New Position at Island University Focuses on Research

Published: December 21, 2015

New Position at Island University Focuses on Research

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A new position at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has been established to focus on areas of research and commercialization –from developing research strategies to engaging community stakeholders to develop research capabilities across all levels of the academic community. 

The new position, Associate Vice President for Research, Commercialization and Outreach, will support the planning, coordinating and implementing of programs of excellence in research. This position will facilitate the pursuit of major research, scholarly and creative advancements to engage the campus community in opportunities and projects that will elevate the profile of the University. It aligns directly with the University’s goal to become an emerging research institution.  The position will be held by Dr. Ahmed Mahdy.

“We are proud to have created this position because of the substantial increase in research funding coming to the University,” said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President and CEO of A&M-Corpus Christi. “It will allow us to better support our faculty in their endeavors and provide the structure needed to become an emerging research institution.”

Mahdy was most recently the Director of Research Development and Commercialization. He is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and served as Director for the Innovation in Computing Science (iCORE) Labs. He has been with the Island University for more than 10 years.

“Dr. Mahdy’s vision and leadership in iCORE set the stage for the University to enhance its engineering offerings and establish a new Ph.D. in geospatial computing,” said Dr. Luis Cifuentes, Vice President for Research, Commercialization and Outreach. “The interdisciplinary research programs and opportunities that Dr. Mahdy and his colleagues have been creating are critical to the future of the University.”

Since joining the Division of Research, Commercialization and Outreach last year, Mahdy has created a foundation and process for commercialization. Commercialization takes products that began as ideas or projects at the University and brings them to the commercial market.

He has taken special interest in mentoring early-career faculty to develop research projects, taking time to work with them through the process of grant proposals.

The department, under Mahdy’s guidance, established the Faculty Research Development Program, now in its second year, to coach and encourage a select group of faculty with pertinent research projects.

“I am honored to be able to help A&M-Corpus Christi researchers reach their potential,” Mahdy said. “We are setting up a structure with the expertise, the guidance and the procedures to help researchers navigate through grant proposals, scholarly activities and eventually to commercialization. The intellectual property this University has to offer is limitless.”

Mahdy brings classroom and lab experience to this position, which adds a special dimension to this position, Cifuentes said.

“Research isn’t separate from the academic program,” Cifuentes said. “It’s essential to have both and have that range of experience at the decision-making level.”