Iowa State University

Abdel-Aziz Fouad, Electrical and Computer Engineering, (515) 294-3459
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Dr. Abdel-Aziz Fouad, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the academy is one of the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer.

Fouad was cited "for contributions to the analysis of the dynamics, stability and control of electric power systems." His work ultimately helps utility companies prevent large- scale electrical blackouts.

This year the NAE has 78 new inductees. Along with Fouad, they include: Bill Gates, founder and chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp.; Paul Allaire, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox Corp.; and Joel Engel, vice president of technology and chief technology officer at Ameritech. The total number of U.S. members now is 1,841.

"You don't dream of things like this," Fouad said. "This is the greatest honor a person in my position can get. I am honored for myself and for Iowa State."

Fouad is an expert in power system stability and control. He has done significant research in the understanding and analysis of the dynamics of large electrical systems. Electrical and power systems in the U.S. are connected in a manner that makes them work in a massive interlocking grid. If problems arise in one part of the grid -- as in a power outage or surge -- it can affect other systems eventually leading to large-scale power blackouts.

Fouad's research helps utilities combat "cascading outages," through analysis and control of the overall system. Such outages can be caused by lightning strikes or someone tripping the wrong switch. Fouad led a team of faculty and students that devised methods of on-line, real-time analysis of electrical power systems. The methods are being further developed and installed in the U.S. electric grid.

Fouad also has helped Iowa State build its power systems engineering program into one of the leading programs in the world. He has written extensively within his profession, including co-writing the book Power System Control and Stability, a classic reference book on the topic. Fouad has written or co-written two other books, 40 journal articles, 50 conference publications and nine special reports.

Fouad was awarded ISU's 1994 David R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and IEEE awarded him its 1994 Herman Halperin Electric Transmission and Distribution Award. The Power Engineering Society named Fouad its Outstanding Power Engineering Educator in 1993.

Fouad earned his bachelor's degree from Cairo University, Egypt, and his master's from the University of Iowa. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State and has been an Iowa State faculty member since 1960.

Fouad is Iowa State's third NAE member. John Cleasby, a retired distinguished professor of civil and construction engineering, was elected in 1983. Don Thompson, director of ISU's Center for Nondestructive Engineering and acting director of the Center for Aviation Systems Reliability, was elected in 1991.

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Diana Pounds
University Relations
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