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University of Iowa News Release

May 27, 2005

Abdel-Malek Appointed Director of Engineering CCAD Center

Dr. Karim Abdel-Malek has been appointed to a five-year term as director of the University of Iowa Center for Computer-Aided Design (CCAD), succeeding interim director V.C. Patel.

"We have great confidence that Dr. Abdel-Malek will lead CCAD into a new era of research excellence and opportunity," said P. Barry Butler, dean of the College of Engineering.

Butler said Abdel-Malek "inherits an academic legacy in highly acclaimed design and optimization, human-system interaction, kinematics and dynamics, and solid mechanics. At the same time, he has achieved significant milestones of his own during his teaching and research career at the University of Iowa since his first appointment in 1994."

One of Abdel-Malek's recent successes came as director of the university's Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) team, a unit of CCAD that he founded and directs. The VSR recently entered into a $1.75 million five-year partnership with Caterpillar, Inc. to create new technologies in human modeling and simulation that will improve its realistic, computerized human model called "Santos." The partnership is designed to save time and money by reducing the need to build physical prototypes in the testing and evaluation of products, equipment, vehicles, and armaments prior to manufacture. It will also enable UI staff, students, and faculty to work with Caterpillar engineers to create new Santos capabilities.

Barely two years old, VSR has received a total of $3.7 million from the U.S. Army to use state-of-the-art gaming and entertainment animation techniques to simulate real soldiers. The VSR team is not only nationally renowned, but it is also the largest multidisciplinary group of its kind in the nation conducting research on human modeling and simulation with some 36 researchers from diverse backgrounds. The multidisciplinary team has international experts in biomechanics, optimization, dynamics, haptics, psychology, neurology and engineering and includes professional staff, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

In addition to his appointment as CCAD director, Abdel-Malek will become a full professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, effective July 1.

Patel will continue as University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. "We have been so fortunate to have had Dr. Patel guide CCAD through the past two years of significant growth and achievement," said Butler.

CCAD was founded in 1982 to coordinate and promote research in multi-body (vehicle) dynamics. Today, the center conducts basic and applied research in design, optimization, modeling and simulation of materials, structures, vehicles, and mechanical and biomechanical systems, to advance the educational and research mission of the College of Engineering, and to transfer research results to a broad spectrum of academic, industrial and government constituencies.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.