Dr. Tod A. Laursen is Chancellor of American University of Sharjah (AUS), coming to AUS after almost 11 years as leader of Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, SUNY Polytechnic Institute in New York, and Wigwe University in Nigeria, with an additional two years of service as the chief academic officer (provost) of the State University of New York system (consisting of 64 campuses and approximately 400,000 registered students).
Prior to becoming President of Khalifa University, Professor Laursen was a member of the faculty of Duke University (USA), between the years of 1992 and 2010, during which time he had appointments in civil engineering, biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering. He served as Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from 2008 to 2010 and served as Senior Associate Dean for Education in the Pratt School of Engineering from 2003 to 2008. In the latter capacity, he had oversight responsibility for all undergraduate and graduate engineering programs at Duke.
Earning a PhD and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University, he specializes in computational mechanics, a subfield of engineering mechanics concerned with development of new computational algorithms and tools used by engineers to analyze mechanical and structural systems. He has published over 100 refereed articles, book chapters and abstracts, and has authored or co-edited two books.
He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the International Association of Computational Mechanics, and the United States Association for Computational Mechanics and holds memberships in the American Society for Engineering Education and Tau Beta Pi. He served as an at-large member of the Executive Committee for the United States Association for Computational Mechanics between 2007 and 2010 and served as a member of the Executive Council of the International Association for Computational Mechanics until 2020. Additionally, he has served on the scientific advisory committees of several of the most important national and international congresses in computational mechanics.