University Distinguished Professors

Appointment to the rank of University Distinguished Professor is the highest honor Northeastern can bestow upon a faculty member. Those named University Distinguished Professor have earned international recognition and distinction for educational, artistic, and/or scholarly contributions that have been transformative in their field.


Nadine Aubry, Dean, College of Engineering
A widely known leader in the field of mechanical engineering, particularly fluid mechanics, Dean Nadine Aubry was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2011. Among her many awards are the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers, and selection as a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is currently chair of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics and has been invited to give numerous seminars, keynote speeches, and distinguished lectures around the world.


Arun Bansil,Professor of Physics
An expert in theoretical condensed matter physics, Professor Bansil received his doctorate from Harvard in 1974 and joined the physics faculty at Northeastern in 1976. His research focuses on the electronic structure and spectroscopy of complex ordered and disordered systems, including novel superconductors, manganites, and topological insulators. He served a two-year appointment at the U.S. Department of Energy managing the theoretical condensed matter physics program. He has been an honorary professor at Tampere University of Technology in Finland, a guest senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a scientific consultant at the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation, and a resident associate at Argonne National Laboratory.


Albert-László Barabási, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science
An internationally recognized pioneer in network science, Professor Barabási founded and directs Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research, the foremost center in the field. His research led to the discovery of scale-free networks and the Barabási-Albert model explaining the widespread emergence of networks in natural, technological, and social systems that range from cellphones to the Web and online communities. His work on complex networks has received widespread attention, including the covers of Nature, Science News, and many other publications. His impressive scholarly work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Defense


Ahmed Busnaina, Dr. William Lincoln Smith Professor
Professor Busnaina is a world-renowned scholar and the director of the National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing. His research focuses on directed assembly used in the manufacturing of nanoscale structures for applications in energy, electronics, biomedicine, and materials. Research support has exceeded $44 million. Professor Busnaina has served as a consultant on microcontamination and particle adhesion issues to the semiconductor industry. An author of more than 420 papers in journals, proceedings, and conferences, he is also a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Adhesion Society and a Fulbright Senior Scholar.


Arthur Coury, Professor of Chemical Engineering
An award-winning expert on biomaterials for medical products, Professor Coury holds more than 50 patents and is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Chemical Society, and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He was vice president of biomaterials research at Genzyme Corp., has been a visiting professor at the University of Trento, Italy, and has been an invited lecturer at more than 30 universities. Professor Coury’s tireless service to his field includes serving as president for the Society for Biomaterials and as president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.


Stephen W. Director, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Stephen W. Director is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American Society for Engineering Education. He has served as chair of the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Engineering Education, and serves on numerous other boards and committees and as a consultant to industry, government, and academia. Provost Director has published more than 150 papers and authored or co-authored six texts. He has earned worldwide recognition and awards for his research and educational contributions. In 2002, he was named honorary professor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University by the Chinese Ministry of Education.


Terry Fulmer, Dean, Bouvé College of Health Sciences
Dean Terry Fulmer is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and currently serves as vice chair of the New York Academy of Medicine. Nationally recognized as a leading expert in geriatrics, she is best known for her research on the topic of elder abuse and neglect, which has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute for Nursing Research. Dean Fulmer is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the Gerontological Society of America, and the New York Academy of Medicine. She is currently a member of the Geriatrics and Gerontology Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


Vinod Sahney, Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Professor Sahney is one of the world’s foremost authorities in healthcare systems engineering. His pioneering scholarship focuses on using the principles of systems engineering to improve treatment, patient safety, and quality of care. Professor Sahney served as senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. He is an adjunct professor of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health and senior fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.