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* Tarek Abdoun

Tarek Abdoun

Tarek Abdoun Named Associate Dean in School of Engineering

David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering, has named Professor Tarek Abdoun the associate dean for research and graduate studies. The appointment was effective Jan. 1.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Abdoun to his new position, and look forward to working closely with him in the coming years as we continue to elevate the quality, visibility, and reputation of the School of Engineering and its graduate programs,” Rosowsky said.

Abdoun, the Judith and Thomas Iovino ’73 Professor in Civil Engineering, is known internationally for his work in geotechnical earthquake engineering. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Rensselaer, and joined the Institute faculty in 1998 as a research assistant professor. He was named an assistant professor in 2004, an associate professor in 2005, and a full professor in 2009. He also led the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for nearly two years as acting department head.

Abdoun’s primary research interests include centrifuge modeling, soil-structure interaction, soil remediation, field advanced sensing, and data visualization. He has performed hundreds of modeling tests using Rensselaer’s 150 g-ton geotechnical centrifuge to study the resilience and sustainability of national infrastructure. He has served since 1998 as manager, and now associate director, of the Rensselaer NSF-NEES Geotechnical Centrifuge Research Center.

In 2007 he received the Commander’s Award for Public Service with accompanying medal from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This medal, one of the highest Army awards given to civilians, was for his outstanding contributions to the rebuilding of the New Orleans levees ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded Abdoun the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize. At Rensselaer, Abdoun received the 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 School of Engineering Excellence in Research & Teaching Award, as well as a Rensselaer Early Career Award in May 2007. He is a member of several journal editorial boards, including the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.

Abdoun succeeds Professor Joe Chow, who had served as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the School of Engineering since 2005. Chow decided to step down from this position and return to the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering to continue teaching and further his highly successful research career. Under Chow’s leadership as associate dean, the School of Engineering more than doubled its research expenditures and the quality of admitted graduate students has steadily increased, Rosowsky said.

“I cannot express the depth of gratitude I owe Dr. Chow for his leadership, wise council, and friendship,” Rosowsky said. “Our graduate programs continue to be ranked among the very best in the country, and our research support — particularly for junior faculty — continues to be strong, thanks in large part to Joe’s efforts.”

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 2, February 4, 2011
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