By Stephen Greenwell
The chairman of the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Cullen College of Engineering received an honorary degree from a university in Poland, as well as attended the official opening ceremony of the EU Healthcare Center — sponsored by ROYAL Philips — with the country's president as the guest of honor and provided two different talks during a trip last October.
|Metin Akay received an honorary degree from Silesian University in Poland and was the guest of honor for the opening of the EU Healthcare Center in that country in October 2021. As part of the trip, Akay gave a talk at the opening [top], while attending the ceremony.|
“I am deeply honored, and humbled, to have received an 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 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 department at the university to work with them to develop a unique curriculum for its undergraduate and graduate biomedical engineering programs, and to explore potential collaborations between Silesian and UH.
Akay and his wife Yasemin also attended 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.
In addition, the Akays attended 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 effort of its kind in Poland. Akay also spoke at an event, “Healthcare Innovations, Education and Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century”, and attended an inauguration event for the medical school.
Akay also gave a televised talk, which he has titled “Challenging and Rewarding Journey.”