American Univesity of Beirut

Reappointment of Dr. Alan Shihadeh as dean of MSFEA

Dear members of the AUB community,

It gives me great pleasure to announce the reappointment of Dr. Alan Shihadeh as dean of the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) for a second term, effective September 1, 2022. A review committee chaired by Dr. Fawwaz Ulaby, Emmett Leith Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan and former founding provost and executive vice president at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, strongly and enthusiastically supported this decision.

Over the last five years, Dean Shihadeh has championed and built consensus for a bold vision for MSFEA as a faculty working collectively toward “a viable, livable, and equitable world." This vision leverages the special contexts of Lebanon and the region to expand MSFEA's educational, scholarly, and societal impact, and it has catalyzed innovation across the faculty, especially in interdisciplinary design and industry partnerships. A passionate proponent of new models of learning and credentialing that better serve students and society, of scaling broad access to higher education through technology, and agile curricula that continuously evolve to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world, Dean Shihadeh has made MSFEA a hotbed of faculty- and student-led experimentation and a regional resource on best practices in teaching and learning. From only two percent in 2017, student participation in entrepreneurship activities has increased six-fold to 11 percent in 2021, a rate comparable to those in top US engineering schools. MSFEA's faculty members have continued to thrive and excel during Dean Shihadeh's tenure, winning accolades as well as global awards for their research and teaching.

Dean Shihadeh's success at the helm of MSFEA has been reflected in the faculty's dramatic rise in international rankings, from the #451-500 range (QS, 2017) to #231 (QS, 2022). Under his leadership, MSFEA achieved remarkable modernization in its facilities, highlighted by the recently inaugurated Dar Al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) Architecture Building. MSFEA is now at the forefront of the university's efforts to introduce a robust roster of online programs, creating and successfully delivering a number of online certificates, diplomas, and degree programs. Through the activities of the Institute at MSFEA, it is also at the forefront of the university's efforts to support the vitality of the region's economies by engaging small and medium size enterprises.

Dr. Shihadeh is tenured professor of mechanical engineering at MSFEA and a globally renowned expert in the study of particle pollutants and emerging tobacco products. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1989) and his master's and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1998). He is the author of well over 150 refereed journal articles, reports, and conference abstracts and serves as an expert to the FDA and WHO, among others. As founding director of the AUB Aerosol Research Lab and as project director with the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University, he has produced ground-breaking studies on the chemistry, human behavior, and health effects of waterpipe tobacco smoking and electronic cigarettes. Professor Shihadeh is an outstanding scholar, one of only three Clarivate Highly Cited Authors in Lebanon. He has pioneered technologies to study tobacco use and effects that are now used by researchers across the Middle East, Europe, and North America, and his methods for waterpipe tobacco smoke testing have been adopted as international standards. Alan is a rare scholar who is also a pragmatic idealist. His unshakable, scientifically grounded testimony and reports in various fora have played a ​significant role in restricting the tobacco industry's reach and supporting stronger regulation of deadly tobacco products.

The review committee praised Dean Shihadeh for his strategic leadership and for building a collaborative and inclusive work environment. To MSFEA faculty, staff, and students, he is a role model, an inspiring leader, a “down-to-earth," sincere, and caring human being. He has already accomplished an extraordinarily ambitious agenda in his first term, leading MSFEA through the uncharted territories of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Lebanese financial crisis. We are confident he is exceptionally well-positioned to lead MSFEA with dynamism through continued growth and transformation.

Please join me in congratulating Dean Shihadeh on his reappointment and thanking him for his dedication and continued work on behalf of MSFEA and the university. We cannot wait to see what Alan will do next.

Best regards,

Fadlo R. Khuri, MD​


Office of the President

American University of Beirut​
T +961 1 35 00 00 – Ext 2500

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