Dr. Amitabh Varshney will be the University of Maryland’s interim research vice president, according to a Thursday email to faculty from university President Darryll Pines.

Varshney succeeds Dr. Laurie Locascio, who was recently nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Varshney previously served in this role between 2016 and 2017, according to the email. In the role, he will provide strategic leadership to assist the continued growth of the university’s more than $1 billion research enterprise.

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Varshney will also continue to serve as the dean of the computer, mathematical and natural sciences college, a position that he’s had since 2018, according to the email. He joined the computer science department as a faculty member in 2000 and was the director of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies from 2010 to 2018.

His research centers on the applications of high-performance visualization and virtual and augmented reality in science, engineering and medicine, according to the email. His findings are being applied in a number of industries, including climate modeling, medical imaging and gene sequencing. His work has also been implemented in building design and creative arts. Varshney also has awards under his belt, including one from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and another from the National Science Foundation.

Varshney will serve as interim research vice president “until the completion of the confirmation process,” the email read.