Professor Fawwaz T. Ulaby, R. Jamison and Betty Williams Professor of
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been selected as the
Founding Provost and Executive Vice President of
King Abdullah University of Science and
Technology (KAUST). KAUST is a new world-class, graduate-level
scientific research university now under development in Saudi Arabia, and
scheduled to open its doors in September, 2009.
"It is a great opportunity to shape the future," says Ulaby, who plans
to maintain an appointment at Michigan. "It will provide a means for the
easy flow of research, faculty, and students between the two institutions."
Ulaby is expected to assume his duties on September 1, 2008.
Announcing his selection, President-designate Choon Fong Shih noted that
Professor Ulaby's unique combination of qualities and academic and
scientific experience made him a prominent front runner for the position.
"KAUST is a new university with a globally competitive agenda in
academics and research," said Professor Shih. "Professor Ulaby is a
distinguished scholar and researcher who brings both experience and vision
to help KAUST fulfill its unique mission. I am delighted that he agreed to
join my leadership team."
"Professor Ulaby's experience as vice president for research in one of
the premier U.S. public research universities makes him an excellent
appointment to the role of Provost," said Dr. Charles Vest, president of the
National Academy of Engineering and president emeritus of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. "His international outlook and breadth of cultural
understanding will bring great value to KAUST."
In his role as provost, Professor Ulaby will be the chief academic
officer and senior administrator for KAUST, reporting to President-designate
Shih and KAUST's independent Board of Trustees. He will be responsible for
overseeing all educational affairs and research activities, including the
recruitment of faculty and academic administrators. He will also oversee the
chairs of KAUST's four academic divisions: Engineering and Applied Science;
Physical, Material, and Earth Sciences; Applied Mathematics and
Computational Science; and Biosciences and Bioengineering. KAUST leaders
selected the University's initial academic divisions and associated research
thrusts for their importance to the existing industries in Saudi Arabia, the
development of future, knowledge-based industries, and the potential
regional and international impact.
Since joining the University of Michigan faculty in 1984, Professor Ulaby
has directed numerous interdisciplinary, NASA-funded projects aimed at the
development of high-resolution satellite radar sensors for mapping Earth's
terrestrial environment. He also served as the founding director of the
NASA-funded Center for Space Terahertz Technology, whose research was aimed
at the development of microelectronic devices and circuits that operate at
wavelengths between the infrared and the microwave regions of the
electromagnetic spectrum. Prior to his current position, Professor Ulaby
served a seven-year term as the University of Michigan's vice president for
research from 1999-2005, with responsibility for an $800 million research
enterprise. Over his academic career, he has supervised more than 100
talented graduate students.
Professor Ulaby is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering,
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS),
and Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE),
and he serves on several international scientific boards and commissions.
In recognition for his outstanding teaching and distinguished
scholarship, he has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards from
universities, government agencies, and scientific organizations. Among them
are the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Distinguished Achievement Award
(1983), the Kuwait Prize for Applied Science (1987), the NASA Achievement
Award (1990), the University of Michigan Regents Medal for Meritorious
Service (1996), the IEEE Millennium Medal (2000), the 2002 William Pecora
Award, a joint recognition by NASA and the Department of the Interior, and
the Distinguished FEA Alumni Award from the American University of Beirut
(2006). In 2006, he was selected by the students in the Department of
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as "Professor of the Year," and
shortly thereafter, he was awarded the Thomas Edison Medal, the oldest and
most coveted medal in the field of electrical and computer engineering in
the United States.