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Farouk Ben Ammar

  • PhD
  • Writer
  • Press
  • 4PublicationsNumber of items in Farouk's My Publications folder on Mendeley.

Recent publications

  • Heat transfer during impact

    • F.Ben Ammar M
  • An asymptotic solution for short time transient heat conduction between two dissimilar contacting bodies

    • H.G.Georgiadis J

Professional experience



January 2011 - Present

Director & Assistant General Manager

Ministry of Employment - Tunisia

August 2007 - Present

Senior Advisor to the Minister

Ministry of Education - Tunisia

January 2003 - July 2007(5 years)

Assistant to the General Director

Nouvel Air - Tunisia

September 1997 - November 2000(3 years)

Plant General Director

IMM - General Motors - Tunisia

November 1991 - September 1995(4 years)

Research and Teaching Assistant

The University of Michigan

September 1987 - June 1991(4 years)


Ph.D Applied Mechanics

The University of Michigan

September 1987 - August 1991(4 years)

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

University of Michigan

September 1985 - August 1987(2 years)

Chief Mechanical Engineer Diploma

National Engineering School of Tunis

September 1979 - June 1985(6 years)


When Farouk Ben Ammar was working toward his master's degree (1987) and PhD in applied mechanics (1991), he just assumed he'd pursue an academic career in Tunisia, his country of origin. Little did he expect he would be where he is today: a senior advisor to the Minister of Education and Training and the recipient of the title of knight by the country's president. Ben Ammar earned both of those honors in 2003, after only a brief period of service to the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment before moving to the Ministry of Education and Training. Ben Ammar's winding career path began in 1991 when he was hired as a general manager of a General Motors plant in Kairouan, in central Tunisia. The plant assembles Isuzu pickup trucks and Opel cars. The operation was one of the most significant private investments in the country, he says, and "this was a great opportunity for me to get thorough experience in industry and to be in contact with GM engineers from all over the world." Five years later, Ben Ammar moved to Tunis, the country's capital, and joined the public sector. He became the director of strategic studies and the coordinator of a project financed by the World Bank, both for the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment's National Center of Continuous Training and Professional Promotion. He served for a year and then took a position with a private aviation firm as the assistant to the general manager. Four years later, Ben Ammar returned to the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment and was appointed Director of Information Systems of one of the ministry's agencies. His team excelled in developing and implementing Total Quality Management programs for the continuous training of workers and development of information systems, and his results came to the attention of the minister. Shortly after, Ben Ammar was named Senior Advisor to the Minister of Education and Training and was charged with developing e-government, information systems projects and quality systems in education. He happily accepted the position, "a tremendous honor." (Former minister Moncer Rouissi is now the Tunisian ambassador in Paris.) The e-government projects that Ben Ammar oversees are a key component of the reform of the Tunisian administration that aims to simplify administrative procedures for citizens and to reinforce the democratic process initiated by the current president, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, explains Ben Ammar. On any given day, his work might involve writing and presenting project status reports to the minister, organizing meetings with the ministry's managers and organizing workshops to set and monitor project action plans. In 2003, Ben Ammar also received the formal designation, "Chevalier de l'ordre national du merite dans le domaine de l'education et de la science," or knight, in recognition of his contributions to the country in the area of education and science. "Usually people work for many years before earning an honor like this," says Ben Ammar. "So I was really surprised and delighted to receive it after only six months as a close collaborator of the minister. I believe it was granted in recognition of very hard work--hard work does pay--and it has pushed me to try even harder, just like those good old days at Michigan." "Farouk was forward looking and, in addition to his analytical skills, performed a very meticulous experiment, measuring the heat transfer rate during impact of particles with a surface, the first of its kind as I remember," says Professor Massoud Kaviany, who co-chaired Ben Ammar's thesis committee with Professor Barber. "He has kept in touch with us and we are very happy for his achievements and well-deserved recognition." Ben Ammar says his time in ME, particularly working with Barber, Kaviany and committee members Professors Ludema, Arpaci and Faeth prepared him well for his current position with the Tunisian government. "My work at U-M helped me a lot in acquiring an analytical approach to problems and good organizational skills and rigor, and that has helped my career even though I chose not to pursue an academic one. What you learn at Michigan is how to take any 'real-life' project and lead it to successful completion."