Shelton educator lands university president job in Michigan

Tarek M. Sobh

Tarek M. Sobh

Contributed photo /

SHELTON — Dr. Tarek M. Sobh’s commute to work is not going to get any easier.

The Shelton resident and former educator at the University of Bridgeport was recently appointed as the eighth president of Lawrence Technological University in Michigan, where he has served as vice president of academic affairs and provost since 2020. He will officially start on Jan. 1, 2022.

“I am truly honored,” Sobh said about being named the university’s eighth president. “I look forward to continue working with my highly talented and accomplished colleagues at Lawrence Tech and affirming our eminent institution’s stature as the most innovative university in the region.”

Sobh, known internationally for his robotics expertise and as the founding dean of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Engineering, Business and Education, said LTU has an international reputation for cutting-edge programs, adding that he is privileged to continue this tradition.

Lawrence Tech is a creative and innovative comprehensive university that prepares students for the future, according to Sobh. The school prepares students for job titles that do not even exist yet in all disciplines; and focuses on interdisciplinary technological education for the 21st Century careers with very strong ties to industries and research centers, he said.

“I was always aspiring to lead an eminent technologically-focused comprehensive university that has world-class distinctive outcomes and a distinguished employment record for its students, and truly changes the world in terms of innovative education programs, student placement, creative research and development, and industry collaborations,” he said. “LTU was the perfect match.”

Sobh previously served as interim provost; the university executive vice president, research and economic development and has founded the high-tech business incubator at the University of Bridgeport (CTech IncUBator).

His family plan to continue to call Shelton home. Sobh said he and his wife, Nihal Kandil, have four children, two of which are attending Shelton High. His son, Adam, is a junior, and his son Sami is a senior and captain of the school’s varsity soccer team and is currently applying to colleges.

His daughter, Haya, is a recent graduate of the Biological Sciences department of UConn, and currently works as clinic administrator at Wilton Dental Associates in Wilton, and is in the process of applying to dental schools; while his son, Omar, is an obstetrics and gynecology resident physician at the Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut. Both are also graduates of Shelton High. He said that he intends shortly to start a recruitment campaign to attract students graduating from Shelton High School and the surrounding communities to attend college at Lawrence Technological University.

Sobh said after his youngest son’s graduation, he and his wife plan to move full time to Southfield, Mich., the university’s home.

Sobh succeeds Dr. Virinder Moudgil, who has led LTU with distinction as president for nearly 10 years.

“Tarek has been innovative, direct, and driven in his role as provost,” Moudgil said. “He has accomplished much in a short time. I have every confidence he will continue Lawrence Tech’s expansion and success.”

Sobh’s background is in the fields of robotics, computer science and engineering, control theory, automation, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, computer vision and signal processing.

In recognition of his 25 years of leadership, the University of Bridgeport has awarded him the life-long honorary title and status of Distinguished Professor and Dean of Engineering Emeritus after he departed UB in 2020.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com