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Rafig Azzam, Ph.D.
With more than 35 years of academic experience to his credit, Dr. Azzam has been recognized as a professor emeritus with RWTH Aachen University since 2017. Prior to this appointment, he was the president of the German National Association of engineering geology from 2009 to 2017, the vice president of the International Association of Engineering Geology (IAEG) from 2015 to 2018, the head of the Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology at RWTH Aachen University from 2002 to 2017, and as professor for RWTH Aachen University from 2002 to 2017. Previously, he served the Department of Engineering Geology and Environmental Geotechnics at TU Bergakademie Freiberg as a professor and department head from 1993 to 2002. Dr. Azzam began his career at RWTH Aachen University as a senior lecturer from 1987 to 1992 and as research assistant from 1980 to 1984.
Before embarking on his professional path, Dr. Azzam pursued an education at RWTH Aachen University, earning a Diploma in Geology in 1978. He would conclude his studies at the same academic establishment in 1984, graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy, summa cum laude. Following these accomplishments, Dr. Azzam was presented with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Shanghai University of Science and Technology. During his academic carrier, he published more than 220 scientific articles and supervised more than 60 PhD students.
Beyond his efforts within the field, Dr. Azzam has contributed to numerous endeavors outside of his professional circles. A consultant-in-field of environmental Geotechnics, and member of the executive on the board of directors for the German Association of Geotechnics and on the board of directors on the Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Brownfields (CiF). Dr. Azzam has also found much success with his written works, having edited “Mitteilungen zur Ingenieugeologie und Hydrogeologie” in 2004, authored “Stofftransportprozesse in natürlichen Dichtungsstoffen unter Berücksichtigung der Verdichtbarkeit sowie des Einflusses strukturverändernder Chemikalien auf die Materialeigenschaften,” and contributed over 200 articles and reviews to professional journals.
In addition to his primary trade, Dr. Azzam remains affiliated with various organizations in relation to his areas of expertise. He has been, besides being on the executive board for the German Association for Geotechnical Engineering, member of the DIN Standards Committee for Building and Civil Engineering, as well as the India Delegate for RWTH Aachen University, an audit member for ASIIN, and a reviewer for the German Research Foundation. He has also been associated with the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability as founder and coordinator. Dr. Azzam has also held the role of adviser for the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Greek Ministry of Research and Technology, the Research Council of Norway, the Austrian Foundation for Advancement in Scientific Research, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In light of his exceptional undertakings, Dr. Azzam has accrued several accolades and honors throughout his impressive career. From 1985 to 1987, he was recognized as a Research Fellow with James Cook University. Dr. Azzam has also received an Award for Thousand Talent Foreign Experts from the Government of Shejiang Province in 2015 and from the National Government in the People’s Republic of China in 2017, the Prize of the German Government and Industry in 2009, and the Borchers Medaille from RWTH Aachen University in 1984.