AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Steven P. Nichols, director of the Clint W. Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise in the College of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering, has been appointed associate vice president for research at The University of Texas at Austin.
Nichols will oversee university-wide activities related to technology transfer, protection of intellectual property and commercialization. The position will report to the vice president for research.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Nichols has accepted the challenge to lead The University of Texas at Austin to a position of national prominence in technology transfer,” said Vice President for Research Juan M. Sanchez. “Steve brings superb qualifications to the job. As past director of two major research centers, he has first-hand knowledge of the depth, breadth and value of the intellectual property created by our faculty, researchers and students on a daily basis. As an entrepreneur, he brings personal experience and a clear understanding of the difficult path towards commercialization.”
"I am very excited about the position, since it matches well my own interest in developing entrepreneurship at The University of Texas at Austin — a goal I know is shared by the leadership of the university and the colleges,” Nichols said “Over the last two years, 14 new companies were launched to commercialize UT Austin technologies. I intend to build on this momentum in close collaboration with the colleges and key research centers at The University of Texas at Austin.”
In his role of director of the Clint W. Murchison Chair of Free Enterprise, Nichols developed courses and programs focusing on technology innovation and creativity. He also has developed activities in support of entrepreneurship education and commercialization experiences for students from the College of Engineering, the School of Natural Sciences, the McCombs School of Business and the School of Law. Sanchez said Nichols’ work with intellectual property in the Office of the Vice President for Research would be an excellent fit with his work in the College of Engineering on entrepreneurship.
Nichols received his doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1975 and his law degree in 1983, both from The University of Texas at Austin. He previously was director of the Center for Electromechanics and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources.