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Two Engineering professors earn distinguished professor rank

June 20, 2018 - By Kim Delker

Two professors from the School of Engineering have been promoted to the rank of distinguished professor, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. 

El-GenkMohamed S. El-Genk, Regents’ Professor of nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical and biological engineering, and Mahmoud Reda Taha, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, have been selected for this honor.

UNM defines distinguished professors as those who “have demonstrated outstanding achievements and are nationally and internationally renowned as scholars.” It is the highest faculty title the university bestows, and only a handful of professors are honored with the rank each year.

El-Genk, the founding director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studiesat UNM, is an internationally-recognized expert and scholar with many key contributions to the technologies of space nuclear power and terrestrial nuclear reactors, thermal-hydraulics, nuclear fuel and materials, and boiling heat transfer. He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety and an associate fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received the 2010 AIChE Donald Q. Kern Memorial Award, the 2015 ANS Thermal-Hydraulics Technical Achievement Award, and the 2017 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award.

TahaTaha is a professor, Regents’ Lecturer and chair of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and is the founding director of UNM Resilience Institute. He became department chair in 2014. His research is focused on crossing the gap between structural and materials engineering through integrating nanotechnology, structural health monitoring and 3D printing in concrete and other composite materials to develop resilient infrastructure systems. He is a fellow of the American Concrete Institute and associate editor of ASCE Journal of Materials for Civil Engineeringand was the chairman of the latest International Congress on Polymers in Concrete (ICPIC 2018).

El-Genk and Taha join several other School of Engineering professors in holding the distinguished professorship rank: Plamen Atanassov (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Jeffrey Brinker (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Vince Calhoun (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Christos Christodoulou (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Abhaya K. Datye  (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Deepak Kapur (Computer Science), Anil Prinja (Nuclear Engineering), and Edl Schamiloglu (Electrical and Computer Engineering).