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ECE alum named provost of the American University in Cairo

Amr Shaarawi

Amr Shaarawi

ECE alumnus Amr Shaarawi has been named provost of the Middle East’s preeminent English-language university, the American University in Cairo (AUC).

Shaarawi has served AUC in various teaching and leadership roles for over a decade. He joined the university in 1999 as a faculty member in the physics department. In 2000, he became the coordinator of AUC’s core curriculum course on scientific thinking and the advisor of the university’s Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter.

Shaarawi was promoted in 2006 to associate dean for graduate studies and research for the School of Sciences and Engineering. During his tenure, the school experienced notable growth, with substantial increases in graduate program offerings and research grant awards.

After receiving the AUC Excellence in Academic Service Award in 2010, Shaarawi was named dean of graduate studies for the university. He will continue to fill this position, using his platform as provost to advocate for continued assessment and improvements for graduate programs. “We are examining everything, from academic curricula, theses and faculty, to fellowships and research facilities, seeing how we can take them to another level,” Shaarawi said.

Another top priority for Shaarawi will be to increase the international visibility of AUC’s research. “Our faculty are carrying out cutting-edge research that has far-reaching impact not just inside Egypt, but globally as well,” Shaarawi said. “We are doing much better than what many people know.”

Shaarawi’s personal contributions to AUC’s body of research were recently recognized with the 2012 AUC Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors Award. His areas of expertise include optical materials, photonic bandgap structures, modeling of ultra-short slowly decaying pulses, and theoretical studies of ultra-wideband localized pulses and ultra-fast transmission of tunneling pulses.

Shaarawi earned his M.S. and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech in 1984 and 1989, respectively. His thesis was “Nondispersive wave packets” and his advisor was Ioannis Besieris.

After completing his education, Shaarawi served on the faculty of the department of engineering physics and mathematics at Cairo University from 1989-1999. He returned to Virginia Tech briefly from 1996-1997 to serve with the ECE faculty as a Fulbright visiting scholar.