Banafsheh Seyed-Aghazadeh, assistant professor of engineering technology, was recently named the first endowed professor at Miami’s Regional campuses.
In 2014, the James R. Myers estate gifted Miami Regionals two $1 million scholarship endowments, as well as two endowed professorships and $225,000 in scholarships for Air Force ROTC students.
Seyed-Aghazadeh was chosen for one of these endowed professorships due to her outstanding research and academic career, said Ayodele Abatan, professor and chair of the engineering technology department at Miami Regionals.
“She was so clearly the best candidate for the job,” Abatan said. “We wanted someone in mechanical engineering work combined with material engineering and structural engineering. Dr. Seyed-Aghazadeh has conducted her research in fluid-structure interaction, making her the ideal candidate.”
Seyed-Aghazadeh said she applied for the position due to Miami’s strong reputation for undergraduate teaching. She thoroughly enjoys teaching and mentoring her students, she said, and teaching at Miami’s Middletown campus has given her the opportunity to work with a wide variety of students.
I have found Miami has a really welcoming environment,” Seyed-Aghazadeh said. “The staff, my colleagues, and the students all make it seem as though we are one big family. This is a unique experience for me. Here, we have both traditional and nontraditional students, and in my lectures I’ve seen great passion, motivation and determination to learn from my students. Knowing I am making a difference brings me a lot of professional satisfaction.”
Abatan described his and his colleagues’ impression of Seyed-Aghazadeh’s teaching talent.
“She is fantastic,” Abatan said. “She’s very transparent, and certainly a people-person. We are all very happy to have her.”
Seyed-Aghazadeh incredibly honored to be named an endowed professor.
“I deeply feel a duty and responsibility to represent Mr. Myers’ name,” Seyed-Aghazadeh said. “I’ve learned so much about his inspiring life and his passion for giving back to the Middletown community. I believe this deserves representation through my work here.”
Myers was a Middletown native who worked as a metallurgical engineer and collaborated with Miami Regionals’ engineering technology department on consultations.
Seyed-Aghazadeh’s endowed professorship includes funding to establish her own research lab, which has just been renovated.
“My research influences my teaching and vice versa,” Seyed-Aghazadeh said. “I plan to initiate multidisciplinary research among faculties, among other things.”
Abatan believes Seyed-Aghazadeh’s endowed professorship will be an attract students looking to join Miami Regionals’ engineering program.
“Our policy is to attract the very best,” Abatan said. “We would love to see more young people join our department.”
Abatan and Seyed-Aghazadeh both noted that Miami Regionals currently has an outreach program at local high schools and middle schools that is meant to guide students toward engineering as a profession.
Ultimately, Seyed-Aghazadeh wants to help her students make an impact.
“I want to educate and personally mentor my students as best I can, while advancing my career,” Seyed-Aghazadeh said. “And, I will always do my best to represent the engineering department with love and honor.”