Dr. Ahmed Kamal, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University, passed away on April 30, 2023. Dr. Kamal received his B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Cairo University in 1978, his M.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto in 1982, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the same institution in 1986. Since 1986, he held faculty positions at the University of Alberta (1986-1992), Kuwait University (1992-1999) and Iowa State University (1999-2023).
Dr. Kamal's research interests were in network architectures, protocols and performance evaluation. His publications cover a wide range of topics, including optical networks, wireless sensor networks, network performance analysis, routing and scheduling algorithms, and network coding. He has published 300 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and his work has been cited over 11,000 times. Dr. Kamal has also authored several books, including “Traffic Grooming for Optical Networks: Foundations, Techniques and Frontiers” in 2010 and "Resilient Wireless Sensor Networks: The Case of Network Coding" in 2015.
Dr. Kamal's research publications appeared in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, such as the IEEE Transactions on Communications, the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, and the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. He also presented his research as keynote and invited speaker at numerous conferences and workshops around the world. He received several research recognitions, including best paper awards, designation as an IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer, and elevation to the IEEE Fellow grade for contributions to optical networks provisioning for multipoint traffic grooming.
Dr. Kamal was a dedicated teacher and mentor, advising over 35 PhD students and over 40 MSc students. I am honored and privileged to be his first PhD graduate (at the University of Alberta). His mentoring is unparalleled. This stems from his work ethics, supervision style, and interaction with students and colleagues. In addition to having first-hand experience, I have met and spoken to several of his other graduate students (former and current). They all praise him for his supervision style and personality. Deserving special mention is Dr. Kamal’s numerous publications with his graduate students. Most, if not all, of his graduate students publish at a steady pace.
Dr. Kamal taught a variety of courses in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Iowa State University and advised many undergraduate and graduate students on their research projects and theses. Dr. Kamal was involved in outreach activities promoting STEM education and diversity in engineering, including serving as a mentor for underrepresented minority students.
Dr. Kamal served on the editorial board of some of the highest-ranking journals in communications networks. His dedication earned him the title of editor of the year in the Computer Networks journal in 2008. He served on the program committee of several internationally recognized conferences. He has also chaired conferences and symposia at flagship IEEE Communication society venues, including the IEEE Conference on Communications and IEEE Global Communications Conference. Dr. Kamal was active in multiple IEEE Communication Society technical committees, including serving as the Chair of the Transmission, Access, and Optical Systems (TAOS) Technical Committee from 2015-2016, and as a Vice Chair from 2013-2014.
Dr. Ahmed Kamal's extensive publication record and research contributions had a significant impact on the field of communications engineering and helped advance our understanding of network protocols, architectures, and performance.
On the personal level, Ahmed was a wonderful person, respected by everyone who associated with him. I have known him for 39 years, meeting every year. Over these many years, Ahmed was always there to mentor, support, and encourage. I will deeply miss him. He will be remembered as a dedicated and accomplished professional who made significant contributions to his field and earned the admiration of colleagues and peers alike.
Hossam Hassanein, FIEEE
Director of the School of Computing, Queen's University, Canada
(Ahmed Kamal’s first PhD graduate and a lifelong friend)
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Ravi Subrahmanyan | 27 July 2023
A sad loss for the ComSoc community.