Faculty of Engineering
Dr. Yousef Al Assaf, Ph.D.
President & Professor
Dr. Al-Assaf served as a professor of engineering and dean of the College of Engineering at the American University of Sharjah, U.A.E. He has held this position since 2006 where he has overseen a substantial enrollment increase in engineering students, the addition of several new academic programs, ABET accreditation, and numerous partnerships with local and regional industries and institutions. This experience, combined with his skill set, makes him an extraordinary leader for RIT Dubai.
After obtaining his PhD from Oxford University in 1988, Dr. Al-Assaf was appointed as the Chair of the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Jordan and was a pioneer in establishing the Engineering Outreach Program which won a variety of awards for bridging academia with industry/service sectors as well as the community in general. Dr. Al-Assaf joined the American University of Sharjah in 1998 and assumed the College of Engineering Deanship in 2006. Dr. Al-Assaf research interests vary with primary interest in using soft computing tools to model and control various industrial and biomedical systems. Dr. Al-Assaf was a consultant for various industries working towards optimizing their operations and manufacturing.
Dr. Muhieddin Amer, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Academics and Student Affairs
Dr. Amer is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1999. Before joining RIT, he was with Nortel Networks and was involved in several technical leadership roles in Wireless Network Engineering. While with Nortel, Dr. Amer made significant contributions related to the development of 2G, 3G and 4G wireless products that has influenced the company's technology evolution path and the product portfolio in addition to changes in LTE 3GPP specifications. In his recent role as leader of 4G RF Design and Engineering Solutions, Dr. Amer and his team used analytical and simulation methods to create performance characterization of LTE MAC/PHY algorithms and advanced engineering solutions and compared their offering with other emerging 4G technologies and existing 2G/3G systems. Dr. Amer also led an engineering team to create RF propagation models in the 3.5GHz band after securing the required fund to perform the testing and analysis. Dr. Amer was recognized by the company as a subject matter expert in engineering conferences and forums and in resolving customer's critical design and performance issues. He was recognized as top talent by the president of Wireless Networks and was identified as a member of a very limited group of key employees in recognition of the importance of retaining them with the company.
Between 2001 and 2007, he was an adjunct at the University of Texas at Arlington and Dallas and the University of North Texas teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the area of telecommunications. Dr. Amer has championed dozens of research projects in wireless engineering, holds patents in wireless product development, and has published extensively in IEEE journals and wireless engineering forums. Dr. Amer is a senior member of IEEE since 2003. His research interest includes carrier synchronization for CDMA and OFDM systems, MIMO systems, wireless propagation, interference control in cellular systems, and performance evaluation of PHY and MAC algorithms for 4G broadband systems.
Dr. Abdulla Ismail, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Corporate Outreach and Professor of Electrical Engineering
Abdulla Ismail obtained his B.Sc. ('80), M.Sc. ('83), and Ph.D. ('86) degrees, all in electrical engineering, from the University of Arizona, U.S.A. Currently, he a full professor of Electrical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai, UAE. He worked as a Senior Executive Advisor of Science & Technology Program at Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi (2009 – 2011), Corporate Manager of Education at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dubai (2006-2008). He spent 24 years as Professor of Electrical Engineering at UAE University, AL-Ain, UAE. He is a senior member of the IEEE and past Counselor of the IEEE Student Branch at UAE University. He is also a member of national and international professional societies. He is a recipient of the IEEE Millennium Medal, the Fulbright Scholarship, and the College of Engineering Distinguished University & Community Service Awards for 1998, 1999, and 2008.
His main interests are in applied control systems, intelligent systems, desalination plants control, and power systems control. He taught courses in all areas of control engineering, intelligent systems, and applications of information technology in engineering and business. He published over 77 technical research papers in regional and international journals and conferences. He co-authored three books in engineering and science education. He organized and delivered many training workshops for University Faculty Members and practicing engineers in the UAE. He held several administrative positions at UAE University, among which was Vice-Dean of the College of Engineering and Advisor to the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Computer Affairs. Also, he held the chairmanship and membership of several planning, advisory as well as executive committees and boards at local universities and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Currently, he is a professor of Electrical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai Campus and an active evaluation member of several elite awards like the Khalifa Educational Award (Education & Sustainable Environment) and Zayed Future Energy Prize.
Dr. Ghalib Y. Kahwaji, Ph.D.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Ghalib holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University (CSU) and M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mosul, Iraq. Dr. Kahwaji joined RIT-Dubai as a professor of thermo-fluids, air conditioning and renewable energy systems. Prior to joining RIT, he spent five years in industry and engineering consulting as the head of MEP design department and engineering manager at Al-Gurg Consultants- Dubai and TRANSCO- Abu Dhabi where his work involve large scale water transmission systems, energy systems for high rise and industrial buildings in the UAE. He also leads in the design of many green buildings in Dubai.
Prior to moving to the UAE, Dr. Kahwaji served as the assistant dean for research and graduate programs and chairman of the department of mechanical engineering at the college of engineering, University of Mosul from 2003 till 2006 and as a faculty of mechanical engineering since 1987. During his work at the mechanical engineering department, Dr. Kahwaji participated in reviewing undergraduate and graduate programs, developed and started the PhD program 1n 1992 and saw its progress till 2006. Dr. Kahwaji has more than 40 publications, supervised 23 MSc and PhD students and was deeply involved with the industrial sector in Iraq through the Engineering Consulting Bureau of the University.
Faculty of Computing
Dr. Luther Troell, Ph.D.
Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs
Luther Troell is the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at RIT Dubai. He received his MS at Texas A&M-Kingsville and his PhD from the University of Texas-Austin. After teaching mathematics and computer science for twenty-seven years at Victoria College, he joined RIT in 1999 as a Professor in the Department of Information Technology (specializing in Networking and System Administration). In 2001, his interest turned to networking and system security curriculum development. He has co-authored two papers on the development of computer, networking, and digital forensic courses.
He was named the first department chair of the Networking, Security, and Systems Administration Department when it was formed in December of 2005 and is a professor in that department.
Faculty of Business
Dr. Kirby R. Cundiff, Ph.D.
Dr. Kirby R. Cundiff is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his B.S. from Truman State University. He has also worked for Rice University, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Hillsdale College, Northeastern State University, and the University of Maryland.
His research interests include health care economics, monetary policy, taxation, and behavioral finance. He has published with the American Institute for Economic Research, the Foundation for Economic Education, and the Mises Institute, as well as many other research outlets. He is both a Chartered Financial Analyst and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) Professional.
Faculty of Science and Math
Dr. Salameh Ahmad, Ph.D.
Dr. Salameh Ahmad is an Assistant Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai. He received his MSc in Experimental Solid state Physics from Yarmouk University and a PhD in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics from Michigan State University in 2007. Before joining RIT he was an Assistant professor of Physics at Michigan State University.
Dr. Ahmad research interest is theoretical understanding of electronic structure and transport properties of the novel ternary and quaternary narrow band-gap semiconductors containing different impurity atoms for their potential thermoelectric properties, using both LDA (local density approximation) and GGA (generalized gradient approximation) methods in DFT (density functional theory) calculations. So far he has published eight papers in refereed journals.
Nikos Kavallaris, Ph.D.
Dr. Kavallaris is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the RIT Dubai University. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, National Technical University of Athens.
Dr. Kavallaris was a research fellow at the Institute of Mathematics of Wroclaw University, Poland and Graduate School of Engineering Science Department of System Innovation / Division of Mathematical Science of Osaka University Japan. He has been also a research visitors to many institutions like Laboratoire Analyse Geometrie et Applications,UMR CNRS 7539, Institut Galilee, Universite Paris-Nord, France, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) Heriot-Watt University,Edinburgh, UK, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas, Madrid, Spain, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.
He also taught at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, U.A.E.
Dr. Kavallaris is active in research in the areas of partial differential equations and mathematical modeling. He has numerous publications in highly reputable to very prestigious mathematics journals, notably the Nonlinear Analysis: Theory Methods and Applications, SIAM J. of Mathematical Analysis, Differential and Integral Equations, IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics, Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems
Dr.Kavallaris is a frequent referee for the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, Journal of Differential Equations, Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences, Nonlinear Analysis: TMA, Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems-A, Differential and Integral Equations, Advances in Mathematical Sciences and Applications, Electronic Journal of Differential Equations, International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences,Applied Mathematics Letters, Nonlinear Analysis: RWA, Boundary Value Problems, Journal of Engineering Mathematics and Mathematical Reviews of American Mathematical Society (reviewing).
Dr. Kavallaris speaks regularly in National and International Conferences.
Dr.Kavallaris has experience in service and curricular development.
He served on departmental recruitment and hiring committees.
Faculty of English and Liberal Arts
Dr. John Dayton, Ph.D.
Professor Dayton holds a bachelor's degree in Classics from Princeton and a PhD in Classics from Brown University. He has taught history, literature, and Greek, Latin, and English language courses at a number of institutions in the US, Canada, and Europe, including Indiana University, the University of Calgary, and the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina. An authority on the conventions of warfare and conceptions of peace in ancient Greece and Rome, he is the author of ‘The Athletes of War': An Evaluation of the Agonistic Elements in Greek Warfare (Toronto: Edgar Kent, 2006) as well as several academic articles. He is a Fellow of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and a member of the American Philological Association.
Kevin Watson began a career in English as a Second Language, receiving a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics in 1992 and a Cambridge Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults in 1997. He has taught in universities in France, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, Japan, Ecuador, and the UAE. His current interest lies in creative writing and literature and he received a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing at the New School University in New York.
Visiting Faculty of Engineering
Visiting Faculty of Computing
Dr. Charles Border, Ph.D.
Charles Border is an expert on computer security, system administration, spyware, networking and higher education issues. His teaching concentrates on system administration and he has also taught networking courses.
Border has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Buffalo and an MBA with concentration in Finance and Management Information Systems from the University of Buffalo.
He is comfortable talking about a range of issues related to networking and system administration and is in the process of developing expertise in computer and enterprise security.
Dr. Tae (Tom) Oh, Ph.D.
Tae H. Oh received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1990 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 1995 and 2001, respectively.
Before joining RIT, he worked for several telecom and defense companies like Raytheon (Communication Systems Engineer: 1990-1995), Nortel Networks (Senior Software Engineer: 1995-1999), Ericsson (Systems Engineer: 1999-2001) and Ceterus Networks (Senior Systems Architect: 2002-2003) and Rockwell Collins (Principle Systems Engineer: 2003-2008) in the area of military communication systems, circuit switching, ATM, MPLS, wireless networks and MANET.
He also taught MPLS, IP and Network Management courses at SMU as an adjunct professor (2004-2008). His current research interests include MANET, Sensor Networks, Telemedicine, Network/Cyber Security, Green Communications, and Scalable Modeling and Simulation.
Visiting Faculty of Business
Dr. Bob Barbato, Ph.D.
Bob Barbato is a Professor of Management in the Saunders College of Business. His primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of business ethics, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at RIT, Bob has taught or lectured in Kosovo, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Korea, Ethiopia and England.
Mr. Greg Van Laeken, MBA
Professor Greg Van Laeken earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1994. Immediately upon graduating from RIT Mr. Van Laeken relocated to the New York Metropolitan area and began a career as an interbank dealer of interest rate and currency derivatives. By 2003 he had moved to Zurich, Switzerland as the vice president and global head of emerging markets trading for a prestigious private Swiss bank. In this role Mr. Van Laeken helped to develop and oversee rapid growth in the emerging market trading and sales operation for the bank's foreign exchange division. In 2005 Mr. Van Laeken left the financial services industry to take on a newly created position at his alma mater – business manager and analyst for RIT's global operations. This role requires Mr. Van Laeken to work directly with senior management across all divisions of the University to provide leadership in the areas of business and financial planning, daily operations and risk management for RIT's overseas campuses. Additionally, Mr. Van Laeken has been tapped to oversee the management of the University's short-term investment portfolio, as well as advising senior management on the University's debt portfolio and interest rate hedging strategies. Mr. Van Laeken also serves RIT's Saunders College of Business as an adjunct faculty instructor for the MBA program, specializing in the field of international finance and derivative products. Mr. Van Laeken earned his Master of Business Administration degree from RIT in 2008.
Thomas F. Pray, Ph.D.
THOMAS F. PRAY, Ph.D., is a nationally recognized leader in the development and application of business simulations. His career includes academic credentials – Professor of Decision Sciences at the Saunder's College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology and past Chair of the Department of Decision Sciences and MIS. He has lectured on and used computerized business simulations throughout the US and in Canada, Australia, England, Scotland and India – in both industrial and academic contexts.
Dr. Pray is a former president and member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL), the international organization for the field. After winning multiple awards for Best Research Paper, in 1995 he was named an ABSEL Fellow, the highest honor bestowed by that organization. Having published more than 30 papers dealing with the use and design of simulations, in 2002 Dr. Pray was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA).
Thomas Traub, MS
International Adjunct Professor
Professor Traub has over 35 years of global industry experience in capacities including VP and director of Operations & Supply Chain at small start up companies, Kodak, Xerox, ITT Space Systems, and Delphi, His global Supply Chain experience includes an Expat assignment in China, and the global consulting has taken him to many emerging countries.
His international teaching experience started in 1983 with RIT, where he continues to teach 9 different graduate courses in International Business, Decision Sciences, Management, Multi Disciplinary Studies and Management Leadership. His most recent international assignments have been in Kosovo for CMS and Dubai in both the CMS and the Saunders College of Business MBA program. Professor Traub has led more than 30 major seminars for professional societies, including professional certification sessions.
Professor Traub is a licensed Marine Professional Engineer with additional private nuclear systems certification, Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and a Certified Purchasing Manager. His distinguished professional recognitions include " Leadership Awards", "Professional Development Award", ISM Professional Certification Test question writer, and President of the local ISM association. His long-standing contributions to community through many volunteer organizations have been recognized through special Leadership awards including two as volunteer of the year. He continues to give back to the community as a SCORE counselor for US small business.
His hobbies have included Karate and Ki Jiu-Jitsu, where he earned 3 degree Black Belt. During his international travels he has climbed Mt Fuji, sat on the Great Wall of China, rode a camel in the UAE dessert, snorkeled in some of the most beautiful waters of the world, visited several of the tallest and special buildings of the world, seen the worst poverty, and some of the greatest wealth up close and personal. Most of all, he has met some of the best people of the world.
Dr. Chun-Keung (Stan) Hoi, Ph.D.
Chun-Keung (Stan) Hoi is an associate professor of finance in the College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Hoi earned his Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics at the Arizona State University in 1997. He has a MS (1989) and a BS (1987) in economics both at the University of North Texas.
His current research interests include corporate finance, corporate governance, and "law and finance". He has published in academic journals. His recent works on the labor market for directors and director compensation have appeared in the Journal of Finance and the Financial Management. His teaching interests include corporate finance, investment, international finance and economics.
Visiting Faculty of Service Systems
Dr. James Jacobs, Ph.D.
Dr. James Jacobs, Ph.D. is Chair of the Service Leadership and Innovation graduate program in the School of Hospitality and Service Management. He brings unique experience to the classroom given his years as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and years of consulting in the service sector. Dr. Jacobs teaches numerous courses which HSA students take during their studies at RIT.
Dr. Tracy Weber, Ph.D.
Kaleidoscope Learning Circle, llc.
Dr. Tracy Weber created Kaleidoscope to combine her lifelong passion for horses with helping people and a growing fascination with learning. While earning her Master’s degree in Service Management from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) she discovered systems thinking, experiential learning, and existed (at some times only barely “surviving”) as part of a high performance team. From that competency-based and learner-centered program, she entered into Andrew’s University’s Leadership Ph.D. which allowed her to investigate the potential of partnering with horses to help humans. She took the leap to make her dreams a reality by building Kaleidoscope Learning Center in 2005 to provide clients and her horses with an ideal learning physical environment.
She is currently on the faculty of four colleges, providing a range of opportunities to practice her facilitation skills in other “playgrounds” around the world, with and without four-legged facilitators. For RIT she facilitates a Customer Relationship Marketing Course and has delivered this to adult Master’s students in the Dominican Republic, Rochester New York, Dubai and Croatia. Her Northwood courses are for adult’s earning their bachelor’s degree. The course, “A Culture of Leadership” is delivered at Kaleidoscope in partnership with horses. The Education department at Prescott College is what Tracy has called home in many different roles, from graduate assistant to faculty, with the Master’s & Post-Master’s Concentration in Equine-Assisted Learning. At Michigan State University she is part of the Bailey Scholars program in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.
Dr. Ann Leonard, Ed.D
Ann Leonard brings more than 20 years experience as a director for worldwide learning and organization development, first for Eastman Kodak Company's Health Group and most recently for Carestream Health. In this capacity, she provided strategic organization development consulting to the leadership of these two $2.5 billion companies, with a focus on business transformation, global learning and development, talent management and employee engagement. Ann also served as HR Director and Vice President for Kodak's Entertainment Imaging, and Document Imaging organizations, during periods of organization growth and acquisitions. She led global HR teams in both of these divisions in processes such as leadership development, succession planning, recruiting, and performance management. Ann also launched Kodak's eLearning strategy. She earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Rochester.
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