An Interview with Dr. Hal Raveche on His Early Career Achievements

Dr. Hal Raveche of New Jersey maintains a long history of success in promoting entrepreneurialism and in bringing government-, academic-, and corporate-sponsored research to market. Currently serving as the Founding President and Chairman of the consultancy Innovation Strategies International, Raveche previously operated as the President of the Stevens Institute of Technology from 1988 to 2010. Dr. Hal Raveche sat down with us to discuss his career up until accepting the appointment of president of the Hoboken, New Jersey-based college.

Q: Thanks for joining us Dr. Hal Raveche. Would you start off by describing where you attended university?

A: Sure. I earned my undergraduate degree in chemistry from Hofstra University in 1963 before attending the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) as a Ph.D. candidate. During my time at the UCSD, I studied statistical mechanics and physical chemistry, receiving my Doctor of Philosophy.

Q: Then where did you go?

A: After completing my Ph.D., I accepted a post-doctoral research fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At the Institute, I worked under the late Dr. Melville S. Green, a leading researcher into the statistical mechanics of the time-dependent phenomena. Upon completing my fellowship, I accepted a research chemist position at NIST, where I engaged in studies into statistical mechanics and air pollution-monitoring solutions. Eventually promoted to the Founding Chief of the Institute’s Thermophysics Division, I helped build the unit into a multi-million dollar research group serving such federal agencies as the Departments of Commerce and Energy.

Q: From there you were selected as the Dean of Science for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. How did that opportunity come about and what were some your achievements at RPI?

A: RPI conducted a nationwide search for a new dean and I saw the position as a positive step forward in the direction I wanted to take my career. In 1985 I accepted the post and began overseeing the school’s Science Initiatives Program, a multi-million dollar initiative aimed at promoting research and education in science. During my three years at RPI, I spearheaded interdisciplinary projects between the School of Science and the School of Engineering and external private and public sector entities. I also co-chaired and led work on the inter-federal agency report known as A National Computing Initiative: The Agenda for Leadership. The report helped establish federal research and development policies regarding supercomputers.

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