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ISU Professor Mustafa Mashal Earns Fulbright and Erskine Fellowships to Qatar and New Zealand

April 25, 2022

Mustafa Mashal greeting Bill Gates at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. in 2010.
Mustafa Mashal, right, greets Bill Gates at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. in 2010. Mashal was among five Fulbright students selected by the Department of State to participate in a Q&A session.

An Idaho State University professor has landed two of the most prestigious national and international fellowships.

Recently, Dr. Mustafa Mashal, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Fellow and faculty member at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), was announced as a winner of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award and the University of Canterbury’s Visiting Erskine Fellowship. 
Mustafa Mashal
Mustafa Mashal
For his Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, Mashal will conduct research and teach at Qatar University in Doha, Qatar for 10 months. While there, he will research the use of titanium alloy bars to retrofit structurally deficient concrete buildings. In terms of teaching, he’ll be the instructor for a graduate class in precast concrete, a seminar on high-performance precast, training sessions, and other assignments by the host university. 
“It’s an honor to be selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar,” Mashal said. “I thank those who supported my Fulbright application and provided me with valuable feedback.”
“Dr. Mashal is a strong example of the world-class faculty that we have at Idaho State University,” said President Kevin Satterlee. “Earning a Fulbright Scholar Award is no easy task, and we commend Dr. Mashal for his efforts and thank him for his contributions not only to our University and students, but to bettering our communities.” 
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. The Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, a presidentially appointed 12-member board, is responsible for supervising the Fulbright Program worldwide and approving the selection of all Fulbright recipients. 
“These awards are a testimony to the outstanding work and reputation that Dr. Mashal has established during his career,” said Dr. Scott Snyder, Dean of ISU’s College of Science and Engineering. “A Fulbright award is considered a pinnacle of academic achievement. We are very proud of Dr. Mashal for his accomplishments and very fortunate to have him at ISU.”
Before starting his Fulbright Program in Qatar, Mashal will pack up and head to Christchurch, New Zealand for four months for his Visiting Erskine Fellowship at the University of Canterbury, one of the world’s premier schools in civil engineering. At the University of Canterbury, he’ll teach a class on designing and retrofitting reinforced concrete bridges to withstand earthquakes and collaborate with the faculty on research projects. Roughly 70 distinguished academics from around the world are invited to the University of Canterbury to give lectures to students each year.
“I am very humbled to be selected for the University of Canterbury Visiting Erskine Fellowship and joining the ranks of other distinguished academics who have received this fellowship,” said Mashal. 
“As a CAES Fellow, Mustafa has helped expand its focus beyond the traditional energy sector to Homeland Security and, more recently, Net Zero initiatives,” said Dr. David Rodgers, ISU’s Associate Director of CAES and Associate Vice President for Research at Idaho State University. “He'll be an exceptional ambassador for ISU and the CAES consortium.”
The pair of fellowships bring Mashal’s academic and professional careers full circle in a couple of ways. First, he was a Fulbright graduate student at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 2009 to 2011.  
“I have very fond memories of my time as a Fulbright student,” Mashal said. “The most memorable part was being among the five Fulbright students selected by the Department of State to participate in a Q&A session with the 2010 Fulbright Prize Winners, Bill and Melinda Gates, at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.,” Mashal said.
Second, his return to the University of Canterbury sees him make his way back to where he received his Ph.D. in civil engineering in 2015. 
“I am very excited to be spending some time at my alma mater, sharing what we’ve been working on at ISU, and learning from my New Zealand peers about their activities,” said Mashal.  
Mashal will serve in his fellowship roles while on sabbatical leave from ISU. When he returns in the fall of 2023, he will be sharing his research findings and experience living in Qatar and New Zealand with peers at ISU and others throughout the United States. 
“I plan to use the Fulbright and Erskine opportunities to promote mutual understanding, build new connections and partnerships, develop research/teaching collaboration, and explore student/faculty exchange programs between ISU and the institutions in Qatar and New Zealand.”  
For more information on ISU’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, visit isu.edu/cee


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