current position as Vice President for Research and Partnerships at the University of Oklahoma. Not only that, he will bring to this new position his years of experience serving as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Intelligence Community Studies Board. I know that Tomás is incredibly well-prepared for this appointment and I look forward to watching him better our country as he has my home state.”

The members of the Defense Science Board advise senior leaders in the Department of Defense on pressing and complex technology issues facing the nation in research, engineering, and manufacturing in combination with strategy, tactics, operational concepts and other factors. By addressing these challenges and anticipating emerging needs and capabilities that involve science and technology, the board has a rich history of identifying new technologies and applications in many areas that strengthen national security and help maintain U.S. technological superiority in the increasingly complex global environment.

“I’m thrilled – and yet not surprised – that Dr. Diaz de la Rubia has been chosen for this prestigious position,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “His service on the Defense Science Board will not only greatly benefit our nation but will also benefit OU as we strengthen our efforts to be a world leader in the fields of air, space and defense.”

“The Defense Science Board has a long history of advising the highest levels of the Pentagon on matters of national importance. I am proud to serve the nation in this important advisory role,” Díaz de la Rubia said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the other DSB members to advise Mr. Michael Kratsios, the (acting) Undersecretary of Defense of Research and Engineering and to represent the university and state of Oklahoma in this capacity and better align OU’s research enterprise in service to our national security and defense.”

Currently, the board is comprosed of 48 members and seven ex officio members, including the chairs of the Army, Navy and Air Force advisory committees, and the Defense Advisory Committees on Policy, Business, Health, and Innovation. Members are selected on the basis of their preeminence in the fields of science and technology, and their application to military operations, research, engineering, manufacturing, and acquisition. Díaz de la Rubia’s one-year consultation term begins August 6, 2020.

As the vice president for research and partnerships at OU, Díaz de la Rubia is responsible for the development and support of research and scholarly activities across all disciplines on the Norman campus and related programs on the OU-Tulsa campus. He is also a member of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Board of Directors, a member of the Civilian Research and Development Foundation Global Board of Directors, and a member of the Intelligence Community Studies Board for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Prior to joining OU, Díaz de la Rubia served as the chief scientific officer and senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Purdue University where he led Purdue’s Discovery Park. Prior to that he served as chief research officer and deputy director for science and technology at the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the nation’s preeminent national and nuclear security laboratories.


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