Remembering Mohammed Nurul Afsar, Longtime Professor of Electrical Engineering

A faculty member since 1987, he specialized in precision measurement techniques

Mohammed Nurul Afsar, professor and former chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, died June 26. He was 76.

Kyongbum Lee, Karol Family Professor and dean of the School of Engineering, said in a message to the community that Afsar “made notable contributions to the field of electrical engineering through his dedication to research and education. He will be deeply missed.”

Throughout his career, Afsar made significant advancements in the field of precision measurement techniques and instrumentation for microwave, millimeter, terahertz, and submillimeter wave frequencies, Lee said.

He also conducted theoretical studies on a wide range of materials, including polymeric, glassy, amorphous, and chemical vapor deposition grown materials, ceramic and semiconductor materials, thin films, liquids and fluids, and electronic, biological, and magnetic materials.

Afsar received B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, an M.S.E.E. in microwaves and quantum electronics from University College London, and a Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of London.

He worked at the National Physical Laboratory, outside of London, from 1974 to 1978, then came to the U.S., working as a senior scientist at MIT Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory from 1978 to 1984. He taught at City College of New York for three years, then moved to Tufts in 1987 as a professor of electrical engineering. He was chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 2004 to 2006.

Afsar’s professional achievements were recognized by various prestigious organizations. In 2014, he was named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Life Fellow in recognition of his contributions to the development of measurement techniques for determination of complex dielectric and optical parameters of solids, liquid, and gaseous materials at millimeter frequencies and above.

He also held the title of Chartered Engineer in England and was elected as a fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, in 1986. Additionally, he was a chartered physicist and a fellow of the Institute of Physics, London.

Afsar published his research widely. His most recent paper, co-authored with Valencia Koomson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Wei Quan, EG14, EG21, was “Hexagonal Nano-ferrites used on a V-band Self-bias On-chip Circulator for CMOS” from 2022.

Among the classes he taught at Tufts were Introduction to Microwaves, Microwave Semiconductor Devices, Computer Aided Design of Microwave Circuits, Microwave Integrated Circuits, and Microwave System Engineering.

“The loss of Professor Afsar leaves a significant void in the hearts of his colleagues, students, and the academic community as a whole,” said Lee. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched during his remarkable career. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of researchers and engineers.”

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will offer a memorial service for Afsar; details will be shared when they are finalized.

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