FEA Distinguished University Alumnus Award

To Dr. Kamal Shair in recognition of his outstanding professional leadership and achievements, excellent public service, and generous support of education.

Kamal Shair
B.S, University of Michigan, 1949
M.S, University of Michigan, 1950
Ph.D, Yale University, 1955
Senior Partner and Managing Director
Dar Al-Handassah (Shair & Partners)

Dr. Kamal Shair was born in 1930 in Salt, Jordan. He spent two years as a student at AUB before he moved to the University of Michigan, USA, where he earned the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering in 1949 and 1950. He then moved to Yale University where he received the Doctor of Engineering degree in 1955.

He is a founding Senior Partner and Managing Director of Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners) from 1956 to date, in charge of general management and operations. From 1985 to date he is in control of strategic and operating plans of the subsidiaries of Dar Al-Handasah, namely, Perkins & Will of Chicago, T.Y. Lin of San Francisco, and Penspen of London, UK. The group is continuously ranked among the Top 10 international design firms in the world.

Dr. Kamal Shair was an Assistant Professor (1956-1958) and an Associate Professor (on leave) of Engineering at AUB (1958-1962). He is a member of the Board of Trustees of AUB, (1990 to date); Head of the Committee for Finance and Economic Affairs (1993 to date); member of the Advisory Council of the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University (1987 to date); member of the Board of Advisors of the World Bank (2000 to date); member of the Board of Advisors of the MENA region, World Bank (1999 to date). He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Beirut University College, Lebanon (1986-1992),

He was the Vice-President of the Jordan Development Board (1962); Governor of the World Bank on behalf of Jordan (1962); Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jordan Phosphate Mines Co. (1967); member of the Jordan Senate (1989-2001); Head of the Committee for Finance and Economic Affairs, Jordan Senate (1993-2001); and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Palestine Development and Investment Co. (1994-1998).

He is a member of the American Phi Kappa Phi Society; member of the Lebanese Order of Engineers and Architects, Beirut; member of the Engineering Union in Iraq; member of the Jordanian Syndicate of Engineers; and member of the Arab Thought Forum.
Dr. Shair is the recipient of First Order of Independence Medal, Jordan (1968); National Cedar Medal, Lebanon (1983); and Lebanese Order of Merit Medal, Lebanon (2001).


Engineers and Science Parks

Dr. Kamal A. Shair
Senior Partner and Managing Director
Dar-Al-Handasah (Shair & Partners)


We live in an era in which innovation and the utilisation of knowledge are central to development, and in which much depends on being smart. University institutions have a key role to play and engineers and designers are central in the process of forming business enterprises to forge progress. A celebrated example of the role of the engineer in establishing a highly successful development is the initiative of Fred Terman, Dean of Engineering at Stanford in the 1950s, which initiated the development of Silicon Valley in California.
Terman’s vision was to establish a scholarly community extending beyond the university to encompass knowledge-intensive business enterprises that would develop and thrive with continual interaction with others in the community. Silicon Valley became an economic development phenomenon spawning hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs, world changing technologies, and some of the most dynamic global business enterprises of the last half century. It also demonstrated the science park’s role as an instrument of development in the knowledge economy.
Science parks have promoted development and created dynamic development poles in some of the most successful emerging economies. The paper suggests that AUB and the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture have a significant contribution to make to extending initiatives to develop and operate science parks and incubate knowledge-based enterprise in Lebanon. Such an initiative would contribute significantly to the National development effort and to fulfilling the aspirations that this University prepares its graduates to aspire to.