Appointment of Vice-President (Research)

After an extensive international search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Matthias Ruth to the position of Vice-President…

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After an extensive international search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Matthias Ruth to the position of Vice-President (Research) and professor in the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Arts. Currently the director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, Dr. Ruth will join the University of Alberta as vice-president on May 1, 2018 for a five year term.

Dr. Ruth holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and a PhD in geography from the University of Illinois, where he also received training in engineering and biology. He began his academic career in the Department of Geography at Boston University in 1992 and moved to the University of Maryland in 2000, where he was professor and director of the Environmental Policy Program in the Maryland School of Public Policy. Prior to joining Northeastern in 2012, Dr. Ruth served in roles of increasing responsibility at the University of Maryland, including the Roy F. Weston Chair in Natural Economics and policy advisor on sustainability to the Chancellor of the 12 universities and colleges that constitute the state-wide system of Maryland.

Dr. Ruth has published 17 books, plus more than 120 papers and book chapters. His interdisciplinary research focuses on dynamic modeling of natural resource use, industrial and infrastructure systems analysis, and environmental economics and policy. His theoretical work draws on concepts from engineering, economics and ecology, while his applied research uses methods of non-linear dynamic modeling as well as adaptive and anticipatory management. He is a founding editor-in-chief of the journal Urban Climate, a founder of Ecological Economics, and serves on the boards of numerous journals and scientific organizations.

In addition to his record of research excellence, Dr. Ruth has demonstrated outstanding leadership in administration and service with a focus on promoting interdisciplinary collaboration in research and teaching. In addition to being director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, he is the founding director of Northeastern University’s Resilient Cities Laboratory as well as the Urban Informatics program. In his current role, he works collaboratively with deans and directors across the university and oversees 55 faculty members, many of them in cross-college appointments. The school operates four major research centers and offers undergraduate and graduate programs attracting nearly 500 students.

Dr. Ruth’s interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation extends outside of academia to the public, private, and non-profit sectors, where he has developed diverse and extensive experience working across sectors, building partnerships, fostering productive collaborations, and attracting external funding. He applies his research to local, regional, national, and global projects, exploring the scientific questions as well as the investment and policy opportunities these projects present. He has served as an advisor or research contributor to a diverse range of agencies and organizations, such as the OECD, European Commission, Government of Australia, US Environmental Protection Agency, Council on Competitiveness, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Haisla Nation Council, commonwealths of Massachusetts and of Maryland, city of Boston, as well as several private companies.

Dr. Matthias Ruth is husband of Dr. Rachel Franklin, currently associate professor of population studies at Brown University, and father of Julia, Nicolas, Eleanor, Oliver, and Robert. Please join me in welcoming them to our University of Alberta community and Edmonton.

Throughout the search period, the members of the search committee worked with dedication and commitment to the process and I would like to thank them for their advice, insight, and service.

On behalf of all of us, I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. Walter Dixon for his outstanding work and leadership as interim VPR since July last year. I am very pleased to advise that Walter will resume his role as Associate Vice-President (Research), working closely with Dr. Ruth.

David H. Turpin
President and Vice-Chancellor