Ann Karagozian, a longtime professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and former chair of the UCLA Academic Senate, has been named interim vice chancellor for research.

Karagozian, who joined the faculty in 1982, will lead a research enterprise that consistently ranks among the nation’s powerhouses. In the last fiscal year, UCLA received more than $1 billion in competitively awarded grants and contracts and approved more than 4,700 research projects.

Her appointment is effective immediately, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh said.

Karagozian heads UCLA’s Energy and Propulsion Research Laboratory in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. She also is director of the Collaborative Center for Aerospace Sciences, a joint venture of the Air Force Research Laboratory and UCLA.

Karagozian served as chair of the UCLA Academic Senate during the 2010-11 academic year. At UCLA Engineering, she was the faculty chair from 1999-2001.

Among her many professional appointments, Karagozian has served on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board as well on committees of the National Research Council and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

She received a Ph.D. and master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from UCLA.

Waugh said he will soon form a search committee to identify candidates to succeed Dr. James Economou, the previous vice chancellor for research. After a five-year tenure, Economou last year returned to the faculty, where he is the Beaumont Professor of Surgery and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology. He also holds joint appointments in the department of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics, and the department of molecular and medical pharmacology.