Parrish Receives UA Engineering’s T. Morris Hackney Leadership Award

  • March 28th, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama College of Engineering announces Dr. Allen S. Parrish, professor and director of the Center for Advanced Public Safety, as the 2012 T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership award recipient.

The T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award honors a faculty member who exemplifies the constant guidance and leadership necessary to make the College of Engineering exceptional. Parrish will receive his award at a ceremony March 31 at the North River Yacht Club.

Parrish began working at The University of Alabama in 1990 as an assistant professor of computer science. In 1996, he was promoted to associate professor and, in 2005, achieved the rank of professor. In 2000, he became the director of the CARE Research and Development Laboratory, or CRDL.

Under Parrish’s leadership, CRDL was elevated to center status and renamed the Center for Advanced Public Safety, or CAPS, by the board of trustees of The University of Alabama in 2009. Researchers at CAPS strive to create innovative solutions through information technology research and cutting-edge software development in order to enhance the public safety and security of the state and homeland.

Through Parrish’s vision and direction, CAPS evolved its portfolio into a myriad of research and software products and services in the areas of traffic safety, law enforcement, homeland security, criminal justice and, most recently, health and human services.

The center’s electronic citation and electronic crash programs revolutionized the Alabama Department of Public Safety’s response to traffic safety issues. Software developed at CAPS is in use in all 50 states, and its work is nationally acclaimed in the area of traffic safety records systems.

As director, Parrish oversees more than $5 million in annual research expenditures from more than 20 state and federal sponsors and supervises a staff of about 75 professional staff members and students. Since coming to the department of computer science, Parrish has been awarded more than 125 externally-funded research grants worth more than $40 million, and he has more than 75 refereed publications.

In addition to his director duties at CAPS, Parrish is involved with numerous professional organizations. He is the past chair of the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission, responsible for overseeing disciplinary accreditation of higher education computing programs nationally and internationally.

Still actively involved, Parrish is currently leading a national revision of computing accreditation criteria. He was a member of the IEEE Computer Society Educational Activities Board and served on several conference steering committees and as program chair for the Frontiers in Education Conference. He is active as a reviewer for a variety of professional journals and conferences.

Parrish received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1983, followed by his master’s and doctorate degrees in computer science from The Ohio State University in 1987 and 1990, respectively.

This award was created as a tribute to T. Morris Hackney and was made possible by the contributions from John H. Josey and his son, Howard Josey.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 3,300 students and more than 100 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater scholars, Hollings scholars and Portz scholars.


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.