Former Executive Director
Susan Hackwood is former Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. CCST is a not-for-profit corporation comprised of 200 plus science and technology leaders of the highest distinction. Sponsored by the key academic and federal research institutions in California, CCST advises the state on all aspects of science and technology including energy, information technologies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, stem cell research, healthcare technologies, climate change, disaster prevention technologies, intellectual property, technical workforce development, and education.
Dr. Hackwood received a Ph.D. in Solid State Ionics in from DeMontfort University, UK. Before joining academia, she was Department Head of Device Robotics Technology Research at AT&T Bell Labs, where amongst other things, she invented and named the electrowetting effect, now used in many micro devices and continuing to be researched and utilized in an increasing number of applications. In 1984 she joined the University of California, Santa Barbara as Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and was founder and Director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Robotic Systems in Microelectronics (CRSM).
In 1990, Dr. Hackwood became the founding Dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, and the first woman dean of a major research university in the US. At UCR, she founded the Center for Environmental Research Technology, established the first multimedia laboratory on campus, pioneered research in swarm intelligence technologies, oversaw the development of several buildings and all research and teaching aspects of five degree programs to the Ph.D. level. Dr. Hackwood’s current interests include science and technology policy, innovation mechanisms, distributed asynchronous and cellular robotic systems. Dr. Hackwood has published over 150 technical publications and holds seven patents. She is a Fellow of the IEEE and the AAAS and holds honorary degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (PhD) and DeMontfort University, UK (DSc). From 2003-5 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles. In 2005 she was a visiting scholar at the California Institute of Technology.
Since joining CCST in 1995, Dr. Hackwood has worked extensively with industry, academia and government partnerships to identify policy issues of societal importance. She is also an active participant in regional and state economic development. With a strong interest in science and technology policy, Dr. Hackwood is involved with science and technology development in California, the U.S., Mexico, Taiwan, Vietnam and Costa Rica. She is the past Chair of the AAAS Committee on Science Engineering and Public Policy and was Chair of the Section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering. She has been the AAAS Engineering Delegate and a Member of the AAAS Committee on Nominations. She serves on the Board of Directors and consults on new product development for several technology companies. She co-founded and co- edited the Journal of Robotic Systems from 1984 to 2005.