Dr. Tomás Díaz de la Rubia
Vice President, Research and Partnerships, University of Oklahoma
BioTomás Díaz de la Rubia is a science and technology leader, strategist, and administrator with extensive experience in national laboratories, academia and the private sector. Tomas has served as the Deputy Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a Director in the Strategy and Operations practice at Deloitte Consulting, and Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Purdue University. At present, Tomas is the Vice President for Research and Partnerships at the University of Oklahoma, and a full professor of Physics and of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering. He leads OU’s efforts to enhance the scale and scope of the university’s research enterprise and its impact of workforce and regional economic development. He has developed a new strategic framework and plan for research that has propelled the university forward, particularly in the areas of national security, energy and sustainability, and the life sciences. He works closely with Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation, with the Governor’s office and State legislature, the leadership of Oklahoma’s Tribal Nations, and with the Oklahoma defense installations and investment community to advance and align the profile and impact of the University’s research. He is a member of the Defense Science Board and served six years as a member of the Intelligence Community Studies Board.
Prior to his current assignment, Tomas was the Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Purdue University, and a Full Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Physics. He helped the university pursue major new research initiatives and contracts, and led Discovery Park, a transdisciplinary complex of centers, institutes and facilities focused on turning new ideas and discoveries into disruptive innovations with global impact on society. During Tomas’ tenure at Purdue from September 2015 to September 2019, Discovery Park’s focused strategically on the development of real-world solutions to major global challenges in health and the life sciences; sustainability and the nexus of energy, food, water, climate and the environment; and national security and defense. Over the same period, Discovery Park saw growth in research funding from industry, government, foreign institutions and philanthropic organizations of over 120%. Tomas was also responsible for the success of the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Purdue Foundry, a hub to nurture and launch new start-up companies based on faculty and student intellectual property (IP) into the market. Over 100 new companies were created during Tomas’ tenure at Purdue.
Prior to Purdue, Tomas worked for Deloitte Consulting, LLP where he was the innovation leader and a director of strategy and operations in the energy and resources industry practice. Based in Washington, D.C, he advised C-Suite executives at major multinational Oil and Gas companies and electrical utilities on ways to identify and capitalize on new, advanced technologies.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Tomás worked for 24 years at the U.S. Department of Energy Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California where he rose to become the Deputy Director for Science and Technology (DDST) and the Laboratory’s Chief Research Officer (CRO). He oversaw all the science, technology, computing, and engineering programs of the Laboratory, including programs of basic and applied research in support of the Laboratory’s missions in nuclear security, defense, Counter WMD, the life sciences, energy and climate, and technology commercialization. Prior to being Deputy Director, Tomas served as the Laboratory’s Associate Director for Chemistry Materials, Life, and Earth Sciences.
Tomas is a board member of the National Defense Industry Association, chairs the Board of Directors of CRFD Global, and is a member of the State of Oklahoma Science and Innovation Council. Tomas is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.