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George Mason University’s College of Engineering and Computing associate professor Nathan Kathir has racked up many accomplishments over his career. This July, Kathir will add another as he starts his three-year term as a member of the executive committee for the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.
ABET is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that independently accredits engineering, engineering technology, computer science, and applied and natural science programs at universities in the United States and internationally. It is widely recognized as the educational standard for STEM programs.
Kathir, a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a Professional Engineer (PE), has been a part of ABET since 2000. “When I was a member of the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE), they mentioned they were looking for PE’s to be program evaluators for ABET, so I joined and was an evaluator for 16 years,” says Kathir.
Kathir evaluated numerous engineering programs in the U.S. and abroad, and in 2016 he became a commissioner, a role he held for the full five-year term that ended in July 2021. Executive committee members make up an even smaller group of the ABET leadership team, and the appointment recognizes successful prior leadership as a commissioner or team chair.
“This year, ABET nominated seven people for the executive committee of EAC. Usually, on the executive committee, you find deans and department chairs. I’m very honored to be serving ABET at this level,” says Kathir. “Since my bachelor’s degree is from a foreign country and wasn’t ABET accredited, it was a bit of a handicap at first. But I set my bar high, and I reached it.”
Currently, Ken Ball, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, serves on the executive committee of ABET EAC, and his term will end in July 2022. David Binning from Mason’s Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering Department previously served as chair of EAC, and he currently serves as the past chair.
“I look forward to continuing the tradition and keeping Mason proud. Thank you to the college leadership for allowing me to continue my support to ABET,” says Kathir.
In October 2021, Kathir was also appointed as chair of ASCE’s Committee on Accreditation (COA). COA leads ASCE’s accreditation efforts to include administering strategic accreditation priorities, policies, and programs.