Another prestigious award in an astounding career of many rightfully goes to Professor Rabab Ward. SASTA is immensely proud to congratulate Prof. Ward on winning the 2023 IEEE Fourier Award for Signal Processing.
A true Arab STEM icon, Prof. Ward has over 40 years of postdoctoral experience in education, research, and leadership. With a keen eye for the future, she remains passionate about giving back to the field she loves as a Professor Emerita of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada.
Prof. Ward’s journey in Engineering began with overcoming gender-based obstacles. Despite finishing high school with the highest marks in her year in Lebanon, she was refused admission to the Engineering program at the American University of Beirut because she was a woman. Undeterred, she switched to Engineering at Cairo University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1966. She then pursued graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she obtained a Master’s degree in 1969 and completed her Ph.D. in 1972.
After moving to Vancouver with her husband, who had obtained a faculty position at UBC, Prof. Ward faced initial challenges in finding academic employment. Eventually, she secured a part-time lecturer position at UBC in 1973 and became a full-time faculty member in 1981, becoming the first woman to become an Engineering professor in British Columbia. She held various positions at UBC, including Director of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems from 1996 to 2007.
Prof. Ward’s contributions to the field have earned her unparalleled research stature, with a 72 h-index, over 20,720 citations, 580 research papers, nine patents, and numerous distinctions and awards.