The University of North Florida will present Dr. Adel ElSafty, a professor of civil engineering in the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, the 2018 Distinguished Professor award during the 47th Annual Fall Convocation ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the Fine Arts Center, Lazzara Performance Hall, Building 45, on campus.
ElSafty, a Southside resident, is the 41st faculty member at UNF to hold the title of Distinguished Professor, the highest honor to be conferred upon a University faculty member.
“Dr. ElSafty exemplifies what we mean at UNF by the term ‘distinguished professor.’ He’s an international scholar and dedicated teacher committed to the education of his students and is no less generous with his time in serving the University community, said Dr. Pam Chally, UNF interim provost and vice president.
ElSafty has been a professor in the School of Engineering for 13 years and teaches all structures courses, including Concrete Design, Steel Design, Analysis of Structures, Mechanics/Strength of Materials, Statics, Prestressed Concrete, Matrix Structural Analysis, Introduction to Bridge Engineering, Civil Engineering Materials and Advanced Mechanics. In the classroom, he enjoys integrating technology in his teaching and has been incorporating his industrial experience into teaching through introducing real-world engineering applications.
He has secured more than $2 million in research project funding for his research that addresses innovative materials to be used in constructing and repairing infrastructures; some of the materials have not been known to the public, like Basalt fibers—extremely fine fibers similar to fiberglass—as well as some new glass and carbon fibers. ElSafty is currently doing research on bridge engineering, prestressed concrete, repair of structures and fiber-reinforced polymer applications in infrastructures.
His most rewarding academic experience was winning a national grant in 2009, establishing the first Engineering Design Studio in the United States for the PCI-Foundation. This allowed him to collaborate with other academic institutions and with the industry, such as consultants and fabricators, on research as well as training for UNF students. The Engineering Design Studio helped the University become a magnet for prestressed concrete and conduct research in this field of study.
ElSafty has led student teams to win national/regional competitions and has led student groups on study-abroad trips to several countries as well as faculty groups from eight universities across the country on international academic visits to Turkey, Morocco and Egypt, where he established and maintained research initiatives in addition to initiating scholastic exchange programs.
He’s won numerous awards, including PCI Educator of the Year, Fulbright U.S. Scholar, Fulbright Specialist, International Scholarship and Journal Paper Award, Florida Prestressed Concrete Association Education Foundation Award, Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award and Outstanding International Leadership Award, to name a few.
ElSafty is the Academic Council chair for the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute-Foundation and is a member of the PCI Board of Trustees. He’s earned his doctorate degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University and received a master’s degree in structural engineering as well as a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, both from Cairo University in Egypt.