Lora G. Weiss

Lora G. Weiss Headshot
  • Senior Vice President for Research
Office of the Senior Vice President
304 Old Main University Park, PA 16802
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Lora G. Weiss, Ph.D., is the senior vice president for research at The Pennsylvania State University. In her role, she oversees the research of twelve academic colleges, seven interdisciplinary research institutes, the Applied Research Lab, which is a university affiliated research center for the Navy, and offices for sponsored programs, research protections, industry partnerships, technology transfer, innovation, economic development, and commercialization. Weiss is also president of the Penn State Research Foundation, which catalyzes the commercial translation of research to application. Penn State consistently ranks among the nation’s top 25 research universities, with annual research expenditures exceeding $1 billion and spanning research in social sciences, life sciences, data sciences, materials, energy, climate, and more. In FY22, twelve Penn State research disciplines ranked in the top ten.

Prior to Penn State, Weiss spent 13 years at Georgia Tech, where most recently she served as senior vice president and director (interim) of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, which is a university affiliated research center for the Army. Prior to Georgia Tech, Weiss spent 16 years at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory advancing research in unmanned and autonomous systems.

Weiss is an accomplished scientist and educator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. An expert in robotics and unmanned systems, Weiss has been advancing the capabilities of unmanned air, ground, sea surface, and undersea vehicles, including human-machine teaming. 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 is Vice Chair for the Information Science and Technology group supporting DARPA’s Information Innovation Office. Weiss serves on the Senior Research Officers Steering Committee of the Association of American Universities and the Executive Committee of the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities. She has been appointed by the governor of Pennsylvania to serve a second term on the Board of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, and she has been selected to serve a three-year term on the National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable council.

Weiss 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 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 holds a patent for an unmanned underwater vehicle.

Weiss received her Ph.D. in acoustics from Penn State, her master’s in mathematics from UCLA, and her bachelor’s in mathematics from Boston University.