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Bioengineering chairman named IEEE fellow

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

Khosrow Behbehani, chairman of the Bioengineering Department, has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Behbehani, also a bioengineering professor, was honored for his contributions to the development of respiratory therapy devices in chronic pulmonary diseases. He becomes the seventh UT Arlington faculty member to be elevated to IEEE Fellow.

“I’m honored for being named an IEEE Fellow,” Behbehani said. “I hope that more of the devices and techniques I’ve helped develop that led to this award find their way to commercialization where they can help many people.”

Khosrow Behbehani

Khosrow Behbehani

The majority of Behbehani’s work has focused on inventing devices and methods for diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. In 1990s, he and his team developed a device for treating sleep apnea patients, which was commercialized and used for treatment on several hundred people. Behbehani and colleagues hold nine U.S. patents on devices and methods related to sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.

Behbehani and his colleagues recently filed for another patent on an innovative, ultrasonic sensor system that can accurately detect whether a person suffers from sleep apnea without the inconvenience or cost associated with an overnight stay in a sleep center.

Researchers are currently identifying private partners to market the device.

Behbehani was one of 17 in his section nationwide so honored. He was one of only two researchers from Texas receiving the 2013 award in the medicine and biology section.

IEEE confers the grade of Fellow upon those with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of 1 percent of the total voting membership. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

College of Engineering Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet said Behbehani’s contributions in the area of sleep apnea are stellar.

“Behbehani’s work on sleep apnea is so important because the malady affects so many people in various ways,” Bardet said. “And Behbehani’s sleep apnea research could lead to all kinds of different applications from here. What’s important is that better detection can lead to early and effective treatment.”

About 15 percent of adults nationwide suffer from sleep apnea.

Behbehani didn’t start his career out as a bioengineer. He was in aerospace studying jet engine safety. He adapted the principles and methods used in that aerospace research to his work for a private company in the respiratory device manufacturing business, which led to the first FDA-approved, computer-controlled critical care respiratory machine. Hundreds of thousands of patients have been treated using the respirator .

Besides working for the private medical device company, Puritan Bennett, Behbehani also logged time as a NASA researcher where he worked as a doctoral student.

Behbehani’s work is representative of the groundbreaking research taking place at The University of Texas at Arlington, a comprehensive research institution of 33,200 students and more than 2,200 faculty members. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 385,000 members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. The IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world’s literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed more than 900 active industry standards. Visit www.ieee.org to find out more about the organization or about the Fellows.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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