Lora G. Weiss

Headshot of Dr. Weiss
  • Senior Vice President for Research
Office of the Vice President
304 Old Main University Park, PA 16802
Phone Number: 


Lora G. Weiss, Ph.D., was appointed senior vice president for research at The Pennsylvania State University in September 2019. In her role, she is the principal academic and administrative officer for Penn State’s Office of Research. Penn State consistently ranks among the nation’s top 25 public research universities, with fiscal year 2020 annual research expenditures exceeding $1 billion.

Weiss oversees the research work of eleven academic colleges, seven university-wide interdisciplinary research institutes, a university affiliated research laboratory for the Department of Defense, and offices for sponsored programs, research protections, industry partnerships, technology transfer, innovation, and commercialization.

Prior to serving as senior vice president for research, Weiss spent 13 years at Georgia Tech, where most recently, she was the interim director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). Weiss helped grow GTRI’s research portfolio by more than 25% during her final year, exceeding $640 million in sponsored awards during fiscal year 2019 — a new record for GTRI. Prior to Georgia Tech, Weiss spent 16 years working at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory.

Weiss is an accomplished scientist and educator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. With a background in robotics and unmanned systems, Weiss has centered her research on advancing the capabilities of unmanned air, ground, sea surface, and undersea vehicles. Weiss served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), which is the world’s largest unmanned systems organization.  She was on the technical advisory board of the National Robotics Technology Consortium. She was an Executive Board Member for NDIA’s Undersea Warfare Division; she supported several National Academies’ studies; and she supported the Center for New American Security’s Future Foundry Task Force. She has been author of a continuous stream of highly regarded journal publications, including her 1994 seminal paper on the cover of the internationally renowned IEEE Signal Processing magazine and again in 2011 for her cover story in IEEE Spectrum.

In 2014, Weiss was named Regents’ Researcher, which is the highest recognition bestowed by the University System of Georgia to research faculty members. In 2012, Weiss received the AUVSI Foundation Award for Academic Champion. In 2012, she also received Georgia’s Women in Technology Woman of the Year Award for Medium-Sized Businesses, and in 2013, she received a Letter of Commendation from the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group. Weiss also holds a patent for an unmanned underwater vehicle.

Weiss received her Ph.D. in acoustics from Penn State, her masters in mathematics from UCLA, and her bachelors in mathematics from Boston University.