Thursday, January 10, 2008

RW News: Youngest African American to Receive Ph.D. in Engineering from Northwestern University is the New Dean of FAMU’s CESTA

Makola M. Abdullah, the youngest African American to receive a Ph.D. in engineering from Northwestern University, will now serve as the dean of Florida A&M University, College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA).
Abdullah first arrived at FAMU in 1996 as an assistant professor at CESTA.

“I am excited about the opportunity to lead the academic, research and extension programs at CESTA,” said Abdullah. “I look forward to working with the students, faculty and staff to make our college the best that it can be.”

Abdullah previously served as a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering and, most recently, as the associate vice president for research.

Abdullah received his B.S. from Howard University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Prior to coming to FAMU, Abdullah served as an adjunct professor at Chicago State University, an engineer and assistant project manager at Jackson and Tull Chartered Engineers in Chicago, IL and as a research and teaching assistant at Northwestern University.

Abdullah is an internationally renowned researcher and educator with expertise in earthquake and wind engineering. In particular, his interests are centered on the vibration control of civil engineering structures. Abdullah’s research, which is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, includes the placement and design of output feedback controllers, optimization of algorithms for discrete location placement, robust control design and minimization of structural pounding. This premier program emphasizes the importance the Foundation places on the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process, in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning. It combines in a single program, the support of research, and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense.

In addition to these research areas, Abdullah also collaborates with other faculty in areas as broad as the use of computational fluid dynamics in fluid separation and optimal placement of turbines on a wind farm. He has given lectures in the United States, Japan and South Africa and has written more than 25 technical publications.

Abdullah has been recognized by FAMU for his outstanding research and funding. His commitment to increasing the number of African Americans in science, math and engineering is a primary career focus.

Abdullah has appeared on the former Black Entertainment Television, (BET), program “Teen Summit” and he is active in community mentoring programs in Tallahassee.

Abdullah’s recognition includes Teacher of the Year at FAMU in 2004; Outstanding Grantsmanship Award at FAMU in 2003; Graduate Teacher of the Year at FAMU in 2002; Black Engineer of the Year in 1999; National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1997; Outstanding Teaching Award at Chicago State University in 1994; Departmental Service Award in the Department of African American Student Affairs at Northwestern University in 1994; Outstanding Graduate Student Service Award from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at Northwestern University in 1994; Teaching Assistant of The Year Award from the National Society of Black Engineers at Northwestern University in 1993.

He is a member of XDX Fraternity and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

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