Interim Chair named for ECE Department

17 November 2010

Photo of Pratul Ajmera

The College of Engineering Dean, Rick Koubek, named Dr. Pratul Ajmera the interim chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering after the sudden death of the Department's chair, Dr. Jorge Aravena.

Koubek made the announcement three weeks after Aravena's death. After considering those willing to serve as interim, Ajmera was selected.

“Dr. Ajmera brings many years of experience in the Department and on Faculty Senate,” said Koubek in a statement to the Department staff. “His awareness of university operations, long ties with the alumni and keen interest in seeing the Department move forward will serve us well as we navigate what looks like quite challenging fiscal times.”

Ajmera received his bachelor's degree in 1968 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, and his master's and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina in Raleigh in 1971 and 1975, respectively.

He has taught electrical and computer engineering at LSU for 28 years and specializes in semiconductor materials and devices, material processing, MEMS, and integrated microsystems. He has been named the McDermott International Professor and Newton B. Thomas Professor.

Ajmera will serve as the interim chair until a permanent chair can be put in place. Koubek asked for support of Ajmera as he takes on his role at such a critical time.

Aravena served as the chair of the Department from July 2010 until his death and before that, he served as the interim chair for two years. His death on September 17 was sudden and left a wake of sadness and mourning throughout the Department. He was a beloved professor, mentor and advisor for over 30 years in the Department.

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Article by Louise Thompson. For questions or comments contact Associate Director of Development & Communications, Tammy Abshire, at 225-578-5478 or