The American University in cairo (AUC) announces the selection of Tarek Shawki as the new dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering (SSE). Shawki’s plan is not only to make it the leading school of its kind in the region, but to also promote its distinction and increase its visibility on a global scale. “Just as AUC is known for its liberal arts education, the SSE, with its excellent faculty and programs can be presented as an intellectual hub for scientific research and discovery,” he said. “My aim is that when people think of sciences and engineering, AUC immediately comes to mind,” said Shawki.
Shawki’s three-pronged strategy to advance the school as a regional and global entity involves increasing the integration of technology in the classroom, enhancing the school’s research capacity and establishing strategic partnerships with nongovernmental organizations, leading academic institutions and the private sector. “With the resources available, we have the ability to make SSE the top-ranking school in the region,” he said. “We need to be present, be known and adequately serve the region in sciences and engineering. Ultimately, people will recognize our added value.”
Shawki, who began his term as dean with the start of the academic year, is a distinguished academic, consultant and international education executive. Holding a PhD in engineering from Brown University, he served for 13 years as professor of theoretical and applied mechanics at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Afterwards, he spent more than a decade between Cairo and Paris working at UNESCO, where he was a key player in the development of several innovative programs related to education and technology. These include establishing a set of universal benchmarks for teacher competencies in the use of informational communications technologies, as well as developing a global, multilingual and digital library of high-quality e-courseware content available free of charge to students and teachers around the world.
Shawki also provided major contributions to projects to empower teachers throughout the Arab world through access to online collaboration, sharing of digital educational content, as well as annual teacher forums and awards for the best innovative instructors in the region.
“My experience at UNESCO gave me a unique opportunity to see how governments worldwide work, how consensus is reached on the best ways to address the needs of developing countries and how laws are approved and enacted,” he said. “I also gained incredible exposure to global players, including NGOs and corporations, and established a network of contacts in science and education. This will surely be of benefit to AUC as I work to create a link between AUC and the outside world in science and technology – a link that will strengthen SSE's position on the global map, not just within the circles of academia, but on international platforms as well.”