Professor Fadi Fathallah Named BAE Department Chair
The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering’s new chair will be Professor Fadi Fathallah, whose appointment began July 1. Fathallah, an expert in occupational biomechanics and ergonomics for farmworkers, brings extensive research and leadership experience to the role.
Until being appointed as chair, he served as the inaugural Associate Vice Provost of Global Education and Services at UC Davis Global Affairs, where he oversaw the university’s Global Learning Hub/Study Abroad program, Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) and other Global Affairs-sponsored programs. He previously was the faculty director of the UC Davis study abroad program and chair of the BAE graduate program.
Fathallah succeeds Distinguished Professor Bryan Jenkins, who had been department chair since 2014 and received the prestigious James R. and Karen A. Gilley Academic Leadership Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) for his academic excellence and outstanding leadership during his tenure. Jenkins will return to research and teaching in the department this fall.
“Professor Fathallah brings a wealth of leadership experience to the position and the department is fortunate to have him accept the role of chair,” said Jenkins.
“I would like to thank Bryan Jenkins for his outstanding leadership of the department for the past seven years,” said Fathallah. “I look forward to working with our faculty, staff, students, alumni, leadership board and college teams to ensure that our department is at the forefront in the field of biological and agricultural engineering, and prepares our students to be leaders in the science and engineering of biological and agricultural systems.”
Fathallah’s research is in occupational biomechanics and ergonomics for farmworkers. Since agricultural workers frequently lift, carry, climb or lean down in the field, there is a significant risk for developing musculoskeletal injuries on the job. Since joining UC Davis, Fathallah’s group has aimed to help them by developing techniques, as well as mechanical and robotic aides to lower the risk of injuries.
He is the director of the California AgrAbility Program, which promotes independence in farming for farmers and farmworkers with severe injuries and disabilities, and associate director of the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, which conducts research and outreach to improve the health and safety of western agricultural workers.
Fathallah received his B.S. in industrial engineering at Texas Tech, his M.S. in human factors engineering at Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering at The Ohio State University. He joined UC Davis in 1999 after four years in industry.