Meet Professor Awad
"The University of Michigan has provided both of us with excellent advanced educations and given us the opportunity to keep learning and lead productive lives," Prof. Adnan Aswad said in explaining why he and his wife Barbara have pledged $50,000 for scholarships at UM-Dearborn. "We hope this endowment will enable future generations to have the benefits of an excellent education as well."
A professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, Dr. Aswad has been on the UM-Dearborn faculty since 1965. His wife, Barbara, is a professor of anthropology at Wayne State University. They live in Birmingham.
The scholarship will be designated for undergraduate or graduate students studying manufacturing or production systems in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Scholarship winners will be selected by a committee of three faculty members in the department.
In addition to overall merit, "all other factors being equal, preference should be given to individuals of Arabic descent or heritage," according to the terms of the endowed scholarship. "Arabs are a significant minority in metropolitan Detroit and many require economic assistance," Aswad said.
A native of Syria, Aswad immigrated to the United States in 1959, after having worked four years as a mechanical engineer. He earned two master's degrees, in mechanical and industrial engineering, and a Ph.D. in engineering from the UM-Ann Arbor campus.
He joined the UM-Dearborn faculty in 1965, and was a founding member and first chair of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. After serving as chair for 10 years, Aswad served a five-year term as associate dean of the School of Engineering, which was recently renamed the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
"Professor Aswad was an early and leading proponent for strengthening manufacturing engineering education and was instrumental in leading the modernization of the engineering programs and laboratories at UM-Dearborn," according to Subrata Sengupta, dean of the College of Engineering and Compute Science. "He has distinguished himself in his field, at the University, nationally and internationally, as recognized by his numerous honors and awards for teaching and service." His honors include the University's Distinguished Teaching Award and Outstanding Service Award as well as the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of State Universities' Distinguished Faculty Award.
Aswad's research on quality systems has been widely published, and he is an expert on product design and development processes. He is internationally recognized and has conducted research and made presentations around the world. Aswad was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers in 1991.
In addition to his teaching and service to UM-Dearborn, Aswad is active in Rotary International and has served on many boards and committees of the Birmingham Rotary. In 1998, he was elected board president of the Rotary Endowment Fund.