James Duderstadt

U-M President Emeritus


2001 Duderstadt


Dr. James J. Duderstadt is President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Duderstadt received a B.Eng. in electrical engineering with highest honors from Yale University in 1964 and a M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering science and physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1967.  After a year as an Atomic Energy Commission Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1968 in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, rising through the ranks to full professor in 1975.  Dr. Duderstadt became Dean of the College of Engineering in 1981 and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1986.  He was elected President of the University of Michigan in 1988 and served in this role until 1996.  He currently holds a university-wide faculty appointment as University Professor of Science and Engineering, co-chairing the University’s program in Science, Technology, and Public Policy and directing the Millennium Project, a research center exploring the impact of over-the-horizon technologies on society.

Dr. Duderstadt’s teaching and research interests have spanned a wide range of subjects in science, mathematics, and engineering, including nuclear fission reactors, thermonuclear fusion, high-powered lasers, computer simulation, information technology, and policy development in areas such as energy, education, and science. He has published extensively in these areas, including over 30 books and 200 technical publications.

During his career, Duderstadt has received numerous awards and honorary degrees for his research, teaching, and service activities, including the E. O. Lawrence Award for excellence in nuclear research, the Arthur Holly Compton Prize for outstanding teaching, the President’s National Medal of Technology for exemplary service to the nation, and the Vannevar Bush Award for lifelong contributions to the welfare of the Nation through public service activities in science, technology, and public policy.  He has been elected to numerous honorific societies including the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Science, Phi Beta Kappa, and Tau Beta Pi. In addition, the University of Michigan’s major building for technological innovation and research was named the James and Anne Duderstadt Center in 2004 in honor of their service to the University.

Dr. Duderstadt has served on or chaired many public and private boards including the National Science Board; numerous committees of the National Academies including the Executive Council of the National Academy of Engineering and the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy; the National Commission on the Future of Higher Education; the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy; and business organizations such as the Big Ten Athletic Conference, the University of Michigan Hospitals, Unisys, and CMS Energy.

Dr. Duderstadt currently serves as chair of the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the National Research Council, co-director of the Glion Colloquium (Switzerland), and nonresident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. He continues to serve on numerous national boards and study commissions in areas such as federal science policy, higher education, information technology, energy sciences, and national security as well as a member of the advisory boards of many colleges and universities.


California Institute of Technology
PhD Engineering Science and Physics ’67
MS Engineering Science ’65

Yale University
BSE (with Highest Honors) ’64

Research Interests

Nuclear reactor theory and design (both fission and fusion), radiation transport theory, kinetic theory and statistical mechanics, interaction of intense laser and particle beams with plasmas, inertial confinement fusion, energy systems analysis, computer simulation and networking.

Research areas: