Skip to content
Retired associate dean creates support for exceptional electrical engineering doctoral students
In 2012, Dr. Alice Clark, Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs, named Dr. Atef Elsherbeni the fifth recipient of the UM Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award. Today, Dr. Elsherbeni is establishing a scholarship for electrical engineering doctoral students and offering matching funds to contributions made by others.
After 26 years of teaching and research at the University of Mississippi School of Engineering, Atef Elsherbeni continues to contribute to the educational pursuits of talented students.
With the creation of the Atef Z. Elsherbeni Electrical Engineering Doctoral Scholarship Fund, the retired associate dean offers up to $25,000 in endowment funds to assist full-time students who are Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Electrical Engineering. To enrich the endowment, Elsherbeni is offering a 1:1 match for contributions made by alumni and colleagues for this purpose.
Scholarship recipients must have passed the prospectus examination and must be pursuing electromagnetic research. The goal is for recipients to receive $1,000 per year for a maximum of two years. Recipients will be selected by department faculty in consultation with the School of Engineering Scholarship Committee and the dean.
"Dr. Elsherbeni made great contributions to our students during his tenure at the university," said Dean Alex Cheng. "His benevolence in creating this endowment expands his legacy for the benefit of future electrical engineering scholars."
Elsherbeni made a significant impact on the nation's technology development, particularly in the areas of electromagnetic waves, radar power, miniaturized antennas, radio frequency identification and personal communications systems.
"The department was known for its electromagnetic research all over the world," said Elsherbeni, an electrical engineering professor who notes that the reputation of the department and its faculty helped bring him here back in 1987. His own work, which has garnered more than $10 million in outside funding, has helped bolster that reputation.
But Elsherbeni, associate dean of research and graduate programs for the School of Engineering and recipient of the university's 2012 Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award, recently decided to retire. While he, admittedly, will not miss the paperwork, Elsherbeni said he will miss the interaction with students and faculty in uncovering the fascinating and making sense of it all."My efforts in educating undergraduate and graduate students, along with providing them with help when needed for them to have successful future careers after graduation, has been the most fulfilling aspect of my career," Elsherbeni said.
Elsherbeni earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba. He joined the UM faculty in 1987 as an assistant professor, rose to the rank of professor in 1998 and was appointed associate dean in 2009.
After more than two decades at Ole Miss, Elsherbeni looked around for another challenge and found it at the Colorado School of Mines, where he will be in charge of electromagnetics and antenna research and education for both undergraduates and graduate students. He will start his second career as the Dobelman Distinguished Chair and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, but he also plans to continue collaborations with the Ole Miss EE department and School of Engineering.
"I will try to direct my research experience toward energy-related topics," he said.
At Ole Miss, Elsherbeni has supervised and graduated 33 master's and 13 doctoral students. He was engaged in international recruitment that resulted in the enrollment of several Egyptian government-funded Ph.D. students for several departments in the School of Engineering.
He also is leading a group of engineering undergraduate students to build and launch a satellite, "MISSat-1," with its primary mission to capture images of the earth, focusing on the state of Mississippi.
"Dr. Elsherbeni's desire for this scholarship to make an impact for the electrical engineering department is further evidenced by his generous offer to match contributions so that this opportunity is fully realized," said Kevin Gardner, development officer for the School of Engineering. "We appreciate his work here and are so grateful for his lasting legacy."
For further inquiries about supporting the Atef Z. Elsherbeni Electrical Engineering Doctoral Scholarship Fund, please contact Kevin Gardner at or 662-915-7601.
Edwin Smith

Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.