Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) Miaoulis has been President and Director of the Museum of Science, Boston, since 2003. Originally from Greece, Yannis came to the Museum after a distinguished association with Tufts University. There, he was Dean of the School of Engineering, Associate Provost, Interim Dean of the University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. In addition to helping Tufts raise $100 million for its engineering school, Yannis greatly increased the number of female students and faculty, designed collaborative programs with industry, and more than doubled research initiatives. Founding laboratories in Thermal Analysis for Materials Processing and Comparative Biomechanics, he also created the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.
An innovative educator with a passion for science and engineering, Yannis championed the introduction of engineering into the Massachusetts science and technology public school curriculum in 2001, making the Commonwealth first in the nation to develop a K-12 statewide curriculum framework and assessments for technology/engineering. He is positioning the Museum of Science — one of the world’s largest science centers and Boston’s most attended cultural institution — to take the lead in bringing interested parties in government, industry, and education together to advance the goal of educating a scientifically and technologically literate citizenry. Drawing over 1.7 million visitors in the fiscal period ending June 30, 2010, the Museum was also ranked one of the top two most visited hands-on science centers on Forbestraveler.com’s “America’s 25 most visited museums” list in 2008 and one of the top two science museums in the Zagat Survey’s “U.S. Family Travel Guide.”
In 2004, Miaoulis spearheaded creation of the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) at the Museum. Supported by corporate, foundation, and federal funds, the NCTL aims to enhance knowledge of engineering and technology for people of all ages and to inspire the next generation of engineers, inventors, and scientists. The Museum of Science is the country’s only science museum with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster technological literacy in both science museums and schools nationwide.
The NCTL advances technological literacy in schools by helping states modify educational standards and assessments, by designing K-12 engineering materials, and by offering educators professional development. The NCTL’s Engineering is Elementary curriculum has reached over 22,260 teachers and 1.7 million students in 50 states and Washington, DC. The Museum’s Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition, created with Lucasfilm Ltd., and funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is touring museums nationally, promoting technological literacy to over 2.3 million people. Since 2005, the Museum of Science, with the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, has led the formation of a national Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network) of science museums and research institutions and was recently awarded a second five-year $21 million grant by the NSF to expand efforts.
Since 2003, the Museum has opened two new attractions: Butterfly Garden, and the 3-D Digital Cinema, and a renovated Mugar Omni Theater. In February 2011, a totally renovated Charles Hayden Planetarium reopens as New England’s most technologically advanced digital theater.
A frequent speaker on science and technology literacy, Yannis has testified before U.S. Senate and House committees and served as keynote speaker at education reform conferences nationwide. He also built support for the first Engineering Education for Innovation Act, which was crafted by the NCTL and introduced by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and House Representative Paul Tonko in February 2010.
Yannis has published more than 100 research papers and holds two patents. He has also received numerous awards for his research efforts and community service, including the Presidential Young Investigator award, the William P. Desmond Award for outstanding contributions to Public Education, and the Tufts University Alumni Association’s Outstanding Service Award. He has served as Co-chair of the Technology/Engineering Education Advisory Board, Trustee of WGBH, and is a past member of the Massachusetts Math and Science Advisory Board. Named in 2006 by President George W. Bush to the National Museum and Library Services Board, He has also served on the NASA Advisory Council, receiving NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal in 2009; he is presently on the NASA Education and Public Outreach Committee. A member of Mass. Governor Deval Patrick’s Commonwealth Readiness Project Leadership Council, he also serves on Gov. Patrick’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Advisory Council. Yannis is a Trustee of Wellesley College.
He holds three degrees from Tufts University, a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1983, an M.A. in economics in 1986, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1987. He also received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. He was elected to the Tufts University Board of Trustees in 2006.
Last updated: February 9, 2011