Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Ali Abdul-Aziz

  • Title:  Associate Professor in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering  

  • What are your academic degrees in?

    I have a PhD in mechanical engineering 

  • What inspired you to become involved in your industry? 

Engineering is fundamental to many of the world’s greatest and most important innovations. I am a problem solver at heart and loved how engineers help tackle problems in almost any industry that you can think of.  As a child, I was fascinated with historic events such as the first spaceflight to land on the Moon. That event inspired my decision to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. I was lucky to live out my dream when I had the opportunity to join NASA Glenn Research Center. 

  • What inspired you to teach?  

I was blessed to have some wonderful teachers and many of them motivated me to pursue a career in engineering. With that in mind, I always saw myself wanting to pay it forward to the next generation of engineers. I greatly enjoyed teaching during my time as a teaching assistant and wanted to make sure that teaching was a key role of mine after graduation. At NASA Glenn, I had the opportunity to mentor many interns and junior engineers over the course of 35 years. It was one of the best aspects of my job. While I greatly enjoyed my time at NASA, I always saw myself wanting to go back to teaching full time. Fortunately, that opportunity arose here at Kent State University.

  • What is the best part of your job? 

I always tell people that I get paid to learn, be curious, and impart that curiosity onto new learners. There are few jobs in the world that pay you to do those things. I absolutely love being a college professor. It is a privilege to be a part of an institution where I can develop new research ideas, collaborate with others in my department and across the university, and help train the next generation of engineers.

  • Why do you like working at Kent State University? 

Kent State is a university with a wonderful legacy and several world class programs. My own personal experience with Kent State University began in 2008 when my son chose to come here for undergrad. I was drawn to Kent State University in 2016 when I learned that they were starting the Aerospace Engineering Program at the College of Aeronautics and Engineering. I was excited to be a part of such endeavor and help bring such program to success and work with a talented team to help implement this new degree program. I witnessed that work come to fruition when we graduated our first-class last spring.

  • What is your favorite topic/course to teach? 

While at NASA Glenn, I had the opportunity to participate in many technical programs that required experience in various fields of expertise. Such challenge has led me to educate and teach myself to support tasks assigned to meet the programs technical goals. Favorite topics to teach include thermal sciences, materials characterization, applied finite element and computer/experimental applications.

  • What are you most looking forward to seeing in the future of CAE? 

 My vision is to see our college excel and stride out to reach the indented level of being recognized as a fine educational institution offering top notch engineering and aeronautical educations. This recognition is not only to stand within the state of Ohio but also to stand out at both the national and international level.

  • What is a fun fact about yourself? 

I spent nearly 7 years working in the fine dining industry at Cleveland’s finest restaurant “Keg and Quarter-Swingos” during college time. While there, I met and served many prominent celebrities and among those are Frank Sinatra, Danny Thomas (famous comedian and founder of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital), Liza Minelli, Jerry Lewis, Tom Jones, yul Brynner, Larry Holmes (World Boxing Champion) and many more. It was a great experience. Leaned the art of fine cuisine and cooking the most delectable dishes you've ever tasted.

  • What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

Remaining active in the field of engineering science and being able to contribute to higher education are among one of my greatest accomplishments.

POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2020 - 6:11pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 30, 2020 - 7:42pm