Areas of expertise
Nanotechnology, Science, Research, Management, Enterpreneurship
Ali Eftekhari is the President of the American Nano Society. He is the Founding Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Jimma University (Ethiopia), as well as Honorary Professor at both Queen's University (Belfast) and Ulster University.
He commenced his academic study at age 11, conducted his first independent research project (which was published in a leading scholarly journal) at age 15, and earned his PhD by 22 when he was working on a research project supported by the US Vice President Al Gore.
Then, he was invited for building a national role model for cutting-edge research in Iran. His research group was extremely success and used to publish 5% of the country's high impact research articles. Owing to this incredible success, he was awarded the Presidential Special Research Grant. He then supervised a national project (mandated by the Iranian Parliament) for developing interdisciplinary programs in public university. He designed 15 graduate programs in the realms of technology management, which are run by several universities and thousands of students have been graduated from those programs.
He served Ohio Institute of Technology as an Interim President before being invited for building innovative models in the African Higher Education. He conducted a series of innovative programs to foster academic culture. As a practical role model for research-oriented education, he established School of Materials Science & Engineering at Jimma University, which is now running 3 BSc, 4 MSc, and 7 PhD programs. This was a deeply challenging endeavor, as engineering is very young in Africa, and 70% of academic staff teaching engineering programs have only bachelor degree; 80% of engineering departments do not have one single faculty member with PhD. When the first 4 PhD programs launched, some of senior staff left the country. Although, everyone voted to cancel the programs, Prof. Eftekhari kept the programs alive by teaching 70% of the PhD courses himself. According to external auditors, the quality of education was comparable with that of top universities.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Prof. Eftekhari was nominated by 6 executives of the AAS as an exceptional Fellow (which is officially limited to African citizens only) of the African Academy of Science, and also Ethiopian Academy of Sciences.
In over two decades of living in academia, he has founded two departments from scratch, developed over 30 academic programs, and supervised over 110 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
He is the principal author (first and corresponding) of over 100 research articles (h-index 25), and editor of several reference books and journals. The uniqueness of his research is that he personally plans the research, analyzes the data, and writes the manuscript.
He serves more than 40 leading journals as a regular reviewer. He is an active member of 26 professional societies, and has organized/chaired several international meetings. He has developed several software programs. He has worked in universities across 4 continents.