Welcome to the Website of Richard Miller

Educator | Engineer  |  Academic Innovator  |  Consultant

Richard Miller has dedicated his life to inspiring, consulting, advising and creating positive change in higher education.

Richard Miller has spent more than four decades at five institutions gaining insights and building experience in leading positive change in higher education. He was the first employee and President of Olin College of Engineering, an internationally acclaimed laboratory school established for the express purpose of creating a new paradigm in engineering education. He is also the co-founder of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, an academic movement adopted internationally by nearly 100 universities to inspire young engineers to take the lead in addressing the Grand Challenges of the next century.  He is the founder of the Coalition for Life-Transformative Education, a community of university leaders committed to raising the bar in higher education to focus on improving the outcomes for all college graduates long after they graduate. He reflects deeply on lessons learned, assembles exceptional thought partners, builds teams with diverse talents and views, and empowers others to create new learning models and institutions to address the global challenges of our age. He has helped launch entirely new academic institutions, national and international educational movements, and serves on many boards and advisory committees. And he’s not done. Motivated by a passion to better prepare higher education for the 21st century, Dr. Miller is continuing to seek out opportunities where his expertise and connections will make a positive difference in the world.

Previous Major Projects

Reinventing Engineering Education

Olin was founded to become an important and constant contributor to the advancement of engineering education in America and throughout the world. In pursuit of this mission, Olin faculty engage in educational experimentation and research to create exceptional student-centered learning opportunities that translate to other schools.  They have engaged with 800+ universities in 50+ nations since 2010 to share lessons learned and inspire change elsewhere. As the first employee of the school, arriving in 1999, and President for 21 years, Richard guided Olin College to being ranked among the top 2 engineering schools in the world in the 2018 MIT BENCHMARK STUDY—just 16 years from the day Olin taught its first classes. Miller and two Olin Colleagues were recognized in 2013 by the National Academy of Engineering with Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, a $500,000 award.

Global Grand Challenges Scholars Program: Preparing Engineering Leaders for the Grand Challenges of the next 100 years.

There are now nearly 100 engineering schools around the world that are members of this growing movement, with the goal of inspiring the next generation to dedicate their lives to solving the Grand Challenges of the 21st century: global sustainability (climate change), health (pandemics), security (including cyber security and AI), and enhancing life as the population grows (diversity, inclusion, and social justice as resources become scarce).

Improving Long-term Outcomes for All of Higher Education

The Coalition for Transformational Education (formerly Coalition for Life-Transformative Education) is a community of university leaders who are committed to experimenting individually and collectively, sharing best practices, and collaborating to start a movement across America to ensure that all students who enroll in college not only complete a degree, but also have a transformative educational experience that enhances their well-being and work engagement throughout life. Richard conceived and founded this coalition in 2017 and continues to serve as the Founding Chair of the Steering Committee.

Future Engagements

Sharing Lessons Learned

Over the decades, as an engineering student, engineering consultant, faculty member, and leader with experience at seven different universities and several corporations, I have gained significant experience and learned many lessons that may be useful to others. These lessons range from the principles of effective engineering to the fundamental principles of effective undergraduate and graduate education, development of academic learning cultures, development of faculty and administrative cultures, development of governance cultures, establishment of collaborative relations with other institutions (including accreditation boards) and the media, revitalization of existing academic departments and institutions, and the establishment of entirely new academic institutions. Within the limitations of time and resources, I am pleased to share these lessons learned with others, through publications, recorded presentations, public lectures, live presentations, and brief consultations.

Advice and Guidance

For engagements that require building a relationship and involve more than a short encounter, my engagement on institutional advisory committees, oversight boards, design teams, assessment committees, and management committees may be of value. In such cases, an extended relationship may be needed which requires a sustained but low-level time commitment with another organization or institution. Again, I am generally enthusiastic about such engagements within the limitations of time and resources, when the alignment with my experience and priorities is high.


For certain major and significant projects, a more intense time commitment and personal engagement may be required. When such a project aligns well with my personal experience and expertise, as well as my mission and priorities, a more intense personal engagement may be required. This may involve carrying significant responsibilities and committing a significant fraction of my time for an extended period. In such cases, a preliminary conversation is required to achieve mutual understanding of the goals and objectives, achieve a strong alignment of expectations, and develop a high level plan including resources and partnerships. When these conditions are met, I am most enthusiastic about engagement to achieve a positive impact. At this stage in my life, I am only interested in projects that are worthy of my time and effort, and that will make a positive difference in the world.