OXFORD, Miss. – Nadim Aziz, interim vice president for academic affairs and provost at Clemson University, has been named the 2013 Engineer of Distinction by the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi.
The title is bestowed annually on an exceptional engineer associated with the school. Past winners include Exxon Mobil executives and NASA chiefs. In his role as interim Provost, Aziz will be the Chief Academic Officer in charge of academic affairs at Clemson.
“Dr. Aziz is respected as an educator and leader, inside and outside of Clemson University,” said Alex Cheng, dean of the UM School of Engineering. “He is most deserving of this honor for his many years of outstanding service.”
Aziz joined Clemson University in 1984 and after one semester as a visiting assistant professor he became assistant professor, then advanced through the ranks to become a Full Professor in 1995. In 2003, he was selected to chair Clemson’s Civil Engineering Department. Aziz also served as director of the resilient infrastructure focus area for the Clemson University Restoration Institute. Last year he was selected associate provost, and in May 2013, Clemson President James Barker named Aziz the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
“In reflecting upon the past 29 years, I came to the conclusion that at least three things about Ole Miss made a world of difference in my life,” Aziz said. “First, the people that were a part of my life at Ole Miss, professors such as Dr. (Sam) DeLeeuw, Dr. (Shyam) Prasad and Dr. (Sam) Wang; friendships that lasted to this date, and of course, my wife, Susan (also an Ole Miss grad).”
“Second, the solid engineering science education I received at Ole Miss that armed me with the confidence to venture into new areas of teaching and research without hesitation. Third, the experiences of being an active student, such as being on the Ole Miss Engineer’s editorial staff, the president of the Engineering Student Body, a volunteer for MathCounts and the EIT review course, and of course, that paying job at the computer center.”
Last year in her announcement naming Aziz the Associate Provost, Clemson Provost Doris Helms stated that Aziz is a distinguished scholar and outstanding administrator. She added that he has extensive experience with faculty personnel matters; leadership and planning abilities; analytical and decision-making expertise; a high energy level and a drive to get things done.
Under his leadership, the civil engineering department at Clemson has witnessed increased diversity of its faculty and student body, a growth in its research scholarship, research funding, PhD productivity, and students and faculty awards and recognitions. In September 2011, with a $5 million endowment from a department alumnus, the name of the department was changed to the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering and became one of only four named civil engineering departments in the nation.
As associate provost, Aziz was instrumental in developing and implementing a $12M market- and performance-based salary adjustment initiative that brought faculty salaries to a nationally competitive level. He was also instrumental in developing and implementing a three year plan to add almost 100 new positions to accommodate increased enrollments and to strategically support and grow research focus areas.
“I can honestly say that both the education and the leadership training I received at Ole Miss provided me the necessary tools to advance my career and to serve others,” Aziz said “For that, I am grateful to many people at Ole Miss who saw potential in me and helped me to achieve it.”
Aziz grew up in Lebanon, earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in civil engineering from the UM engineering school. He has published extensively on mathematical modeling, and environmental hydraulics and hydrology. Aziz is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of several other professional organizations. He and Susan reside in Clemson, South Carolina and have four children and two grandchildren.