Craig B. Arnold

Vice Dean for Innovation
Susan Dod Brown Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

As vice dean for innovation, Craig B. Arnold leads the Office of Innovation and oversees the University’s efforts to grow Princeton’s culture of innovation across disciplines. The role aims to strengthen the University’s capacity to engage with entrepreneurs, alumni, industry, technology investors and other potential partners. The vice dean for innovation works closely with offices across campus and within the Office of the Dean for Research, including Technology Licensing and New Ventures, and Strategic Partnerships and Engagement.

Arnold is Princeton's Susan Dod Brown Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He leads a vibrant research program that ranges from basic science to applied technology aimed at developing a deeper understanding of materials synthesis and processing in areas including advanced manufacturing, energy storage and conversion, and optics and photonics.

He served as the director of the  Princeton Materials Institute from 2015 to 2022.

In 2017, Arnold received an Edison Patent Award from the Research & Development Council of New Jersey for the creation of an adjustable lens that focuses light in response to sound waves. The tunable acoustic gradient (TAG) lens is now used in many industrial and research applications including robotics, machine vision, industrial metrology and ultra-high precision microscopy.

Arnold holds 13 granted patents, and is the co-founder of two companies based on research conducted at Princeton. TAG Optics Inc. developed the TAG lens and was later acquired by a major precision instrument manufacturer. Invictis Technologies is working to create a safer and less painful automated intravenous injection device.

Arnold is a preeminent researcher in the field of materials science; he and co-authors have published over 200 scientific papers and book chapters. He serves as a member of the National Research Council’s National Materials and Manufacturing Board and is a fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) and the Optical Society of America.

Arnold was named a Knight of Laser Technology (2018) by the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP)-Photonic Technologies. He has received a number of prominent industry awards for his technology including R&D World magazine’s R&D 100 award, the SPIE Prism Award for Photonics Innovation, and Vision Systems Design magazine’s Innovators Award. Arnold has received prestigious federal awards and grants, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award.

Recognized widely for his mentorship and teaching, Arnold has advised many undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. He has received the Princeton Undergraduate Engineering Council Teaching Award (2009, 2017 and 2022) and the School of Engineering and Applied Science Excellence in Teaching Award (2019 and 2021). Arnold is a member of the executive committee for Princeton’s Entrepreneurship Certificate Program and the executive committee of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.   

Arnold holds a Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics from Harvard University and a B.S. from Haverford College. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory prior to joining the Princeton faculty in 2003.