Trustee Chairs

Trustee Chair awards were established to both retain outstanding UCF faculty and attract exceptional faculty to UCF.  These Chairs will have a five-year appointment and an annual stipend of $50,000, with the potential for renewal with sustained preeminence. Up to $25,000 of the stipend can be used as a salary supplement.

Trustee Chair applications are reviewed by a committee consisting of one Trustee Chair, one Pegasus Professor, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and the Vice Provost for Faculty Excellence. A full professor appointed by the UCF-UFF Chapter President will serve as an ex officio member. The committee evaluates nominations and makes a recommendation(s) to the Provost. The President and Provost or designee will make the final appointment.

Call for Nominations

Nominations must be submitted to Faculty Excellence ( directly from a dean or the Vice President for Research and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The nomination period is closed.

Appointment Criteria

  1. Must hold the rank of Professor.
  2. The individual must be recognized as a “foremost scholar” in his or her chosen area of expertise. Thus, a Trustee Chair should be known as preeminent scholar in his or her discipline.
  3. Have evidence of the positive impact of the scholar on others at UCF.

Individuals presently holding a Chair or Professorship will be considered only if they agree to vacate their present appointment if selected as a Trustee Chair.

In the event that a UCF Faculty member is elected into the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, or National Academy of Medicine or a current National Academy Member joins UCF as a member of the tenured Faculty, the Trustee Chair designation may be awarded at the discretion of the Provost

Trustee Chairs

Aristide Dogariu
Dr. Aristide Dogariu is a Pegasus Professor and Distinguished Researcher in the College of Optics and Photonics. His research ranges from understanding fundamental aspects of light interaction with matter to actively developing new optical technology for sensing and measurement for a substance like blood. Dr. Dogariu created a new technology to monitor patient’s blood by using light scattering. The technology will monitor blood clotting, providing a real-time status for surgeons during life-and-death operations. He’s also discovered a new technique for tracking objects outside the line-of-sight, potentially helping the military monitor hidden objects. His research is well funded, with cumulative funds of more than $15 million.
Jayanta Kapat
Dr. Jayanta Kapat is a Pegasus Professor, the Director of the Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER) in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. The most significant impact of Dr. Kapat’s work stems from his vision for CATER. He brought 10 core faculty members with multidisciplinary capabilities together to solve some of the most complex research problems in turbomachinery for power generation, aviation and space propulsion. Through CATER, Dr. Kapat has facilitated doctoral and masters research and degrees and has established excellent success rates for internship and job placement of students at all levels. Because of the international reputation of CATER, high-caliber students from Brazil, France, Germany and India now come to UCF.
Mohamed Abdel-Aty
Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty is a Pegasus Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, Deputy Director of the Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation, and Chair of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering. He has co-authored more than 400 papers. According to Google Scholar, he has more than 9,000 citations (about 6,000 of which appear in the past six years) and his research has resulted in more than $14 million in external funding. As the first to study the safety of toll roads and plazas and provide guidance for safety improvements, his research has garnered attention by the Associated Press and 160 newspapers. Dr. Aty has mentored 33 doctoral, 40 masters students, more than five undergraduates, and more than 20 post-doctoral associates and visiting scholars.
Deborah Beidel
Dr. Deborah Beidel is a Pegasus Professor of Psychology and Medical Education, Director of UCF RESTORES, and Trustee Chair. She has authored over 250 scientific publications on the treatment of anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder and has been the recipient of over $19 million in research funding throughout her career. In recognition of her teaching excellence, Dr. Beidel received the 1995 Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Medical School Psychologists. Dr. Beidel has graduated eleven doctoral and twelve master’s students, and has mentored many undergraduates including seven honors theses.
Zenghu Chang
Dr. Zenghu Chang is a Pegasus and Distinguished Professor of Physics and Optics, and Trustee Chair. He directs the Institute for the Frontier of Attosecond Science and Technology laboratory and is a fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2012, Dr. Chang demonstrated the shortest isolated light pulse ever produced (67 attoseconds). This accomplishment received worldwide attention. Exceptional young scientists are attracted to UCF because of Dr. Chang’s reputation. Dr. Chang has supervised many Ph.D. students, four of whom have gone on to tenure-track positions in research universities and others into top companies including Microsoft.
Peter Delfyett
Dr. Peter Delfyett is a Pegasus Professor of Optics and Photonics, Director of the Townes Laser Institute, and Trustee Chair.  He is a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA), the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), IEEE, and the American Physical Society (APS). He received the APS Edward Bouchet Award, served as President of the National Society of Black Physicists, and was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics. Dr. Delfyett is world renowned for his contributions to ultrafast semiconductor lasers and their applications to optical networks and optical signal processing.  He is the Founder of Raydiance, Inc.
Peter Hancock
Dr. Peter Hancock is a Pegasus Professor, Provost Distinguished Research Professor, and Trustee Chair. He directs the MIT2 Research Laboratories and is Associate Director of the Center for Applied Human Factors in Aviation. He has secured over $17 million in externally funded research during his career. Professor Hancock has authored over 700 refereed scientific articles as well as 15 books. Dr. Hancock has directed and chaired numerous successful Masters Theses and Doctorate Dissertations. Many of his students are employed by prominent companies including Boeing, Microsoft, Raydon, and HumanCentric Technologies.
Alain Kassab
Dr. Alain Kassab is a Pegasus Professor from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Since joining UCF, Dr. Kassab’s leadership has been impactful to his department and has positively affected the lives of its students. He has developed and led the growth of the MAE graduate program and its curriculum, while also mentoring students. His international reputation in bioengineering has placed him in top fellow roles in his field including his latest honor, Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Only the top two percent of medical and biological engineers are inducted into the AIMBE.
Martin Richardson
Dr. Martin Richardson is a Pegasus Professor of Optics and Photonics, Northrop Grumman Professor of X-ray Photonics, former Director of the Townes Laser Institute, and Trustee Chair. He is a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA), IEEE, International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), American Physical Society, and AAAS. He received the SPIE Harold E. Edgerton Award, the Schardin Medal, and the Jefferson Fellowship, and was awarded the title of Docteur Honoris Causa from the University of Bordeaux. Dr. Richardson is world renowned for his contributions to high-power and ultrafast solid-state and fiber lasers, laser plasmas, femtosecond laser-aided materials processing, laser-induced-breakdown spectroscopy, and X-ray and EUV optics.
Jeff Rupert
Mr. Jeffrey Rupert is a Pegasus Professor of Music educator, saxophonist, composer and arranger, internationally recognized Jazz luminary, and Trustee Chair. A Grammy Award winner, his credentials include thirty recordings as a featured soloist and eight recordings in the top fifty of the Jazz charts. Professor Rupert’s founding of UCF’s Flying Horse Records, UCF teaching – entrepreneurial endeavor, has enabled Jazz students to become marketable and employable. Due to his efforts, UCF is the only institution in the world to have a Jazz Studies degree, an active record label and a 24/7 NPR number one ranked Jazz station.
Sudipta Seal
Dr. Sudipta Seal is a Pegasus Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Chair of Materials Science and Engineering. He has authored three books, edited 11 books, and his research has led to the issue of 63 patents. Dr. Seal has over 21,000 citations (over 15,000 citations within the past five years); his research funding has totaled approximately $14 million, and his research has garnered attention by BBC news and The New York Times. Dr. Seal has mentored 19 doctoral and 22 master’s students to completion. He has advised 13 post-doctoral associates and two research professors.
Mubarak Shah
Dr. Mubarak Shah is a Pegasus Professor, Director of Center for Research in Computer Vision (CVRV), and Trustee Chair. He is a fellow of  IEEE, SPIE, AAAS and IAPR .  He has supervised to completion 37 Ph.D., 13 M.S., 11 B.S. Honors in the Major students and 11 Post docs to completion. He has mentored 280 undergraduates from more than 65 universities all over the USA under Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) project, funded by NSF for more than $2.8 million since 1987. He has taught ten different courses; with his Computer Vision Video lectures on YouTube reaching close to a million views. He has published 6 books, more than 100 journal and more than 200 conference papers; have received six patents and delivered more than 200 invited and keynote talks. With h-index of 89 and more than 30,000 citations he is one of the most cited authors in Computer Vision.
Eric Van Stryland
Dr. Eric Van Stryland is a Pegasus Professor of Optics and Photonics, past Dean of the College of Optics and Photonics, and Trustee Chair. He is a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA), the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), IEEE, and the American Physical Society. He served as President of OSA and received its R. W. Wood Prize. Dr. Van Stryland is internationally known for developing methods for accurate characterization of nonlinear optical materials, and is currently working on extremely nondegenerate nonlinearities in semiconductors, with the possibility of designing a 2-photon laser.
Stella Sung
Dr. Stella Sung is a Pegasus Professor and Director for the Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology, and Entertainment (CREATE). She is a composer of concert music, film, ballet, opera, and video. Her compositions are performed worldwide, and two of her publishers are among the oldest and most distinguished music publishers worldwide. As a recipient of a "Music Alive" award, a highly prestigious, three-year award sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Dr. Sung recently served as Composer-in-Residence (2013-2016) with the Dayton (Ohio) Performing Arts Alliance (Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera). As Director of CREATE, Dr. Sung’s dedication to teaching remains, and she continues to work with undergraduate and graduate students from UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy and music, film, and digital media programs within the School of Visual Arts and Design.