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Dr. Irem Y. Tumer is the interim vice president for research at Oregon State University. Dr. Tumer brings leadership to a research environment that promotes creativity, entrepreneurship and collaboration; provides support for university-wide research efforts; and maximizes the benefits of research for the economic and social advancement of Oregon, the nation and the world. As an accomplished researcher, a former associate dean for research in OSU’s College of Engineering and a former program manager at NASA, Dr. Tumer experience covers all aspects of the research enterprise. In her role, she is responsible for developing strategy and advocating for research while leading and managing the core functions of the research enterprise. This includes OSU-affiliated centers and institutes; the Office of Commercialization and Corporate development; the Office of Research Integrity; and the Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration.
Dr. Tumer is a professor in the OSU College of Engineering’s School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. With more than 20 years as an internationally recognized researcher, she has secured research funding from diverse sources, including the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, private foundations and industry. Dr. Tumer also has served as program and conference chair at major conferences, as associate editor on key journals, and on numerous editorial and advisory boards. She has organized and been invited to multiple cross-agency workshops to chart research directions for federal agencies, including NASA and NSF.
Dr. Tumer served as the associate dean for research in the College of Engineering from 2013 until assuming her current position. In that role, she built and led the Research Administration Office for the College of Engineering and established a formal faculty development program that resulted in record numbers of early career awards. The strategies she implemented led to transformative changes for the College of Engineering, including significant increases in proposal submissions, awards and research expenditures. Prior to joining OSU’s faculty in 2006, Dr. Tumer was a researcher, group lead, deputy area lead and program manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center for over eight years.
Dr. Tumer received her undergraduate, master's and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are in the areas of system design, reliability engineering,, and risk analysis, and her work has been applied to spacecraft, aircraft, and nuclear power plant design. She received multiple research awards, including a faculty researcher award in 2010 and a research collaboration award in 2012—both from OSU.