Inspiration and Impact

Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance awards FIU Professor Arvind Agarwal with 2023 World Class Faculty Award

College of Engineering and Computing Professor Arvind Agarwal is the winner of the World Class Faculty Award, a prestigious accolade given annually by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. The honor serves as a recognition of Agarwal’s innovative research and impactful contributions to Broward County’s educational and economic landscapes. 

“Congratulations to Dr. Agarwal on being named the Alliance 2023 World Class Faculty honoree. We are fortunate to have his academic expertise and leadership here in South Florida, benefiting not only students at FIU but our entire community and enhancing our economic competitiveness as a region,” said Bob Swindell, President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development. 

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s mission is to lead Broward County in building a stronger and more diverse economy by stimulating the creation of new jobs and capital investment while facilitating the growth and retention of businesses in Broward County. 

“It is a true honor to receive the Alliance’s 2023 World Class Faculty Award,” Agarwal said. “I am sincerely grateful to my students and colleagues for their first-class efforts in building the research capabilities of our university. It makes me proud that we are contributing to this exciting time of development and innovation in South Florida in several industries including manufacturing, technology, and aerospace.” 

Agarwal has risen to prominence in academia and the South Florida community during his two decades at FIU. Today, he is a Distinguished Professor and Chair in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and the Director of the School of Biomedical, Materials and Mechanical Engineering. The FIU faculty member has written three books and more than 300 journal articles. He has also been awarded 15 patents. Throughout his career, Agarwal has received $30 million in federal research funding as a principal investigator and $33 million as a co-principal investigator. 

One of Agarwal’s current research initiatives is the development of advanced materials and coatings for NASA’s Artemis mission to the moon. These coatings are designed to protect technology against lunar dust and radiation in space. Currently, this material is being exposed to space radiation for testing at the International Space Station. The FIU professor is also part of a team that has developed a new miniature heart to better understand and treat cardiovascular problems. Created from nanoengineered parts and human heart tissue, the replica will allow researchers to closely study the heart muscle and changes that occur due to disease or high blood pressure.  

Agarwal also contributes to academic excellence through mentorship. As Director of FIU’s Plasma Forming Laboratory, he helps students conduct highly innovative research in materials. One student, under the guidance of Agarwal, is 3D printing a lunar dust simulant provided by NASA. He is exploring if it is possible to make strong, durable structures on the moon using materials from beyond Earth. 

In acknowledgement of his academic accomplishments, Agarwal has been named a fellow of several eminent associations and societies, including the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Ceramic Society and the American Society of Materials International. He is also a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors.