Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Chair Named at The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Ahmed Tewfik, the E. F. Johnson Professor of Electronic Communications at the 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.

Ahmed Tewfik


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, said Gregory L. Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School.

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 Electrical and Computer 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 Fenves. "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."

Tewfik follows Dr. Tony Ambler as department chair. Ambler 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 about 50 percent of the faculty have been recruited, research funding has dramatically increased together with Ph.D. output and industry interactions have been greatly improved.

Tewfik's 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 bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, in 1982, a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1984 and a doctor's degree in 1987, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 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. 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.