Samueli School Celebrates "Engineering the Future,” Fariborz Maseeh Awards

Prominent community leaders and engineering faculty honored for their contributions, research and teaching

Two prominent community leaders were recognized at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering’s annual dinner and awards banquet on Sept. 21, 2010.  Scott Garrett, retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Beckman Coulter, Inc., and Robert E. Grant, chief executive officer and president of Bausch & Lomb Surgical, were both presented with the “Engineering the Future” award. 

The Samueli School was also pleased to honor two exceptional faculty members at this event in recognition and appreciation of their numerous contributions to advancing research and enhancing the quality of teaching at UC Irvine.  Syed A. Jafar, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was given the Fariborz Maseeh Outstanding Faculty Research Award, and William “Bill” C. Tang, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and electrical engineering and computer science, was presented the Fariborz Maseeh Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award.

2010 Engineering the Future Award – Scott Garrett

For His Invaluable Leadership in the Orange County Business Community, and His Commitment to The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine

Scott Garrett is the retired chairman, president and chief executive officer of Beckman Coulter, Inc. Garrett was named chairman of the board of directors in 2008.  He became CEO in Feb. 2005, was elected to Beckman Coulter’s board of directors in Jan. 2005, and was named president and chief operating officer in Dec. 2003. Garrett joined Beckman Coulter in 2002 as president of the Clinical Diagnostics Division.

In the five years as CEO, Garrett led Beckman Coulter through a period of significant growth and change to a $3.6 billion company with 12,000 employees on six continents. During this time, the company converted the way customers acquired their instruments from sales-type leases to an operating-type lease model, providing a stable and reliable base of recurring revenue. Company-wide implementation of Lean Six-Sigma methods enabled reductions in brick and mortar footprint while maintaining industry-leading quality levels. Organizational changes yielded greater operational flexibility and the introduction of eight major instrument systems and many new tests. Several acquisitions, including the most recent, the acquisition of the lab-based business of Olympus Diagnostics, position the company for continuing expansion.

Prior to his experience in private equity, Garrett spent nearly 25 years in the medical device and life science industries working for Baxter International and American Hospital Supply Corporation. He began his career with Baxter in research and development and was awarded several patents. After working in research and development, his career progressed through business development to general management.

Garrett is a member of the Dean’s Engineering Leadership Council of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Valparaiso University, and an M.B.A. degree from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

2010 Engineering the Future Award – Robert E. Grant

For His Invaluable Leadership in the Orange County Business Community, and His Commitment to The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine

Robert E. Grant is chief executive officer and president of Bausch & Lomb’s global surgical business.  Prior to joining Bausch & Lomb, Grant served as president of Allergan Medical since May 2006. He played a central role in leading the merger integration following the $3.2 billion acquisition of Inamed. During his tenure at Allergan Medical, Grant worked to mainstream his division’s products and technologies (BOTOX Cosmetic, Juvederm, Natrelle breast implants, and LAP-BAND) across the medical rejuvenation industry. Today, Allergan Medical leads the multi-billion dollar category by combining its unique direct-to-consumer advertising expertise, professional marketing strategies and continuous innovation and research discovery.

Previously, Grant served as a director, chairman of the board, president and CEO of BIOLASE Technology, Inc., a publicly traded cosmetic dentistry company (Irvine, Calif.). At BIOLASE, Grant led a successful turnaround of the medtech manufacturer. He originally joined BIOLASE in 2003 as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Grant is a member of the Dean’s Engineering Leadership Council and the Department of Biomedical Engineering Corporate Advisory Board of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine. Grant holds a B.A. degree from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A. degree (graduating with honors) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Additionally, he attended the President’s Seminar at Harvard Business School. He has lived and worked in nine countries and speaks Japanese, French, Korean and German fluently.

2010 Fariborz Maseeh Outstanding Faculty Research Award - Syed A. Jafar, Ph.D.

Syed Ali Jafar, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, received a B. Tech. degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India, in 1997, an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), in 1999, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, in 2003.

Jafar conducts research in the areas of multiuser information theory and wireless communications.  He has made extraordinary contributions in the field of wireless and computer networks.  His innovative approach on increasing the capacity of wireless networks is considered a breakthrough in the Information Theory and Networking communities.

Fariborz Maseeh Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award - William C. Tang, Ph.D.

William C. Tang, Ph.D., has been a professor of biomedical engineering and electrical engineering and computer science at UC Irvine since 2002.  During his time at the Samueli School, he has made exceptional contributions to a variety of courses in Biomedical Engineering, and in particular the Capstone Design course sequence. 

He leads an active research program on biological systems at the micro- and nano-scales with mechanically-derived modalities, and he is also the associate chair for undergraduate education for the Department of Biomedical Engineering.  Tang received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980, 1982, and 1990, respectively.