Sullivan to step aside as director of Applied Research Laboratory

May 08, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Paul Sullivan, director of the Applied Research Laboratory and Defense Related Research Units at Penn State, has announced that he will step down from his current role at the end of September.

“It has been my honor to connect the world-class research conducted by the people at Penn State to the defense of our nation,” Sullivan said. “In particular, it has been wonderful to supervise a Navy-oriented University Applied Research Center (UARC), which has allowed me to continue my lifelong commitment to our Sailors and Marines.”

Under Sullivan’s leadership, ARL renewed the University’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) contract for 2018-2028, grew Department of Defense research expenditures to $242 million in fiscal year 2018, and developed a recapitalization plan, as well as a strategic plan and other overarching policy and diversity initiatives.

“It’s been my pleasure to work alongside Paul in advancing the nation’s defense capabilities,” said Neil Sharkey, vice president for Research at Penn State. “He has done a tremendous job of developing and optimizing research infrastructure, as well as recruiting the best and brightest, at ARL.”

Sullivan took the helm of ARL on Sept. 1, 2014. Prior to directing ARL, Sullivan served as the vice president of American Centrifuge and chief engineer at USEC Inc. Sullivan's Naval appointments have included Commander Naval Sea Systems Command as a vice admiral, deputy commander for Ship Design, Integration and Engineering at NAVSEA, and program manager for both the VIRGINIA Class and SEAWOLF Class Submarine Programs.

Sullivan said he feels strongly that leadership at ARL should be refreshed every five years.

“Although some past directors have served longer terms, I feel very strongly that the dynamic environment in today’s R&D field demands fresh perspective on a more frequent basis,” he said.

Sullivan plans to transition to a new position on Sept. 30. The University will commence a national search for his position as soon as possible. 

Last Updated May 08, 2019