January 27, 2022

Ganesh Balakrishnan Named New Director at New Mexico EPSCoR



By Brittney Van Der Werff

We are excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Ganesh Balakrishnan, as the new Director of NM EPSCoR, effective March 1. Ganesh Balakrishnan succeeds Dr. Bill Michener, who will retire this year and has served in the role since 2007.

Ganesh "Gunny" Balakrishnan brings over ten years of experience to NM EPSCoR, serving as PI on fifteen large grants in addition to numerous Co-PI appointments. He will continue to teach in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UNM and will be actively involved in research at the Center for High Technology Materials, working on semiconductor materials and devices. Prior to the EPSCoR directorship, he was the Program Chair for the Optical Science and Engineering Program and the Associate Department Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

"Gunny’s exemplary record as a researcher, educator, administrator, and communicator uniquely position him to serve as the next director of New Mexico EPSCoR," said Bill Michener. "I am confident that he will work tirelessly and successfully to advance research and education across all of our state’s colleges and universities."

As director of NM EPSCoR, Gunny will be responsible for both operational excellence of the current $20-million NM SMART Grid Center award and the successful submission of New Mexico's next $20-million NSF EPSCoR proposal slated for Summer 2022.

"I am very excited to join NM EPSCoR’s leadership team," said Gunny. "This organization has been at the forefront of shaping New Mexico’s research landscape for two decades. I am looking forward to working with the incredible institutions in this state to promote research and to develop the workforce of the future."

Education and Personal Life

Gunny holds a PhD in Optical Sciences and Engineering from the University of New Mexico and a Master's and Bachelor's of Engineering from University of Toledo and University of Madras respectively. He has a publication record that spans two decades with over 120 peer-reviewed journal publications and has raised over $12-million in research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. 

He and his wife Prasanna are avid dog lovers and have fostered close to a hundred dogs and puppies over the past ten years. He also likes to ride his bicycle on Albuquerque’s beautiful cycling trails.