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NC State Alumnus Named Egyptian Prime Minister

Dr. Hesham Kandil, a water and irrigation minister who received his Ph.D. in biological and agricultural engineering with a minor in water resources from NC State in 1993, was named prime minister by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Tuesday, July 24.

Kandil’s advisor at NC State was Dr. Wayne Skaggs, William Neal Reynolds Professor, Distinguished University Professor and member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Skaggs had this to say about Kandil:

“Hesham was my graduate student.  He was sent to NC State by the Drainage Research Institute (DRI) of Egypt’s Ministry of Irrigation to study drainage. The financial support came from a USAID program to address water resource issues and strengthen research capabilities in Egypt. His specific objective was to work on developing a soil salinity component to our DRAINMOD simulation model. His boss at the time, Dr. Safwat Abdel-Dayem, had spent a year on sabbatical (from the DRI) with our program at NC State working on DRAINMOD.  Subsequently I visited and worked with Safwat and his colleagues in Egypt as part of the USAID program. One of our jobs was to identify graduate programs in the U.S. where their engineers could get in-depth training in irrigation, drainage and water resources. Hesham was completing his master’s at Utah State University and was identified as one of the candidates to come to NC State to study for a Ph.D. and get advanced training in drainage theory and application.

“Hesham was a very bright, hard-working student who did an outstanding job on his Ph.D. He developed methods to describe the effect of drainage system design and irrigation scheduling on soil salinity and crop yields. He developed the salinity version of our water management model, DRAINMOD, and tested and applied the model using data collected in the Nile Delta.

“Hesham is a personable, very technically able individual who works well with people at all levels. He is rock solid technically, is a person of outstanding moral and ethical character and is a pleasure to be around. He has had considerable experience in working as the Minister of Irrigation (a very big job in Egypt) and before that with the African Development Bank.

“In addition to being very bright, my experience with Hesham indicates that he is absolutely honest and will work as hard as he can to do his very best to benefit the people of Egypt. I am very proud of him. The job he now has is enormous.”

More information can be found here.

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