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Tanju Karanfil, PhD – Vice Chair of the Board

Dr. Karanfil was appointed vice president for research at Clemson University in February 2016 to steer the university’s research strategy, working closely with faculty and staff at Clemson and with collaborators in industry and the community. He was named senior vice president for research, scholarship and creative endeavors in 2023. Clemson joined the list of the nation’s top research universities as a Carnegie R1 university in 2016, a reflection of its growth in research expenditures across disciplines and increases to the number of doctorate degrees awarded and postdoctoral and non-faculty researchers on staff. Clemson’s performance across all of Carnegie’s metrics have improved under Dr. Karanfil’s leadership since receiving the R1 designation, and Clemson’s R1 classification was reconfirmed in 2018 and again in 2021. Total research and development expenditures have risen sharply and are at their highest levels of at least the past decade at $263 million in 2022.

In addition to serving as Senior Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors, Dr. Karanfil serves and represents Clemson University on several boards and committees (Battelle Savannah River Alliance, SC Smart-State Endowed Chair, SC EPSCoR, Clemson University Research Foundation, South Carolina Research Authority, South Carolina Universities Research and Education Foundation, Southeastern Universities Research Association, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities). Before his current position, Dr. Karanfil served as chair of the environmental engineering and earth sciences department and later as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. He currently maintains an active research portfolio as well, focusing on water quality and improvements to water, wastewater and hazardous waste treatment systems.

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