Eyad Abed to Join United Arab Emirates University

ISR Director and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Eyad Abed will become the dean of the College of Information Technology (CIT) at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in the fall.

While Dr. Abed will be taking this position at UAEU, he intends to maintain formal ties to the University of Maryland by taking extended leave. He also plans to work toward establishing a research partnership between the two universities in information technology and related areas.

UAEU officials said Dr. Abed will move CIT forward with “an early assessment to build on its major strengths and through consultations with the faculty, the development of an agreement on a common vision of priorities in research, education and outreach. These key elements will support the efforts of establishing an institute of cross-disciplinary research across the university and industry. Future aspirations include the early development of the PhD program, establishing a new post-doctoral fellowship program and forming strong linkages with leading researchers worldwide.”

Dr. Abed said, "I am honored and humbled to have been selected by Provost Wyatt R. Hume to lead the College of Information Technology at UAEU. Provost Hume, a world-class researcher and university administrator with unparalleled experience, has an exciting vision, which includes the goal of becoming a leading research university, and this vision begins with a transformation of the CIT and establishment of a campus-wide cross-disciplinary research institute.

"The government of the United Arab Emirates is supporting the ascent of UAEU under the vision of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al-Nahayan, Chancellor of the University and Minister of Higher Education. This vision calls for elevating the higher education and research enterprise of the United Arab Emirates."

A faculty member of ECE and ISR since 1983, and director of ISR for the past seven years, Dr. Abed has expertise in system and control theory; electric power system dynamics and control; aerospace control systems; and the analysis and design of complex networks, including communication networks and social networks.

Dean of the Clark School of Engineering Darryll Pines said, “Dr. Abed has been a valuable faculty member and ISR director in the Clark School for 26 years, and we hope to continue collaborating with him in research and through partnerships with him in his new position at UAEU. We will miss him during this extended leave of absence and wish him the best in this exciting new venture.”

“Dr. Abed has had an extraordinarily successful career at Maryland,” said ECE chair Patrick O’Shea. “We wish him every success as Dean of the College of Information Technology at UAEU, and look forward to extensive collaborations with CIT and other colleges at UAEU.”

“Professor Abed has shown the ability to put together visionary initiatives spanning a wide range of engineering, computational, and business disciplines,” said V.S. Subrahmanian, director of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. “He is a recognized team builder who has brought outstanding credit to the University of Maryland and will surely do the same at UAEU.”

Along with Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) and Assistant Professor Nuno Martins (ECE/ISR), Dr. Abed was recently announced as a researcher in a Department of Defense Multi University Research Initiative in distributed learning and information dynamics in networked autonomous systems. Dr. Abed expects to conduct this research in addition to his duties as dean at UAEU.

"I will benefit greatly in my new appointment at UAEU from my experience at the University of Maryland, an institution that is second to none in cross-disciplinary research and in innovative approaches to education and outreach," Abed said. "I will return regularly to meet with my students and with colleagues and campus administration, and to work toward a planned collaboration between the UAEU and UMD. I hope that UMD will contribute significantly to helping the UAEU's College of Information Technology and the UAEU as a whole in its exciting journey in the coming years."

Dr. Abed will continue to direct ISR through the summer. The Clark School of Engineering is currently conducting a search for the next ISR director.

Published May 14, 2009