As senior vice chancellor for research, Rob A. Rutenbar provides strategic vision, leadership and partnership expertise that help University of Pittsburgh researchers and scholars advance their world-class research, scholarship and innovation.
He leads five offices focused on the full breadth of the research enterprise—from pursuing and securing funding, through ensuring adherence to the highest standards of research conduct, to building collaborations that lead to successful commercialization.
Rutenbar has more than 30 years of experience in innovation and technology. His research focuses on three broad categories: software tools for circuit design, statistical models for nanoscale chip design, and hardware architectures for machine learning and artificial intelligence.
He previously served as the Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he oversaw a department of 70 faculty members and nearly 2,500 students. Prior to assuming that position in 2010, Rutenbar held the Stephen J. Jatras Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was on the engineering faculty for 25 years.
As an entrepreneur, Rutenbar founded the tech firms Neolinear Inc. and Voci Technologies Inc. in 1998 and 2006, respectively. Neolinear was acquired by Cadence, an electronic design automation software company, in 2004. Voci was acquired by Medallia, a customer experience management company, in 2020.
He was the founding director for the Center for Circuit and System Solutions, a multi-university consortium that focused on next-generation chip design challenges. The recipient of 14 U.S. patents, his endeavors have been funded by AT&T, Google, DARPA, IBM, the National Science Foundation and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance. Rutenbar is also the author of eight books and 200 published research articles.
Rutenbar was elected a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He is a winner of the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Aristotle Award, and the Phil Kaufman Award from the Electronic System Design Alliance and IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation. In addition, he has earned distinguished alumnus awards from both the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Rutenbar is also among the top scientists to be elected both an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow and a National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction for academic inventors.
Rutenbar earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Wayne State University and a master’s and doctorate in computer information and control engineering at the University of Michigan.