Habib Rai earned a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton, Ohio, USA in 1988. He earned MS degrees in both Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics as well as a BS in Civil Engineering, all from the University of Dayton. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Rai held a postdoctoral research position at the Department of Aerospace Engineering Mechanics and Engineering science at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

During his time in Florida, Dr. Rai’s work was mainly focused on the micro-cracks in ceramic-based composite materials. He later joined Bell Helicopter research and development team in Fort Worth, Texas, as a composite materials engineering specialist. His work in Bell Helicopter shed light on a new area of research at the time, namely, curved fiber composites. His work in the field resulted in two patents which are used in the rotary and fixed-wing industry. He also developed finite element software to predict cured induced thermal stresses in thick multilayered composite material.

Dr. Rai spearheaded several research collaborations with several industrial organizations. Dr. Rai later started his academic career as an assistant professor in 1994 at Notre Dame University, Lebanon. During his time at Notre Dame Dr. Rai served as the chairperson of the engineering program. Dr. Rai laid the foundations of both newly created Mechanical, and Civil Engineering departments, at the time.

In 1997 Dr. Rai joined the University of Balamand as an Assistant Professor and has continued his research on the mechanics of composite material while mentoring several Balamand students. In 2000, Dr. Rai formed research partnerships with the University of Maine, Orono, where he later served as an adjoint professor. Dr. Rai served as a consultant to the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, his research was focused on the design methodologies of composite materials in the US aerospace industry.

While at UOB Dr. Rai’s main research work is mostly involved in the areas of fibrous composite materials, curved fiber composites, Impact and damage mechanics, material delamination effects, and crack propagation. He has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students and his work with his students has featured in several peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Dr. Rai served as a review specialist in the United Nations Development Program where he worked with a team of academic reviewers to assess the Engineering program at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco. He is also a member of several professional organizations such as the American Society of Composites, and the Lebanese Order of Engineers.
Honors & Awards
Best Paper Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1988