Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri | Director, NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration & Technology Research

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Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri is Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is the founding Director of the UTEP NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR) and holds the endowed Mr. and Mrs. MacIntosh Murchison Chair II in Engineering.

Dr. Choudhuri is currently overseeing the development of UTEP Applied Research Institutes (ARI) and leads the university’s academic, research and economic development expansions in the eastern region of El Paso. The strategic focus of the ARI is to catalyze a regional talent and technology development ecosystem by providing strategic capabilities in Aerospace and Defense Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing.

As a Department Chair from 2010 to 2018, Dr. Choudhuri led the transformation of the Mechanical Engineering Department to a nationally preeminent education and research program. Under his leadership, the enrollment in mechanical engineering graduate and undergraduate programs grew from 482 to 1426 students. During this time the department also became of the top producer of extramural research funding within the university, Dr. Choudhuri led the development of mechanical engineering doctoral program.

Under the direction of Dr. Choudhuri, cSETR performs frontier research in aerospace and energy engineering while developing regional talents. cSETR supports an average of 100 students.

In his leadership role, he also formed strategic collaborations and partnerships with NASA, DOE, DOD, aerospace and defense industries, and other universities. This is reflected in the more than $30 million in external grants, contracts, and capital funding generated by his effort. Dr. Choudhuri has mentored 7 Research Assistant Professors, been the research supervisor of 20 PhD and 73 MS graduates, and co-authored more than 150 technical publications. Many of these students have been recruited to the job market obtaining positions within academia, federal agencies, and aerospace and defense industries.

Dr. Choudhuri’s academic career has evolved within the paradigm of UTEP’s access and excellence mission. He is a part of UTEP’s strategic vision to create abundant educational opportunities to ensure social mobility for the residents of Paso Del Norte region. Dr. Choudhuri has received numerous awards and recognitions including recognition for Faculty Award for Research Innovation from NASA and an Outstanding Leadership Award from UTEP. Dr. Choudhuri received a B.S. in Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering and Technology Department of Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

1Sara Knudsen