Vice Provost for Global Relations
Robert P. Lowndes
Robert Lowndes is a Professor of Physics and the Vice Provost for Global Relations at Northeastern University. As the Vice Provost for Global Relations, he has a primary responsibility for Northeastern’s global strategy and the development of partnerships between Northeastern and institutions located abroad. The University has been recognized for its global focus via two recent national awards: the 2010 NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, and the 2011 IIE Andrew Heiskell Award for Study Abroad.
During his time at Northeastern, Lowndes has also served as the Interim Provost, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Department of Physics, and Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Development of Research and Graduate Programs. He has been elected six times to be the Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate and Chair of the Senate Agenda Committee.
During his time as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College adopted a selective admissions policy, established the concept on campus of experiential education requiring participation in study abroad, cooperative education or undergraduate research, established the first interdisciplinary programs on campus via its integrated dual degree programs involving majors both within and outside the College, introduced an array of new interdisciplinary majors, and fostered a strong honors program, all leading to a tripling of the College major enrollments. At the graduate level, new PhD programs in English, History and Political Science were established. The College more than tripled its sponsored research funding during this time.
Lowndes received his BSc and PhD in Physics from the University of London and an MBA from Northeastern University. He held research positions at the University of London, the University of Cambridge, and M.I.T. before joining Northeastern. His area of research is the study of materials under extreme conditions, including high-pressure, low-temperature, dielectric, far infrared and laser-Raman spectroscopic studies of phonon interactions in weakly and strongly anharmonic systems, and in phase transitions in displacive and hydrogen-bonded ferroelectrics. Lowndes also worked on the lunar materials brought back in the NASA Apollo missions. His work has been published in numerous international journals and conferences.
Lowndes has been an American Council of Education Fellow, and a Science Research Council (U.K.) Senior Fellow.