News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 8, 2012

Award-winning engineer takes over as dean of faculty at Rose


Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Award-winning optical engineer Azad Siahmakoun has been named associate dean of the faculty at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

His appointment was announced by Richard Stamper, dean of the faculty, following an internal search.

Siahmakoun is professor of physics and optical engineering and has been a member of the Rose-Hulman faculty and a research scientist in the college’s Center for Applied Optics Studies since 1987. He is the founding director of the Micro-Nanoscale Devices and Systems cleanroom facility and received the board of trustees’ Outstanding Scholar Award in 1999.

A recognized expert in optical engineering, Siahmakoun was named an International Society for Optical Engineering Fellow in 2009, after being appointed a Senior Fellow in the U.S. Office of Naval Research. He also was designated as a Senior Member of the Optical Society of America in 2011.

“Azad has a distinguished record of achievement as a classroom educator and researcher making break-through scientific discoveries. He is highly respected by his peers at Rose-Hulman and throughout the world,” Stamper said.

 In his new role as associate dean, Siahmakoun will lead the graduate studies office, working with his faculty colleagues to form a strategic direction for the graduate school. He also will administer activities in John T. Myers Hall, which has added five new state-of-the-art classrooms for the 2012-13 school year, and manage the summer school program.

“I believe there are great opportunities for graduate studies to enhance the undergraduate experience at Rose-Hulman. We can’t be best-in-class among the higher education institutions without having a quality graduate school,” Siahmakoun said.

Siahmakoun earned his doctorate in physics, with a concentration on lasers and nonlinear optics, from the University of Arkansas in 1988. He received a master’s degree in physics from Texas A&I University in 1981 and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Iran’s prestigious Jondi-Shapour University in 1978.

Siahmakoun has developed nine courses and numerous laboratory experiments, primarily in the areas of optics, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems and nanotechnology. His educational and research/development activities have been supported by $6.4 million from federal/state agencies and industries.

Siahmakoun was the principal investigator of an $8 million wideband optically multiplexed beamformer architecture project supported by the ONR from 2000-03 at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane.

He has been the lead scientist in the NEWSTARS Program, sponsored by the Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Laboratory, since 2008.

Siahmakoun has supervised more than 100 undergraduate research projects during the school year and summer since 1988, with 37 students presenting research papers at national and regional conferences.

He has published more than 150 articles in the fields of photonics and microfabrication, and has three patents and one pending patent.

He also has supervised 30 Rose-Hulman master’s student theses, with three receiving the Best Graduate Thesis Award.