Obituaries: Mohammed Dahleh

September 17, 2000

Mohammed Dahleh, 1961-2000

Mohammed Dahleh, a professor of mechanical and environmental engineering and the research director of the Center for Control Engineering and Computation at the University of California at Santa Barbara, died on July 29 at the age of 39.

The author or co-author of nearly 100 professional publications and two books, Dahleh was an internationally recognized authority in the field of dynamical systems and control theory. Under his leadership, the UCSB Center for Control Engineering and Computation became a focal point for technological innovations. The most recent example is his patent for the use of atomic force microscopy in precision machining and imaging. In 1999, for a new analysis of turbulent phenomena, Dahleh shared the prestigious Hugo Schuck Award of the American Control Council.

"Professor Dahleh's untimely death is a tremendous loss to the university community," UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said. "In research and teaching his contributions have been truly exceptional."

As vice chair of the Mechanical and Environmental Engineering Department from 1995 to 1999, Dahleh initiated and developed new educational and research programs and recruited prominent faculty to UCSB. These efforts have enhanced the reputation of the department.

An outstanding lecturer, Dahleh was recognized especially by graduate students for his abilities as a mentor. He wrote one textbook, and two others were in progress at the time of his death. He was also known among students and faculty for the many technical meetings he had organized at UCSB.

Born in Amman, Jordan, Dahleh received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and his PhD from Princeton University. He joined the UCSB College of Engineering faculty in 1991 and became a full professor in 1995.

He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and SIAM. Dahleh was elected a fellow of IEEE in 1999. An associate editor of Systems and Control Letters and the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Dahleh also served on the editorial board of the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems Measurement and Control.

He is survived by his wife, Marie, a senior development engineer in the UCSB Department of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering; a son, Taher (aged six); and a daughter, Jumana (aged four).

A memorial service is planned for October 2 at 2:00 PM at the UCSB Engineering II Pavilion. Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, can be made to the Mohammed Dahleh Educational Fund, which will support graduate education. Checks should be made payable to The UCSB Foundation and sent to 1109 Engineering I, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106.

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