Rochester Institute of Technology Names First President of RIT Dubai

Mustafa A.G. Abushagur will lead new campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Rochester Institute of Technology has named Mustafa A.G. Abushagur president of RIT Dubai, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The campus will be a centerpiece of Dubai Silicon Oasis, a 7.2-square-kilometer, high technology park focused on microelectronics and semiconductor research, development and production.

Abushagur currently serves as professor and director of RIT’s doctoral program, in microsystems engineering. He initiated and led the effort to establish RIT Dubai and was part of the team that negotiated the partnership agreement with the government of Dubai.

“There is no question in my mind that RIT Dubai raises the bar on RIT’s world-wide presence and is further indication that RIT is committed to having a global perspective,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “I am impressed and appreciative of Dr. Abushagur’s leadership to help make RIT Dubai a reality.”

“I am looking forward to this tremendous opportunity both to enhance RIT’s international scope and to assist Dubai in expanding their research and educational capacity,” adds Abushagur. “It is also my hope that RIT Dubai can become a model for future academic collaborations between American universities and countries in the Middle East.”

Since joining RIT in 2002, Abushagur has led the development of the world’s first doctoral program in microsystems engineering, while also conducting research in nanophotonics and micro-optical systems. Previously, Abushagur served as professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of optical science and engineering at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology and is a fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering and a fellow of the optical Society of America.

RIT Dubai officially opens in September 2008, and will ultimately offer coursework and degrees in engineering, business and information technology. The campus expects to attract students from the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa while also offering faculty exchange, cooperative education and study abroad opportunities for RIT professors and students. For more information on RIT Dubai visit


Recommended News

  • April 24, 2019

    Split screen of design for large wheel and person posing in giant wooden hamster wheel.

    Running in Circles: Engineering students build Human Hamster Wheel

    The big wheel will turn, but the hamsters will be humans instead. Students in RIT’s Engineering House built a Human Hamster Wheel, and instead of running in circles, as the cliché goes, their 7-foot wheel will produce electricity. Open to children and adults, the wheel will be one of many interactive exhibits featured at this year’s Imagine RIT: Creativity and Innovation Festival on April 27.  

  • April 23, 2019

    Students and professor stand around pallet with boxes.

    Packaging solutions improve product shelf life and sustainability

    Images of plastic bags and bottles clogging beaches and oceans have some calling for a ban on all such products. But packaging experts say it’s not that easy to eliminate a highly effective material. Instead, researchers at RIT are looking to strike a balance: Find a way to produce plastics that retain their best qualities and yet are more environmentally friendly.

  • April 18, 2019

    Man stands in front of class of elementary school children.

    Partnership brings business education to Rochester classrooms

    A unique community collaboration among Saunders College of Business, Junior Achievement and local elementary schools introduces young minds to business, economics and free enterprise through discussions, hands-on activities and video lessons.