Professor Omar Matar, Director of Research and Vice-Dean (Education), celebrates 20 years in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial.
Professor Matar began his Imperial career as an undergraduate in 1989. He said he always knew he wanted to study at the College, and worked hard to achieve his place here. He graduated in 1993 with an MEng in Chemical Engineering. Following the completion of his PhD at Princeton University, he returned to the Department of Chemical Engineering as a Lecturer in 1998, progressing to Senior Lecturer in 2003, and to Professor of Fluid Mechanics in 2007.
During this time he has taken on additional roles including Undergraduate Admissions Tutor and Director of Undergraduate Studies. He currently holds the positions of Director of Research for Chemical Engineering, and Vice-Dean (Education) alongside his teaching responsibilities and managing the Matar Fluids Group. In 2015 he also became Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Reflecting on his time at Imperial, Professor Matar said:
“I love working here, where students are excellent, the environment is stimulating, and colleagues are inspirational. Here’s to 20 more years!”
An expert in fluid mechanics, his research interests include multiphase flows, applied mathematics, modelling, and computational fluid dynamics, complex fluids and interfacial fluid mechanics.
Commitment to education
“Working with Omar has been a pleasure. His commitment to research and teaching excellence is immediately apparent. He sets a great example for early career researchers by achieving the correct balance for sustained success in both.” Dr Jason Stafford Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow
Omar has consistently demonstrated a commitment to education as well as research and is popular amongst his students and colleagues for his approachability and good-humour, as well as his expertise in his field.
Dr Lachlan Mason added: "Omar encourages autonomy in his researchers but, critically, is always there to provide insight and high-level guidance. I have been motivated by his trust levels when called to present work at industry seminars and academic conferences, and appreciate that Omar values the personal and career development of his collaborators."
In 2014 he received a Student Academic Choice Award for Undergraduate Teaching, and in 2018 was shortlisted for a Student Academic Choice Award in the category of Best Innovation in Teaching.
One Research Fellow said: “Omar is an amazing teacher. He cares deeply for his students and goes all out to support them in every possible way. He has stellar academic credentials but is very humble and down to earth at the same time. I surely have a lot of good karma to be working with him!”
In addition to this, Research Associate Dr Aditya Karnik commented: "Omar gave me the opportunity to gain teaching experience which is extremely valuable for my future ambitions. Even if a fraction of his leadership skills rub on to me, it will hold me in good stead for the future. In reality, not even an essay would do justice to talking about Omar - he is such a people-centric, compassionate and fun-loving person.”
We would like to thank Omar for his dedication to the department, and we look forward to many more years working together!
You can find out more about Omar in his interview for ChemEng Conversations, where we discussed his approach to teaching and what he enjoys about his work. Follow him on Twitter @OkMatar and @MatarLab.
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