Dr. Yacob Astatke, Assistant VP for International Affairs, Morgan State University


Short Biography

Dr. Yacob Astatke completed both his Doctor of Engineering and B.S.E.E. degrees from Morgan State University (MSU) and his M.S.E.E. from Johns Hopkins University. He has been a full time faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at MSU since August 1994 and currently serves as the “Assistant Vice President for International Affairs.” Prior to that, he served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the School of Engineering for 2 years. He also served as the Chair of the University Council (UC) of MSU from 2013-2015. The UC represents 500 faculty members and close to 1,000 staff members of the university. Dr. Astatke had an amazing 2016, where he won three important awards. He won, the “2016 Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC)-Airbus Diversity Award,” the “2016 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for College Level Promotion of Education,” and  the “2016 Dr. Iva G. Jones Medallion Mantel Award” for being the most outstanding faculty member of the year at MSU.  Dr. Astatke is also the  first and only African American to win of the 2013  American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) “National Outstanding Teaching Award“. This award covers 340 engineering schools and close to 27,000 engineering faculty members (i.e. teachers) from all 50 states. Dr. Astatke is also the winner of the 2012  American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) “Mid-Atlantic Region Distinguished Teacher Award.” The Mid-Atlantic division includes engineering schools from 6 states :Maryland, Washington DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Dr. Astatke teaches courses in both analog and digital electronic circuit design and instrumentation, with a focus on wireless communication. He has more than 20 years experience in the development and delivery of synchronous and asynchronous web-based course supplements for electrical engineering courses.  He pioneered in 2009-11 the use and led the expansion of the lecture capture and the Mobile Studio IOBoardTM portable laboratory technology and pedagogy at MSU  to offer ECE courses with laboratory components completely online. He played a key role in the approval of the State of Maryland’s first completely online undergraduate B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2013/14He has published over 60 papers and presented his research work at regional, national and international conferences. He also runs several exciting summer camps geared towards middle school, high school, and community college students to expose and increase their interested in pursuing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. He is also the founder (in 2000) and Director of the “Foundations of Mathematics” summer program, which is a 5 week online summer math course offered for FREE to all pre-freshman engineering students admitted to the university. The online math course has helped more than 500 first year freshmen engineering students improve their math scores.

Dr. Astatke has been travelling to Ethiopia for the past 15 years to teach graduate
courses, or provide training and guest lectures. For the past seven years, he has partnered with public and private organizations and foundations such as “Analog Devices Inc (ADI)”  to distribute more than 200 portable ECE laboratory equipment, 20 laptops and other ECE laboratory instrumentation to five universities in Ethiopia. The donations have improved the education of thousands of ECE students in Ethiopia for the past 5 years. (Read the report attached here for more information.) He is planning to expand his work to 10 universities in 2018/19. He played a key role in the establishment of the “African Engineering Deans Council (AEDC)” in collaboration with the “Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC)” in 2014.  He helped organize  and served as the Co-Chair of the AEDC-GEDC Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia September 17-18, 2015. This HISTORIC event brought together around 125 Engineering Deans from around the world for a discussion on the future of Engineering Education on the continent of Africa. He is currently working with the Global Engineering Dean’s Council (GEDC)and the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES) to expand his effort throughout Africa, including Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, etc… (Read the report attached here for more information).