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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Behnaam Aazhang Conferred as Honorary Doctor at the University of Oulu

Congratulations to Behnaam Aazhang, J.S. Abercrombie Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, on receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. The title is the highest honor that the university, one of the largest in Finland, can bestow. Professor Aazhang received the award as a renowned and oft-cited researcher of telecommunications technology and related signal processing, network technology, and information theory.


Professors Behnaam Aazhang and Markku Juntti preparing for the academic processing at downtown Oulu. 

He has collaborated actively with the University of Oulu since 1994 and worked as Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) at the university from 2007-2013. Aazhang was honored by the university for significantly aiding the content, development of research traditions and methods, and the internationalization of the research done in the communication laboratory and the Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) research unit. 

The Honorary Doctorate degree is the highest honor that the university can bestow. At the ceremony Dr. Aazhang received the doctor's hat and sword, following medieval tradition. The doctor's hat symbolizes liberty, scholarship and freedom of research. The sword, presented at the sword-whetting ceremony the evening before degree conferral, symbolizes the scholar's fight for what she/he has found to be good, right and true. Each honoree sharpened his/her sword upon receipt using a grindstone dampened with champagne.

Behnaam Aazhang received his B.S. (with highest honors), M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1981, 1983, and 1986, respectively. From 1981 to 1985, he was a Research Assistant in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois. In August 1985, he joined the faculty of Rice University, Houston, Texas, where he is now the J.S. Abercrombie Professor and Director of the Cluster on Neuroengineering within the Gulf Coast Consortium, a multi-university research center in Houston, Texas. He is a founding member of the Rice Center for Neuroengineering. He served as the Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2004-2014, and served as the founding director of Rice’s Center for Multimedia Communications from 1998-2006.

Dr. Aazhang's research interests are in the areas of communication theory, information theory, signal processing, and their applications to wireless communication, wireless networks, and neuroengineering with emphasis on closed-loop neuro-modulation and modeling of neuronal circuits connectivity and the impact of learning on connections in the circuits.

-Jennifer Hunter