Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman: 'To Become Leaders Shaping the Globe, We Need to Collaborate as a Community'
This year sets in motion with Professor Ehab Abdel-Rahman as AUC’s newly appointed provost.
After many years of service at the University, Abdel-Rahman both recognizes the unique qualities that have shaped AUC into the leading global institution that it is today and brings a fresh perspective in his new role to continue moving forward. “This is a time for key discussions about the future of the University,” Abdel-Rahman said. “I hope to capitalize on the unique opportunity to engage students, faculty, staff and alumni in a deeper dialogue about our structures, policies, processes and, more importantly, our vision for the future of AUC. We have the right people to guide this dialogue.”
Abdel-Rahman sees AUC as holding a significant position in Egypt and the larger international educational community. As provost, he perceives ample potential in the AUC community to continue expanding the University. “AUC is a major hub for innovation that helps to drive economic growth and address socioeconomic challenges,” he declared. “We aspire to become leaders shaping the globe, a goal that can only be achieved through our collaboration as a community.”
As vice provost, Abdel-Rahman became familiar with all aspects of the University. Now as provost, he has developed critical questions about the shared goals of members of AUC’s community and the boundless opportunities for growth. “Working closely with three great provosts, as well as well-experienced deans, has given me a comprehensive view of the University,” he explained. ”All the challenges that AUC has faced in the last few years have been defining moments and presented opportunities to enhance operation.”
Prior to becoming a professor, Abdel-Rahman first immersed himself in the world of academia as a passionate student. He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Helwan University. He then traveled to earn his PhD in physics from the University of Utah. His curiosity and love of learning pushed him to plunge deeper into academia, even after completing his own studies. “When I was a child, I was always intrigued by discovering how things worked. I later realized that I have a special passion for teaching, learning and introducing new pedagogies,” Abdel-Rahman reflected.
Before coming to AUC, Abdel-Rahman worked as assistant professor of physics at Helwan University. He first joined AUC as assistant professor of physics, in 2006. He went on to become chair of the Department of Physics, and eventually took on roles as associate dean of graduate studies and research in the School of Sciences and Engineering and director of the Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center in 2011. Two years later, Abdel-Rahman entered senior administration, becoming associate provost for research, vice provost and, most recently, interim provost.
Throughout his years at AUC, Abdel-Rahman has been recognized for his countless accomplishments and demonstrated dedication to improving the University. He has been presented with the Research Innovation Award, Excellence in Teaching Award, Innovative Teaching Award, President’s Distinguished Service Award and Outstanding Service Award, among many others.
Aside from teaching, Abdel-Rahman has also devoted time to his research, specifically focusing on thermoacoustics and photonics. He has published more than 80 technical papers and reports, and has five U.S. patents. From 2007 to 2009, he served as Egypt’s energy expert, using his rich knowledge and experience to aid the country in its research collaborations with the European Union. “It was a very interesting and enlightening time,” said Abdel-Rahman. “As an energy expert, I worked to identify opportunities for the European Union to fund research and development in energy.”
Abdel-Rahman has not abandoned his own research pursuits as provost and professor, working with a team to enhance the performance of a newly developed 2 kW thermoacoustic power converter. However, in his new position, he has begun grappling with a new research challenge. “The research question around which my mind is now revolving concerns how to improve and assess the quality of education at AUC,” he noted. “My research team now is the entire AUC community. Together, we will answer this question.”