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Morgan State University’s Dr. Yacob Astatke has spent much of his career teaching and mentoring.

Thanks to his efforts, his department is the first in the state of Maryland to offer an all online Electrical and Computer Engineering curriculum.

Dr. Astatke is also the founder and director of Foundations of Mathematics (FOM) summer program, a five-week online course for pre-freshmen students. The course helps incoming engineering students improve their math skills prior to taking placement exams. FOM has improved the retention and graduation rates of engineering students.

Astatke also conducts a summer program for middle and high school students. The Science You Can See program is a four-week summer program that exposes students to STEM-related concepts. These include building electronic circuits, smart energy houses, and programming robots and unmanned aerial vehicles.

In February 2016, Astatke won a BEYA in the College-level Promotion of Education category at the 31st annual BEYA STEM Conference. This week, Dr. Astatke got another award.

More Diversity in Engineering Education

Airbus Group and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) named him the recipient of the 2016 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award for his work in engineering education. The Award ceremony took place during the GEDC and World Engineering Education Forum conference in Seoul, South Korea November 6-10, 2016.

Out of a total of 40 candidates from 17 countries, Dr. Astatke was selected as the award recipient for his impressive introduction of technology and training initiatives across universities in Ethiopia to improve the delivery of engineering education in Africa. For the past 13 years, he conducted graduate courses, sharing best practice and delivering training. He led the implementation of Mobile Studio Technology and pedagogy in five universities in Ethiopia and has been instrumental in facilitating the donation of equipment and other resources.

In addition to the global visibility which the award offers, Dr. Astatke has received a significant financial contribution to support and develop his work.

The Award is designed to promote a more diverse engineering workforce globally. It recognizes grassroots initiatives and the people behind them which enable students from all backgrounds and profiles to study and succeed in the field of engineering.

“At Airbus diversity is in our DNA. Our future success will continue to draw on the diversity of our workforce because innovation, creativity, and performance are driven by this diversity,” said Charles Champion, Airbus’ executive vice president engineering.

“The achievement of our 2016 award recipient is a testimony to their hard work and commitment in this field. We hope that engineering leaders from around the world will be inspired to follow this example, and replicate these initiatives in order to build a more diverse global community of engineers,” he added.

“Our three finalists have taken up the vital challenge of encouraging more young people to become engineers in order to solve some of the biggest challenges we face in the 21st century,” said Peter Kilpatrick of the GEDC. “The message is that together, looking to the work of our finalists for inspiration and as great examples of success, the work we do can and will make a difference.”

GEDC Airbus Diversity Award 2016 Recipient, Yacob Astatke, Interim Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies, Morgan State University, USA (PRNewsFoto/Airbus Group)

Astatke received his doctorate and B.S.E.E. degrees from Morgan State University. He received his M.S.E.E. from Johns Hopkins University.

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