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


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