Professor Knio named Interim Dean of the KAUST CEMSE Division

Professor Omar Knio named Interim Dean of the CEMSE Division.

Omar Knio, KAUST professor of applied mathematics and computational science, has assumed the role of Interim Dean of the Computer, Electrical, Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division. Professor Knio succeeds former CEMSE Dean Professor Mootaz Elnozahy, who will now assume the role of Special Advisor to the KAUST President in the areas of open online learning and cybersecurity.

Before joining KAUST in 2013, Knio received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also held a postdoctoral associate position at MIT, before joining the Mechanical Engineering Faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 1991.

Upon joining KAUST, he also served as Deputy Director of the SRI Center for Uncertainty Quantification in Computational Science and Engineering.

About Professor Knio

Professor Knio co-founded Reactive NanoTechnologies, Inc., and served as its Senior Vice President from 2001 to 2008. He was the recipient of a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award in 2003, an R&D100 Award in 2005, and an Abdul-Hameed Shoman Award for Arab Researchers in 2019.

In 2011, Professor Knio joined the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Duke University, where he also served as Associate Director of the Center for Material Genomics. In 2012, he was named the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr., Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science at Duke.  

Professor Knio currently serves on the Editorial Boards of SIAM/ASA Journal on Uncertainty Quantification, International Journal for Uncertainty Quantification, and Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics. Knio’s research interests at KAUST include uncertainty quantification, high-performance computing, environmental flows, combustion, and data-enabled predictive science.

Professor Elnozahy named Special Advisor to the President

As Professor Knio begins his term as Interim Dean, former Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering (CEMSE) Division Dean, Professor Mootaz Elnozahy, will assume his new role as Special Advisor to the President. He will advise President Chan on various matters, but with an initial focus on continuing open online learning and cybersecurity. Elnozahy brings a wealth of experience to his new role, including an in-depth understanding of critical strengths in the CEMSE Division.

Under Professor Elnozahy’s leadership, the CEMSE Division more than doubled in size after hiring 41 professors, including two center directors. Known for his passion for student education and his strong support for his faculty and staff, Elnozahy also oversaw several educational and research initiatives to raise the standards and accommodate students from diverse backgrounds, including establishing a program in statistics and a center in extreme computing.

Due to the emphasis on quality during his tenure, the CEMSE Division enjoyed excellent results in placing its graduating students in top promising positions both locally and Internationally.

Professor Elmootazbellah Elnozahy Special Advisor to the President.

About Professor Elnozahy

Before joining KAUST in 2013, Professor Elnozahy spent 15 years at IBM Research, where he was a Senior Manager and a Master Inventor, concurrently with being an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Before IBM, he was a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Elnozahy obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Rice University in 1990 and 1993, respectively. His research interests include computing systems, and he has published in the areas of reliable computers, lower-power computing, and performance.

He also holds 58 patents covering these areas. His most notable research accomplishments include fundamental theoretical and practical work in distributed system reliability, prototyping the first-ever low-power server, and leading the effort of the PERCS high-performance computing system, which broke new ground in system performance.

Dr. Elnozahy is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and was elected by peers as chair of the IEEE technical committee on dependable computing and chair of the IFIP 10.4 Working Group on Dependability. He received the Trailblazer Award from the University of Texas and several awards from IBM, including Master Inventor, Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (twice), and the IBM President Award.