Fargo, N.D. – Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., professor, researcher and former administrator at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, has been hired as vice president for research and creative activities at North Dakota State University, Fargo. In her role, she will facilitate, coordinate and advance research at NDSU and foster economic development.
“Dr. Rusch has been involved in broad and ongoing research activities that match the direction and priorities of NDSU as a student-focused, land-grant, research university,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani. “We are thrilled to bring such an exceptionally talented scholar and researcher to this major leadership role.”
Dr. Rusch joined the Louisiana State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty in 1993, where she has spent the majority of her career focused on microorganism system design, development and modeling, and engineering education. She currently leads a research group focused on microalgae-cyanobacteria consortia for biofuels and bioproducts production. This work was recognized in 2008 by the Aquacultural Engineering Society Superior Paper Award and through two pending patents. She has secured more than $15 million in research grant funding as a principal or co-principal investigator.
She has served in numerous leadership positions, including associate dean of the College of Engineering, interim chair of the Department of Construction Management and Industrial Engineering, co-chair of Louisiana State’s Commission on the Status of Women and founder and director of the Institute for Ecological Infrastructure Engineering. Dr. Rusch has been a technical consultant on topics including aquacultural engineering, microalgae and zooplankton system design and operation since 1997. She is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana.
Dr. Rusch is a member of the board of directors and past president of the Aquacultural Engineering Society, an international professional organization that supports the advancement of the global aquaculture community. She is a founding member of the Women in Engineering Leadership Institute, which was formed to support the advancement of women faculty into leadership positions. Dr. Rusch has more than 120 refereed articles and technical papers and reports. She has presented more than 165 conference and invited talks and lectures on scientific and educational topics.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, and her master’s degree and doctorate in civil engineering with emphasis on environmental engineering at Louisiana State University.
“Dr. Rusch brings an exceptional combination of research experiences, energy and a comprehensive vision that will take NDSU to the next level,” said NDSU Provost Bruce Rafert.
Dr. Rusch will begin work at NDSU in late September. She will succeed Philip Boudjouk, who has held the position since March 2000 when it was first established. Dr. Boudjouk will continue to work on projects, enhancing public and private research partnerships to bring NDSU-developed technologies to the marketplace.
“I am truly honored to have been selected as the next vice president for research and creative activities at NDSU,” Rusch said. “The excellent foundation built by Vice President Boudjouk, the growing research, innovation and creative activity portfolio of NDSU and the vibrant North Dakota economy make this a very exciting time to be joining NDSU. I look forward to developing and implementing a shared vision that allows all constituents of the innovation enterprise to reach the next level of excellence.”
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.