Professor Hassan Diab began his career as an academic at the American University of Beirut (AUB) shortly after acquiring his PhD in computer engineering. During his time there, he assumed the roles of educator, researcher, and administrator, and contributed to the university’s plans to impact higher education in the region and beyond. His career at the university lasted 34 years.


He first joined AUB’s Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) as an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in 1985. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 1991 and then to full professor in 1997. From 1998 to 2001, he chaired the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), which was the largest department at AUB. In 2004, he was seconded by AUB to be the Founding President of Dhofar University (DU) in Salalah, Sultanate of Oman, also serving as dean of DU’s College of Engineering until 2006 and as a member on their Board of Trustees until 2013. In 2006, he was chosen as Vice President (VP) for Regional External Programs (REP) at AUB and continued in this role until 2011, the year he was appointed minister of education. He resumed his work at AUB as VP for REP in 2013 after the cabinet signed a decree of resignation in March of that year. He left AUB in February 2020 after he successfully formed his cabinet of ministers, having been appointed Lebanon’s prime minister in December 2019.


During his time at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at AUB, he prepared and taught over 20 courses, both graduate and undergraduate, of which nearly 70% were in his direct area of expertise in computer engineering. He also supervised/co-supervised 78 research projects, refereed over 300 papers, chaired several conferences, and served as member on over 50 organizing committees of international conferences. Additionally, he served as associate editor or member of advisory/editorial board on five international journals.

He was the only faculty member that had a bachelor in communications engineering and a PhD in computer engineering, Accordingly, he played a pivotal role in launching the Computer and Communications Engineering (CCE) program at AUB in 1986, which became one of the most sought-after undergraduate programs at AUB in terms of applicant numbers and has been replicated by dozens of universities in the region.

During his tenure as chairman of ECE, the department grew by 37% in terms of student numbers and 20% in terms of faculty members. During his term, the department restructured all of its programs, including two undergraduate programs to conform with ABET EC2000. It also introduced a new graduate program, added 16 new courses, proposed a new PhD program in computer engineering, and recommended a new multidisciplinary program in information systems and software engineering.

He and an AUB team, as part of a REP project, played a critical role in the work that led to Dhofar University (DU) becoming the first private university in Oman to receive the initial phase of institutional accreditation. He was also able to secure an annual research budget for DU faculty of around $1 million while chairing DU’s research board.

As VP for REP at AUB, he saw the successful implementation of hundreds of projects, with a fourfold increase in REP’s annual number of projects and geographic outreach. Implemented projects include establishing universities (e.g., American University of Sharjah) or assisting universities (e.g., Princess Noora University). This not only allowed AUB to leave a positive impact on higher education in the region, but also secured additional revenue streams and resulted in millions of dollars in endowments and fund-raising for the university.


Professor Diab’s passion for research can be traced back to his university years where his work as a PhD student resulted in a parallel processing system that was successfully marketed by his university. His years in academia fanned his passion for research and his roles in public office expanded his areas of interest. As for research interests in his specialty of computer engineering, these include cryptography on high performance computer systems, modeling and simulation of parallel processing systems, embedded systems, reconfigurable computing, simulation of parallel applications, and system simulation using fuzzy logic control. Additionally, his interests were directly shaped by his experience as an educator and his role as education minister to include higher education in the region and global issues in education. Specific research areas of interest to him in education are the application of simulation to engineering education, educational development, educational planning with governments and institutions in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education, as well as entrepreneurship in education.


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