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President, Khalifa University
Tod A. Laursen is the President of Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Prior to becoming President of Khalifa University, Dr. Laursen was a member of the faculty of Duke University (USA), between the years of 1992 and 2010, during which time he had appointments in civil engineering, biomedical engineering, and mechanical engineering. He served as Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from 2008-2010, and served as Senior Associate Dean for Education in the Pratt School of Engineering from 2003-2008. In the latter capacity, he had oversight responsibility for all undergraduate and graduate engineering programs at Duke.
Dr. Laursen earned his Ph.D. and M.Sc. postgraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.Sc. in the same subject from Oregon State University. He specializes in computational mechanics, a subfield of engineering mechanics concerned with development of new computational algorithms and tools used by engineers to analyze mechanical and structural systems. He has published over 100 refereed articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and has authored or co-edited two books. His particular focus is development of methods to analyze contact, impact and frictional phenomena, in highly nonlinear and complex systems.
He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the International Association of Computational Mechanics, and the United States Association for Computational Mechanics. He also holds memberships in the American Society for Engineering Education and Tau Beta Pi. He served as an at-large member of the Executive Committee for the United States Association for Computational Mechanics between 2007 and 2010,and currently services as a member of the Executive Council of the International Association for Computational Mechanics (until 2020). Additionally, he has served on the scientific advisory committees of several of the most important national and international congresses in computational mechanics.
President's Complete CV (downloadable)
Khalifa University’s five year strategic plan entitled: “Building a Community of Excellence”. The plan is designed to guide the growth and ambitions of the institution and is the outcome of the first truly comprehensive planning exercise conducted on our two campuses.
The Strategic Plan calls for annual progress reports on strategic objectives; these can be accessed via the above link.
The President’s Academic Advisory Council (PAAC) provides advice and counsel to the President on issues of importance to Khalifa University. The PAAC reports to the President and is the most influential advisory body serving the University. Currently consisting of five internationally known educators, researchers, and administrators, the PAAC Members were based upon their professional knowledge and experience, as well as their genuine commitment to the advancement and welfare of the University.
Members of the PAAC are expected to provide advice and counsel to help advance the University on issues of importance, and to advocate for the University with prospective faculty and students, professional colleagues, and other constituencies as appropriate.
Topics of central importance will include strategic planning, curriculum and learning, student life and professional development, fostering an environment of innovation and continuous improvement, student recruitment and retention, faculty recruitment and intellectual vitality, sponsored research and intellectual property, entrepreneurship, external and corporate relations, administration and finance, and college governance.
The PAAC meet twice each year. The Chair of the PAAC will meet with the Board of Trustees once a year to provide a report on the opportunities and challenges facing the University. The purpose of this report is to foster formal communication between the Trustees and the PAAC, and to enhance the process of innovation and continuous improvement throughout the University. Information on the membership is provided below.
The PAAC members:
The PAAC inaugural chair is Sir John O’Reilly. Prior to joining Cranfield University as Vice Chancellor in 2006, Sir O’Reilly was Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). He has held academic appointments at Essex, Bangor, and UCL as well as positions in industry/government. He is currently Chairman of NICC (Standards) Ltd and a Director of the ERA Foundation Ltd.
A Chartered Engineer, he is a Fellow and member of Council of the Royal Academy of Engineering, an International Fellow of Académie Hassan II des Sciences et Techniques and of Academia das Ciencias de Lisbon, a former President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and of EUREL, the Confederation of European Professional Electrical Engineering Societies. He holds honorary doctorates/Fellowships from Essex, Bangor and UCL and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Widely published, with over 350 research papers and three books, he was awarded the JJ Thomson Medal of the IEE for ‘distinguished contributions to electronic engineering’. He was awarded a knighthood for contributions to science in 2007. In the wider the international arena he Chairs the President’s Academic Advisory Committee of Khalifa University and is a Board Member of A*STAR, the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore.
Nam Pyo Suh is the President of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Previously, he was at MIT from 1970-2008, where he was the Ralph E. & Eloise F. Cross Professor, Director of the Park Center for Complex Systems, and the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for ten years. From 1984-1988, Dr. Suh served in as a Presidential Appointee at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in charge of engineering.
He is the recipient of the 2009 ASME Medal, the 2006 General Pierre Nicolau Award of CIRP, the 2008 Pony Chung Award of the Pony Chung Foundation, the 2008 Inchon Education Award of the Inchon Memorial Foundation, the 1997 Ho-Am Prize for Engineering, the 2000 Mensforth International Gold Medal of IEE (UK), the 2001 Hills Millennium Award from IED (UK), the Distinguished Service Award of NSF, and many others. He received seven honorary doctoral degrees from universities in four continents.
He is the author of over 300 papers and seven books, holds more than 70 US patents. His contributions include the delamination theory of wear, the solution wear theory, a theory on the genesis of friction, Axiomatic Design theory, and microcellular plastic known as MuCell. At KAIST, he invented the On-Line Electric Vehicle (OLEV) and the Mobile Harbor (MH). He received his B.S., in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in1959, M.S., in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961, and Ph.D, in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1964.
Don Giddens is the current President of the American Society of Engineering Education. He received all his degrees (BAE 1963, MSAE 1965, and Ph.D. 1966) from Georgia Tech and joined the faculty in 1968, after two years in the aerospace industry. In 1992 he left his position as the Chair of Aerospace Engineering to serve as the Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. In 1997, Giddens rejoined Georgia Tech to establish the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department between Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and Emory University’s School of Medicine. He served as the founding Chair until July 2002, when he became the Dean of the College of Engineering. Giddens retired from Georgia Tech on July 1, 2011 and currently continues his research on a part time basis as a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department.
Dr. Giddens is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), a founding Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and Fellow of the American Heart Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He received the H.R. Lissner Award from ASME in 1993 and was the ASME Thurston Lecturer in 1996. Giddens has served in a variety of professional activities involving engineering education and biomedical research. He is currently President of ASEE, and Chair of the Bioengineering Section of the NAE. He is the author of over 300 publications, book chapters and presentations, and continues an active research program in biomedical engineering. Dean Giddens recently chaired an NAE project that developed a report, “Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving the Public Understanding of Engineering.”
Richard Miller is the President of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 1999. He served as Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa from 1992-1999, and spent the previous 17 years on the engineering faculties at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Miller's research interests are in applied mechanicsand he is the author or co-author of about 100 reviewed journal articles and other technical publications. The recipient of five teaching awards at two universities, he is a past chair of the Engineering Advisory Committee at NSF, past chair of the AITU, a member of the Visiting Committee at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, and has been a consultant to the World Bank on the establishment of new academic institutions, among other activities.
A native Californian, Dr. Miller earned his B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, Davis, where he received the 2002 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award. He earned his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from the California Institute of Technology.
Bertil Andersson is the President of Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). As NTU’s Provost in 2007, he strengthened the university’s profile as one of the fastest-growing research-intensive universities in the world. Today, NTU is the youngest university ranked among the world’s top 100 universities, with more than S$830m in sustainability research. He is a plant biochemist of international reputation and is the author of over 300 papers in photosynthesis research, biological membranes, protein and membrane purification and light stress in plants.
A former Trustee of the Nobel Foundation, Professor Andersson was the Rector (President) of Linköping University from 1999-2003; the Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation from 2004-2007; and the former Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry in 2007. As a Visiting Professor and Fellow of Imperial College London, Prof Andersson is the key driver of Singapore’s new medical school jointly established by NTU and Imperial College London. Professor Andersson is a recipient of the Wilhelm Exner Medal, joining an illustrious list of laureates, which includes 15 Nobel Prize winners. He holds honorary doctorates from several universities and is a research adviser to the Swedish government.
Prof Andersson is an Advisory Board Member of the Euroscience Open Forum and a Board member of the Trustee Committee of the Körber Foundation of the Max Planck Society. He is also a Board member of the Building and Construction Authority and A*STAR Singapore, and serves on the Governing Board of the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering.
Left to Right : Arif Al Hammadi, Don Giddens, Bertil Andersson, Nam Pyo Suh, Tod Laursen , Mohammad Al Mualla, Richard Miller, John O’Reilly, Mohammed Ismail Elneggar.