Dr. Farouk El-Baz of Boston, research professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Rolla, received an honorary degree from UMR during winter commencement ceremonies held Saturday, Dec. 18, on the UMR campus.
El-Baz received the honor for professional accomplishment as well as outstanding service to UMR. U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond also received an honorary degree.
El-Baz received master of science and doctorate degrees in geology from UMR in 1961 and 1964, respectively. He also holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and geology from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.
El-Baz taught geology at Egypt’s Assiut University and at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He participated in the Apollo program as supervisor of lunar science planning at Bellcomm Inc. of Bell Telephone Laboratories, established and directed the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., was principal investigator for Earth observations and photography on NASA’s Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, and was vice president for international development, science and technology at Itek Optical Systems of Lexington, Mass.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering, El-Baz has served on advisory boards for several scientific organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Science Foundation, and the International Astronomical Union. He also served as science advisor to the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
El-Baz has received honors and awards from numerous organizations, including NASA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Egyptian government.
El-Baz is president of the Arab Society of Desert Research and is a member of the African Academy of Sciences, Arab Academy of Sciences, Islamic Academy of Sciences, Third World Academy of Sciences, and Academia Bibliotheca Alexandrinae.