Article: Office Hours With CIM Professor Mohammed Albahttiti
What a great article by Chico State Today’s Almendra Lawrence about CIM Professor Mohammed Albahttiti. “Office Hours with Concrete Industry Management Professor Mohammed Albahttiti” follows Albahttiti’s journey from American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates to Kansas State and finally the CIM program at Chico State.
Concrete Industry Management (CIM) professor Mohammed Albahttiti didn’t set out to attend graduate school and teach. It was a bit of serendipity—and bad timing—that placed him at Kansas State University and cemented his path to higher education and eventually Chico State.
As an undergraduate at American University of Sharjah, he met a visiting professor from Kansas State while volunteering on a research project. The professor handed Albahttiti a business card and encouraged him to reach out if he had an interest in grad school.
“I wasn’t really interested in grad school at that time,” he said. “Like any other graduate, I just wanted to get done, work, make money, and start my life.”
But Albahttiti, a native of the United Arab Emirates, graduated as the country faced an economic downturn. With no job prospects lined up, he contacted the Kansas State faculty member, who offered to cover his tuition if he accepted a graduate research assistant position as a part of a National Science Foundation-funded grant to study natural fiber as concrete reinforcement.
After completing his master’s and doctorate degrees at Kansas State, Albahttiti taught there for a year and a half before joining Chico State in 2017.
Since arriving, he has eagerly led CIM students in service-learning projects, including building concrete Habitat for Humanity homes in Paradise and the Chico Islamic Center parking lot project. He is also an advisor for two student clubs: Women in Concrete and the American Concrete Institute (ACI) student chapter.
“I strongly believe that his involvement in community service projects has had positive impacts on our students as well as on our community,” said CIM professor Feraidon Ataie.
Albahttiti is this year’s recipient of the Early Career Community Engagement Award from Chico State’s Office of Civic Engagement. The award recognizes faculty within the first six years of their academic career who are pursuing community-engaged teaching or research.
Photo credit: Jason Halley/University Photographer