When IUPUI's fifth chancellor Nasser H. Paydar was just a teenager, his father impressed upon him the need to take his education as far as he could. That education would serve as Paydar's pathway to the future.
Paydar followed his father's advice, which took him thousands of miles from home to SUNY Buffalo in 1975. He followed his soon-to-be-wife Niloo when he transferred to Syracuse University. Ultimately, he received bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from Syracuse University from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Chancellor Paydar's IUPUI story started even before he received his Ph.D. from Syracuse.
"In April of 1985, I received an offer from IUPUI to start as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Indianapolis," he explained. "I finished my studies in May, took a month off preparing for my first job here, and I arrived in Indianapolis in July of 1985 to start my career at IUPUI."
That career has endured for more than 30 years. As a faculty member, he served as principal and co-principal investigator on research grants from federal and state agencies and private companies, including Cummins Electronics, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center. His research in the area of solid mechanics, with applications in biomechanics and electronic packaging, has been widely published in scientific journals.
In addition, Paydar has held various administrative and executive leadership positions at the university, including serving as vice chancellor and dean of IUPUC and chancellor of IU East where he oversaw dramatic gains in enrollment, first-year retention rates, and graduation rates.