Natacha DePaola

Natacha DePaola

Dean of Engineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Carol and Ed Kaplan Endowed Chair Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology. Chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC)

DePaola received the BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas Venezuela, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Ph.D. degree in Medical Engineering/Medical Physics from the Division of Health Science and Technology at Harvard Medical School – MIT.
Prior to joining Illinois Institute of Technology, she held academic appointments at Columbia University, Northwestern University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). In her role as Engineering Dean, DePaola is committed to excellence in technology-focused education with a renewed emphasis on entrepreneurial and ethical practice of engineering. DePaola’s research investigates the role of physical mechanisms on cellular behaviour, stressing its importance in the understanding of human disease, the development of new therapies, and the engineering of functional tissues. She has published over 90 highly cited scientific journal manuscripts, proceedings, and technical reports. She is a co-inventor of a few patented technologies, and a co-founder of TermoMechanica, Inc., focusing on the development of instrumentation for biomedical research and diagnostics.
DePaola has received prestigious awards and recognitions, is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and a member of nine other reputable professional societies. She serves/has served on many high level public and private advisory committees including the Strategic Initiatives Committee of the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology Advisory Council, the Advisory Committee for the Severino Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Lally School of Management, RPI), the Advisory Board of Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, the Public Policy Committee of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the Executive Committee of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education (NIPTE), and the Advisory Committee for the UNESCO Engineering Report II (2019).