In Memoriam: Nabil Farhat, 1933-2020

Penn Engineering mourns the death of Dr. Nabil Farhat, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, who died on November 3, 2020.

Dr. Farhat was born in Palestine on November 3, 1933, and earned a doctoral degree in 1963 in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty of The Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1964 as assistant professor and he retired in 2012.

Dr. Farhat was a pioneer in optoelectronics and photonics and was one of the first to work on optical realization of neural networks in the early 1980s.

Dr. Farhat was the recipient of many honors and awards including Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Optical Society of America as well as receiving the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Dr. Farhat is survived by his beloved wife, Joan English Farhat; his brother, Amir Farhat; his sister, Malaka Safadi and her husband Bassam Safadi; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Susan English; two nephews, Rami Safadi and Andrew English; two nieces, Reema Safadi and Alice English; and two great nephews, Ryyan and Sam Safadi.

Penn Engineering has lost a brilliant teacher, mentor, researcher and friend. Dr. Farhat took great joy in life, and his warm smile and generous nature will be greatly missed.