James R. Martin, II, Ph.D., M.ASCE

Vice Chancellor for STEM Research & Innovation

University of Pittsburgh

James R. Martin, II, is Vice Chancellor for STEM Research and Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh, 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 at Pittsburgh. 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 over two decades at Virginia Tech as a professor of civil engineering and six years as a university center director. He built an international reputation in geotechnical earthquake and risk engineering, creating major impacts on national building codes. Leading global teams following major earthquakes, Martin led field studies in Turkey, Japan, and the U.S., and served as director of the Disaster Risk Management Institute. He played a foundational role in broadening participation and expanding diversity across the College of Engineering, serving nearly a decade as co-leader of an NSF-sponsored URM program. As an internationally recognized expert, he has served as consultant to nearly 100 different firms and government agencies worldwide 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.