Dr. Randy Bartels, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Colorado State University, was one of 27 young U.S. scientists invited to the first-ever Arab-American Frontiers Symposium held last month in Kuwait. The meeting, which originated from President Barack Obama's 2009 Cairo speech, marks an important step forward in efforts to build bridges between the Arab countries and the United States.
Bringing together an elite group of future leaders in science, engineering, and medicine, the meeting attracted attendees from the United States and 19 Arab League countries along with U.S. ambassadors to Kuwait. The symposium - managed jointly by The National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine - is part of the Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine program. The goal of the program is to enhance the scientific exchange and dialogue among young researchers in Arab countries and the U.S., and through this interaction facilitate research collaboration within and beyond the region.
"We are thrilled to have Dr. Bartels representing Colorado State University in this process of peace building through scientific collaboration," said ECE Department Head Tony Maciejewski. "His involvement brings great honor to himself and our department, and further demonstrates his potential as a future leader in the scientific community."
Meeting participants discussed research topics of international importance, including advances in the fields of water, renewable energy, diabetes, and agriculture. The symposium was highly disciplinary, drawing from scientists, engineers, and physicians with a broad set of backgrounds. The event is targeted to break down barriers between disciplines and encourage discussion between scientists from diverse backgrounds and research fields.
The symposium is not the first time Bartels has gained national recognition as a leader in his field. In 2006, he received the Presidential Early Career Award - the U.S. government's highest honor for outstanding up-and-coming scientists and engineers. Earlier this year, Bartels was named a Fellow of the Optical Society of America. He is also a Kavli Fellow of the National Academies of Science and a recipient of the Sloan Research Fellow in physics, one of the oldest and most prestigious research honors in the nation. He received the Beckman Young Investigator Award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation; the Gold Medal Human-Competitive Award; the Optical Society of America Adolph Lomb Medal; the IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award; an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award; and an NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award. Bartels is a past recipient of the prestigious Monfort Professor Award, one of Colorado State's top honors.