Lisa Anderson, provost and president-elect at the American University in Cairo (AUC), has announced that Medhat Haroun will succeed her as the university's chief academic officer when she assumes the role of AUC president in January 2011. Haroun, a world-renowned expert on earthquake engineering, has been dean of AUC's School of Sciences and Engineering (SSE) since 2005.
During his tenure as the SSE dean, Haroun succeeded in generating significant external funding for the school, including multi-million dollar grants from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to fund student scholarships and essential research. Haroun is also responsible for establishing new degree programs at SSE, including undergraduate majors in architectural, computer and petroleum engineering, and master's degrees in biotechnology, nanotechnology and food chemistry. He is credited with launching AUC's first PhD program in applied sciences and engineering and acquired corresponding funding for fellowships and research. An advocate for interdisciplinary study, Haroun has established academic collaborations within AUC and beyond, particularly with the Business School and the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
"Dean Haroun is the overwhelming choice of the faculty at AUC, whose admiration and affection for him are a genuine tribute to his dedication, skill and generosity," said Anderson in her announcement. "I have enjoyed and profited from working with him as dean, and I look forward to continuing to do so as he steps into his new role."
Haroun was valedictorian of his undergraduate class at Cairo University where he earned a BSc degree in civil engineering. He received a PhD in 1979 from California Institute of Technology. He was a professor of civil and environmental engineering for over two decades at the University of California, Irvine. He came to AUC as the faculty director of the California exchange program and eventually accepted the AGIP Professorship in the Construction Engineering Department.
Throughout his career, Haroun has been recognized for his research, academic contributions and administrative excellence. He won Excellence in Teaching Awards at the University of California and at AUC. He is also the recipient of the Walter Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize and the Martin Duke Award for his research in earthquake engineering. Most recently, he accepted the 2010 AUC Excellence in Academic Achievement Award.
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