University of Pittsburgh
August 14, 2012

Mark Redfern Named Pitt’s New Vice Provost for Research

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PITTSBURGH—Mark Redfern, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor and associate dean for research in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, will become the University’s new vice provost for research, effective Sept. 1, 2012, Pitt Provost Patricia E. Beeson has announced.

Redfern, who holds Pitt secondary appointments in otolaryngology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapy, and rehabilitation science, will succeed George E. Klinzing, who has served Pitt for nearly 50 years, the last 17 of them as vice provost for research; Klinzing, also Whiteford Energy Professor and professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, last April announced his decision to return full-time to the University faculty this fall.

As associate dean for research in the Swanson School, Redfern, said Beeson, “has helped to support and build the school’s research effort during a period of rapid expansion in the funded research conducted by the faculty.” He has also worked closely and successfully with the Office of Research, the Office of Technology Management, and the Office of the Provost on a number of research-related issues and has established positive relationships with leaders across campus that will serve as a strong foundation in his new position.

“I have great confidence that Dr. Redfern’s scholarly leadership, collaborative research, and commitment to excellence will serve us well in his new role” Beeson added. “His talent, enthusiasm, and integrity will help us continue to build on the University’s existing strengths in research. I look forward to working closely with him.”

Redfern earned the Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science (1978) and Master of Science (1982) and PhD degrees in bioengineering (1988), all from the University of Michigan. He joined the Pitt faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology in the School of Medicine with a secondary appointment in the Department of Industrial Engineering in 1988. In 2000, his primary appointment was moved to the newly created Department of Bioengineering, where he served as vice chair for undergraduate education for more than a decade. He was, Beeson said, “a member of the leadership team that built one of the most highly ranked and respected Departments of Bioengineering in the country.” 

During his 24 years at Pitt, Redfern has fashioned a successful research program with funding from a variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as from industry and foundations. With his interdisciplinary background, he also has developed strong collaborative relationships with faculty members campuswide, providing him with an understanding of the needs of researchers throughout the University.

Redfern serves or has served on the editorial boards of Gait & Posture, the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, and Clinical Biomechanics. He is widely recognized for his contributions to the fields of ergonomics and human factors engineering. Much of his work has focused on deepening our understanding of posture control, locomotion, and measurement systems, particularly as they apply to preventing fall-related injuries in older adults and providing movement control in individuals with balance disorders; and on using biomechanical analysis of jobs to limit and prevent musculoskeletal injury to employees. 

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