A new professor has been named and two others reappointed to prestigious UCF trustee chair professorships that recognize faculty with national and international reputations for excellence and with extraordinary accomplishments in teaching, research and service.

New trustee chair Ayman Abouraddy and reappointees Aristide Dogariu and Jayanta Kapat are among a handful of faculty members to have achieved the distinguished honor, which helps to retain and attract exceptional faculty. Established in 2003 by former UCF President John C. Hitt, trustee chairs are appointed for five years and receive a $50,000 annual stipend to advance their scholarship. Half of the stipend can be used as a salary supplement.

Deans nominate trustee chair candidates, who are evaluated by a Trustee Chair Review Committee and affirmed by UCF’s president and provost.

“Talented and renowned faculty — such as those named as trustee chairs — are the foundation of UCF’s academic excellence and key to us reaching our goals as a top public metropolitan research university,” says UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright. “We are grateful for these honored faculty and their impact in their respective fields and in the lives of our students. We look forward to their continued success and how they will further distinguish our university.”

The new terms begin in August. Here’s more about the most recent appointees, starting with new trustee chair Abouraddy from the College of Optics and Photonics.

Abouraddy joined UCF as an assistant professor in 2008. He has since established facilities for fabricating new classes of polymer and soft-glass fibers for applications ranging from mid-infrared optics to solar energy concentration. He is currently engaged in a new research area that he has pioneered known as “space-time optics and photonics,” which has led to major breakthroughs in optical physics over the past five years. He is a popular classroom teacher and an outstanding advisor to research students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He earned a Ph.D. from Boston University in electrical engineering and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In nominating him, David Hagan, dean of the College of Optics and Photonics, said: “Dr. Abouraddy is an unusually outstanding scientist whose work has opened up new fields of study, and consequently has attracted research collaborations of the highest caliber. His work has been consistently published in high-impact journals and these publications have been highly cited. As a result, he has been able to build large, funded research programs that support his group and other collaborators at UCF as well as at other universities across the United States.”

A Pegasus Professor in the College of Optics and Photonics, reappointee Dogariu’s research ranges from understanding fundamental aspects of light interaction with matter to actively developing new optical technology for sensing and measurement for a substance like blood. Dogariu created a new technology to monitor patient’s blood by using light scattering. He other honors include being a distinguished researcher in the College of Optics and Photonics. He earned his Ph.D. in engineering from Hokkaido University in Japan and joined UCF as a research professor in 1997.

In his nomination for Dogariu, Hagan said: “Dr. Dogariu is an exceptional professor who has performed outstanding research aimed at both fundamental understanding and the development of unique and impactful applications. At the same time, he is a dedicated teacher both in the classroom and in the research laboratory. His work and its applications have impacted a broad range of science and he has had a positive impact on many others at UCF, though his many collaborations on biomedical photonics, particularly with junior faculty. He has also developed many collaborations with leading researchers worldwide.”

Kapat, a reappointee from the College of Engineering and Computer Science, is the founding director of the Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research or CATER, and associate director for Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion, a hub for research and development of advanced turbomachinery and energy systems. He joined UCF in 1997 and has been recognized for his valuable leadership, scholarly research of national and international impact and outstanding teaching and service. He earned his Doctorate of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.

In nominating him, Michael Georgopoulous, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, said: “Most notably, Professor Kapat’s excellence is a driver for the success of so many faculty and students around him and is a source of strength for the mechanical and aerospace Department … and our university. The most significant impact of Professor Kapat stems from his vision for CATER. … His unique vision has brought together 10 core faculty members with multidisciplinary capabilities that provide a synergistic approach, like no other, towards solving some of the most complex research problems in Turbomachinery for Power Generation, Aviation and Space Propulsion.”

The appointments align with UCF’s goals of retaining and recruiting outstanding faculty in its strategic plan, “Unleashing Potential: Becoming the University for the Future.”