UAB to present world-renowned scholar for distinguished lecture

Acclaimed remote sensing expert and namesake of a Star Trek aircraft Farouk El-Baz will speak at UAB.

el_baz_webFarouk El-Baz, Ph.D., a world-renowned expert in remote sensing — a technique in archaeological surveying by which information about an object or phenomenon is acquired without making physical contact — will present the 2013 Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

The free public lecture titled “Origins of Ancient Egyptian Civilization” will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2013, at the Alys Stephens Center Jemison Concert Hall located at 1200 10th Ave. South, followed by a public reception.

Each year the Ireland Award brings internationally renowned scholars in the arts and sciences to UAB to present a public lecture and participate in campus activities. El-Baz was nominated for the Ireland Award, a prize made possible through an endowment established by Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland, by Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology at UAB.

“Professor El-Baz is a globally recognized scientist and humanitarian,” Parcak said. “He has more than 50 years of experience conducting research in geology, archaeology, remote sensing and space exploration for NASA. His work has impacted diverse scientific fields, and he is a respected advocate for peace and understanding in the Middle East following the Arab Spring.”

2013 Ireland Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture
6 p.m.
Monday, March 2, 2013
Alys Stephens Center Jemison Concert Hall
1200 10th Ave. South

El-Baz is director of the Center for Remote Sensing and research professor at the Departments of Archaeology and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University. He conducts and directs basic scientific research in the field of remote sensing. In modern usage, remote sensing generally refers to the use of aerial sensor technologies to detect and classify objects. Emphasis is placed on arid lands, because less is known about them than the humid regions of Earth, and remote sensing can be used to identify the location of groundwater resources. He also has conducted research on surface features of solar system planets.

El-Baz served as supervisor of Lunar Science Planning for the Apollo Program from 1967 to 1972. His stellar work was praised during Apollo Mission 15. While circling the moon, Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden said, “After the King’s (Farouk's nickname) training, I feel like I’ve been here before.”

El Baz, who holds degrees from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, and the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, as well as the University of Missouri at Rolla, has even been noted by the entertainment industry. In the TV show, “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” a shuttlecraft was named El-Baz after him. In “From the Earth to the Moon,” a segment called “The Brain of Farouk El-Baz” looked at his role in the training of Apollo astronauts. Actor Isa Totah played El Baz.

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