Dr. Lydia Contreras will become The University of Texas at Austin’s next vice provost for faculty diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI).
Contreras currently holds the Jim and Barbara Miller Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Chemical Engineering and has served for the past two years as managing director of diversity in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. She is also co-founder and chief technology officer for cognitive growth-centered baby bottle company Griö.
“Lydia Contreras is a thoughtful, energetic and engaged leader, and she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this important position,” said Dr. Sharon L. Wood, UT Austin executive vice president and provost. “As a faculty member in the Cockrell School of Engineering, she has driven successful recruitment and retention efforts that champion a more diverse and inclusive community. And as the university’s managing director of diversity, she has demonstrated an ability to activate plans and develop meaningful initiatives.”
Her research focuses on RNA biochemistry and protein engineering. Contreras received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation; the Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang Award from the Society for Biological Engineering; and a Young Investigator Award from the Division of Biochemical Technology of the American Chemical Society.
Contreras holds a BSE in chemical engineering from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Cornell University.