Distinguished Professor Majid Sarrafzadeh Appointed Levi James Knight, Jr. Chair for Innovation

Majid Sarrafzadeh

UCLA Samueli

Dec 2, 2022

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

The UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has appointed Majid Sarrafzadeh, a distinguished professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering, as the Levi James Knight, Jr. Term Chair for Innovation, effective retroactively July 1. 

Sarrafzadeh was selected to hold the chair for his contributions to the advancement of digital and wireless health using embedded sensor-based wearable systems.

Established in 1989 through a bequest from Knight’s wife Evalyn, the chair was named in honor of Knight who served in the U.S. Navy from 1927 to 1949, reaching the rank of captain upon his retirement. In 1952, Knight joined UCLA where he worked on the Engineering Extension program before becoming a student counselor from 1954 to 1971. He continued to work as an academic associate and lecturer until his retirement in 1973.

At UCLA, Sarrafzadeh directs the eHealth Research Lab, which focuses on solving challenges in data science, embedded systems, data analytics and algorithm design. In 2016, he co-founded the Center for SMART Health, a collaborative that explores new technologies in data acquisition and analysis. 

A prolific entrepreneur, Sarrafzadeh has co-founded several companies based on his research breakthroughs at UCLA, including Bruin Biometrics, which saw its innovative bedsore scanner selected as one of Time magazine’s 2020 inventions of the year

Sarrafzadeh received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining UCLA in 2000, he spent 13 years on the faculty of Northwestern University. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The endowment fund for the chair, which has continued to increase since it was established, was recently split to support two term chairs — the aforementioned Levi James Knight, Jr. Term Chair for Innovation and the Levi James Knight, Jr. Term Chair for Excellence, the latter is held by Philippe Sautet of chemical and biomolecular engineering. In 2003, the Knight family also funded the Evalyn Knight Chair in Engineering, which is held by Ali Mosleh of materials science and engineering.

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