The chairman of the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Cullen College of Engineering will be receiving an honorary degree from an university in Poland, as well as attending the official opening ceremony of the EU Healthcare Center – sponsored by ROYAL Philips – with the country's president as the guest of honor and providing two different talks, during a trip next week.
Metin Akay, John S. Dunn Endowed Chairman of Biomedical Engineering, said he was thrilled to accept the honor.
“I am deeply honored, but humbled, to receive a Honoris Causa degree from the Silesian University of Technology,” Akay said. “My students, postdocs and collaborators, as well as especially my family, tremendously supported me and tirelessly worked with me in this challenging, but rewarding, journey. They deserve most of the credit.”
Akay said he was notified of the honor by the president of the Silesian University. The university has also put out a press release about the honor.
“The nomination and evaluations were done by two Polish Academy Members, and I received the unanimous vote of the Silesitions University Technology Senate,” he said. “I was highly emotional on the phone. The Silesian University of Technology is a premier research university in Poland and has the faculty (College) of Biomedical Engineering with a brand new building and research facilities. The university will house the largest EU Healthcare Innovation Center. I was also pleased to learn that Dr Bernand Picard, who is one of the most respected explorers, psychiatrists and environmentalists, was the previous honoree.”
Akay has several connections to the school. In 2009, he was invited to speak at an international conference hosted by the Silesian University of Technology. In 2013, he was invited as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer to speak at the IEEE Chapter. Early in 2021, he was also contacted by the faculty of the BME at the university to work with them to develop a unique curriculum for undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering, and to explore potential collaborations between Silesian and UH.
Akay arrives in Poland on Sunday, Oct. 3. The next day, he and his wife Yasemin will attend the official opening of the largest European HealthTech Innovation Center as the guests of honor, along with the president of Poland, government officials and medical industry leaders.
On Oct. 5, Akay will attend an inauguration event for the 2021-22 academic year at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering of the Silesian University of Technology. Constructed in 2010, it was the first and remains the only faculty of its kind in Poland. Akay will also be speaking at an event, “Healthcare Innovations, Education and Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century.” The following day, Akay will attend an inauguration event for the medical school.
Akay will receive an honorary degree on Oct. 7. He will also give a televised talk, which he has titled “Challenging and Rewarding Journey.” The next day, he and Dr. Yasemin Akay are scheduled to meet with students in small groups, before returning to Houston.