New chair named of Electrical and Computer Engineering department

Dr. Ahmed Tewfik

AUSTIN, Texas – Dr. Ahmed Tewfik, E. F. Johnson professor of Electronic Communications, University of Minnesota, and Vice President for Technical Directions of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Society, has been named the new chair of the Cockrell School of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering department at The University of Texas at Austin. Tewfik's position takes effect Oct. 1, 2010.

Tewfik brings to the Cockrell School an impressive research record, entrepreneurial insight as the founder and CEO of a software company and leadership gained through various positions with IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

In his new position, Tewfik will lead the largest of the engineering school departments, as well as assist in development efforts for the building of the new Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC). The EERC will be the new home to the Computer and Electrical Engineering department, in addition to providing more space for research and student projects.

"Ahmed Tewfik's unique blend of research expertise, entrepreneurial experience and global leadership is exactly what we need to help guide the growth of our Electrical and Computer Engineering department," said Gregory L. Fenves, dean, Cockrell School of Engineering. "In addition to fundamental research, we continually seek more opportunities to transfer the knowledge and ideas developed by our faculty and students into addressing end user needs in the marketplace."

Dr. Tewfik follows Dr. Tony Ambler as department chair, who has had a successful tenure over the past nine years, building the department to 66 faculty members who educate 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. In that time approximately 50 percent of the current faculty have been recruited, research funding has dramatically increased together with Ph.D. output, and industry interactions have been greatly improved.

Dr. Tewfik's current areas of research interests include: medical imaging for minimally invasive surgery, programmable wireless networks, genomics and proteomics, neural prosthetics and audio signal separation. He has made seminal contributions in the past to food inspection, watermarking, multimedia signal processing and content based retrieval, wavelet signal processing and fractals.

His education includes a B.S.E.E. from Cairo University, Cairo Egypt, in 1982, an M.S.E.E. in 1984 and Sc.D. in 1987, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Tewfik is a Fellow of the IEEE, and was a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Signal Processing Society from 1997 to 1999. He received the IEEE Third Millennium Award in 2000. Dr. Tewfik was awarded the E. F. Johnson professorship of Electronic Communications in 1993, the Taylor Faculty Development Award from the Taylor Foundation in 1992 and an NSF Research Initiation Award in 1990.

Dr. Tewfik has delivered plenary lectures at several IEEE and non-IEEE meetings and taught tutorials on bioinformatics, cognitive radio, ultrawideband communications, watermarking and wavelets at major IEEE conferences. He served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Signal Processing Letters from 1993 to 1999.

In addition to his many years as a professor, lecturer and mentor to students at the University of Minnesota and M.I.T., Dr. Tewfik has worked at Alphatech, Inc., in Burlington, MA. He served as a consultant to several companies, including MTS Systems, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN, Emerson-Rosemount, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN, CyberNova, Milipitas, CA, Macrovision, Santa Clara, CA, Keyeye Communications, Sacramento, CA, Transoma Medical, Arden Hills, MN and St. Jude Medical, Minnetonka, MN. He has enjoyed long standing collaborations with Texas Instruments and Computing Devices International. From August 1997 to August 2001, he was the President and CEO of Cognicity, Inc., an entertainment marketing software tools publisher that he co-founded.

Contact: Maria Arrellaga, UT Cockrell School Communications, 512-232-8060

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