Dereje Agonafer is a prominent Ethiopian-American engineer and educator with a remarkable career. He currently serves as a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Texas at Arlington and holds the prestigious title of a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His contributions have also earned him a membership in the National Academy of Inventors since 2018.
Prof. Agonafer’s academic journey began with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, which he earned in 1972 from the University of Colorado Boulder. Following his passion for engineering, he joined IBM after completing his PhD at Howard University in 1984. His tenure with IBM spanned 15 years, during which he made significant contributions to the field.
Later in his career, Dereje Agonafer transitioned to academia and became a tenured Professor at the University of Texas in Arlington. His research interests encompass electronic packaging, heat transmission, and thermal engineering, where he has made valuable contributions.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Professor Agonafer was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2019. His election was in honor of his contributions to computer-aided electro/thermo/mechanical design and modeling of electronic equipment.
Moreover, Prof. Agonafer has taken on significant roles in academia. He serves as the Site Director of the National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Centre in Energy Efficient Systems and holds the position of Director of Electronic Packaging. His influence extends further as a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Throughout his academic career, Dereje Agonafer has mentored and guided numerous students. He has supervised the research of 15 PhD students and eight MS students, with an additional achievement of having graduated 250 graduate students since joining UTA in 1999, including 28 PhDs.
Beyond his contributions to academia, Professor Agonafer’s expertise has been sought after by governmental organizations and various businesses, including well-known companies like Facebook and Intel. His work has left a lasting impact on the field of mechanical and thermal engineering, making him a respected figure in both the academic and industrial sectors.