Joseph Tah, 41, and Farzad Khosrowshahi, 47
Professor in construction IT
Job advertised in The Times Higher, May 3 2003
The calibre of candidates for a chair in construction information technology was so high that Salford University decided to appoint two.
Both professors were educated in the UK, as well as having worked here for years, but they come from different parts of the world: Iran and Cameroon.
Part of the job is to co-direct the flagship Construct IT for Business centre of excellence. Les Ruddock, director of the 6*-rated Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment, says: "Lots of high-flyers applied and we had a shortlist of six."
Khosrowshahi and Tah are former colleagues. They worked at South Bank University for about four years until Khosrowshahi left two years ago for the University of Central England.
"It was coincidence that we both applied, but we both wanted to move to a research-caring institution," Khosrowshahi says.
His September start was delayed because he was busy on a proposal on integrated project instruments for the European Union's Framework Six programme that involved 80 people in 31 institutions in 11 countries. He then hand-delivered his first-stage proposal to Brussels - "because I don't trust DHL".
Tah's projects include developing computing environments to study cities in terms of sustainability and allowing local communities to participate. He is also working on modelling buildings and developing an MSc in corporate management of the built environment.
When their old South Bank boss, Rodney Howes, heard they'd got the jobs "he was so excited he went out and got drunk", says Khosrowshahi, "and he doesn't drink".