Dean of SSE

Dear AUC Community,

I am writing to announce Dr. Lotfi Gaafar as Dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering as of July 1, 2021.  This announcement comes following an extensive global search which included some truly excellent candidates. 

Dr. Gaafar first joined AUC in 2000 as faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, where he served as Chair from 2017-2019. Since 2019 he has been the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in SSE. Dr. Gaafar earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Ain Shams University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University in the US. Prior to joining AUC, Dr. Gaafar taught at Clemson University in the US and at Kuwait University, as well as having extensive industry experience. 

Dr. Gaafar is keenly aware of the issues facing SSE today, as well as the opportunities for improvement. He has a clear vision for the school – for continuous improvement in the quality of teaching as well as student and faculty research outputs. He has exhibited his leadership time and again, including his excellent strategic planning capacity as well as his ability to mobilize teams and resources to get tasks accomplished. I am confident that as the Dean, Dr. Gaafar will hit the ground running and lead SSE from strength to strength. 

I extend my utmost gratitude to the Search Committee members: Dr. Amr El Kadi (Chair), Dr. Ahmed Abu Auf, Dr. Ahmed El Banbi, Dr. Asma Amleh and Dr. Michael Reimer. They did a wonderful job narrowing the field of candidates, and providing me with detailed analysis and feedback on each candidate.  In addition to the input of the Search Committee, I consulted with many SSE faculty and with senior leaders from the Provost’s Council in order to make my final decision on this appointment. 

I am extremely grateful to Dr. Hassan El-Fawal for his service as Dean of SSE. His contributions to the growth of the school are noteworthy. His visionary leadership helped to drive multidisciplinary programs and research, including our 4-year B.Sc. degree in data science -- the first-of-its-kind in the region. Dean El-Fawal was instrumental in the development of SSE’s MS degrees in Architecture and in Petroleum Engineering. He also helped SSE to receive multiple accreditations through collaborative efforts in the ABET site-visits and advocacy for the undergraduate engineering degrees and Computer Science, and the International Union of Architects (UIA) validation of Architecture.  Dr. El -Fawal also developed the MPH and PhD offerings within the Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology. Throughout his term as Dean, and as time permitted, Dr. El-Fawal offered interdisciplinary courses, notably "Cross-Talk", and was frequently to be found in the classroom or training graduate students. In his own words "Students keep a dean in the loop of what really matters and a reason for being in administration...fulfilling a trust!" 

Please join me in thanking Dean El -Fawal and the Search Committee members for their dedication and service to AUC, and in welcoming Dr. Gafaar to his new role as Dean of SSE. 


Ehab Abdel Rahman, Provost