Saif Benjaafar awarded prestigious professorship

Photo: Rebecca Slater

Saif Benjaafar, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been named a McKnight Presidential Professor.

The McKnight Presidential Endowed Professorship is among the highest honors for faculty at the University of Minnesota. Recipients are recommended by their college dean and chosen at the discretion of the president based, in part, on their academic and research accomplishments and their contributions to advancing the University among its peers.

“I am humbled by this incredible honor,” Benjaafar says. “I am grateful to the University leadership and the leadership in the College of Science and Engineering for their support. This is a recognition of the contributions of many colleagues and many students over many years."

The endowment funding, Benjaafar says, “will allow us to expand the research footprint of our group and to undertake higher-risk and longer-term projects that may otherwise be difficult to pursue. In particular, I am excited about exploring innovative ways transportation services could be delivered to improve access. This work will leverage existing activities that have been generously supported by the Center for Transportation Studies over many years.”

Benjaafar, a CTS Scholar, has been engaged with CTS on a variety of projects and activities for more than two decades. He is the director of the Initiative on the Sharing Economy, an effort established by CTS in partnership with Benjaafar and other faculty members across the University and administered by CTS.

The McKnight award recognizes the critical importance of the University’s most distinguished faculty across all disciplines, as well as the importance of strengthening U faculty for the future. Only four other College of Science and Engineering faculty members currently hold this honor.


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Michael McCarthy