Plesniak Named First Eugene Kleiner Chair for Innovation

Polytechnic University is pleased to announce Michael W. Plesniak has joined Poly’s Department of Mechanical Engineering as the first professor to hold the Eugene Kleiner Chair for Innovation. Not only is Plesniak highly-regarded for his work in traditional fluid dynamics as a member of the engineering faculty at Purdue University, but over the past five years he has migrated his focus to applying fluid dynamics principles to the human body. His research includes exploring the flow of blood from the heart through the cardiovascular system and the study of human speech production initiated by air passing across the larynx. His exciting breakthrough research led to an appointment as a program director at the National Science Foundation, where he has just completed a four year tour. Plesniak holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois Institute of Technology.

The Eugene Kleiner Chair for Innovation is an endowed position honoring one of Poly’s greatest graduates. Kleiner, ME '48, Hon '89, was a cofounder of Fairchild Semiconductor, the first successful computer chip producer. In addition, Klenier went on to form the firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, the benchmark for venture capitalism as we know it today.

To read more about Eugene Kleiner’s illustrious life and accomplishments, download: “Eugene Kleiner: Engineer, Venture Capitalist, Founding Father of Silicon Valley” (PDF).