Fariborz Maseeh

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Fariborz Maseeh
(Persian: فریبرز مسیح)
Portland State University
University of Texas at Austin
OccupationBusinessman, Philanthropist

Fariborz Maseeh (Persian: فریبرز مسیح : Farīborz Masīh) is an Iranian-born Iranian-American engineer who works in the field of micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS). He founded IntelliSense in 1991 and sold it in 2000.[citation needed] He is the founder and managing principal of Surlamer LLC, an investment management firm managing investments in private companies, a diversified portfolio of commercial and residential real estate, and several proprietary traded hedge funds.[citation needed][1] He is the founder of Kids Institute for Development and Advancement (KiDA), an Irvine, California, treatment clinic and education facility for autistic children. He is the founder of Orbitron LP, a global macro long-short hedge fund. He is the founder and president of The Massiah Foundation, a charitable organization.[citation needed].

Life and career[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Fariborz Maseeh was born in Tehran, Iran, and arrived in Portland, Oregon in his teens. He graduated from Portland State University (PSU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering with honors in Structural Engineering. He then graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a master's degree. While there, he performed research in the Department of Aeronautics.[2] Maseeh then returned to PSU where he earned another master's degree in Applied Mathematics.[3] Maseeh remained in the Portland area and taught engineering courses at Clackamas Community College. After his family life was stabilized, he ventured to Boston to earn a doctorate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After receiving his doctorate, Maseeh started working as a Senior Research Scientist at a technology start-up firm in Silicon Valley. He resigned after one year to found IntelliSense.[citation needed]

Technology entrepreneur[edit]

Maseeh founded IntelliSense in 1991. IntelliSense was the first company focused on the custom design, development and manufacturing of next-generation MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) operation and became one of the world's fastest-growing MEMS companies. It was twice named to the New England Technology "Fast 50"[4] and the Forbes' "Fast 500".[5] Maseeh sold IntelliSense in 2000. Following the transaction, Maseeh joined the Corning management team but resigned after a year. Maseeh founded Picoco LLC as well as the Massiah Foundation in 2001.[6]


Maseeh manages an investment firm, Surlamer Investments, where he manages hedge funds, real estate funds, and educational and entertainment operations.

He has developed and funds a number of new operating businesses for social causes including Kids Institute for Development and Advancement, a school for autistic children in Irvine, California, as well as the Port Theater in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach.[7][8] Through the Massiah Foundation, Maseeh looks for social causes where his investment creates material change in a community through philanthropic efforts. Since 2000, the Massiah Foundation has funded over $2 million in scholarships for over 300 students from Lawrence High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts.


Maseeh actively looks for unique philanthropic venues with large public benefit applying management principles. Through the Massiah Foundation, Maseeh utilizes the concept of venture philanthropy targeting unique opportunities to invest in entities that will have a lasting and significant social impact per invested capita. Selected examples of his philanthropy are listed below:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology[edit]

  • Maseeh Hall (2010): The Massiah Foundation donated $24 million to expand the undergraduate student body.
  • Maseeh Chair in Emerging Technologies (2003): The Maseeh Chair was held by the Provost and is currently held by Vladimir Bulovic.
  • Excellence in Teaching Awards (2002: Department of Civil Engineering)
  • Terrascope Program: Freshmen have the chance to couple their research with the crucial visit to a location where they can best learn about all of the issues associated with climate management.
  • MITSEED Academy: The Saturday Engineering & Enrichment Discovery Academy is an academic enrichment and career exploration program for students in high school.

Portland State University[edit]

  • Fariborz Maseeh Hall (2019): Key funder in the $60 million renovation and renaming of the building which houses the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics + Statistics, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU.
  • Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science (2004): The Massiah Foundation awarded the largest gift in the history of PSU to support building the Northwest Center for Engineering, naming it Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science. It also endows professorships and graduate scholarships. It is the first school to be named after an Iranian American
  • Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics (2009): Made a philanthropic investment in computational science to increase research and education in large computing and applied fields of Mathematics and Statistics. First Mathematics Department to be named.
  • Maseeh Colloquium and Lecture in Mathematics and Statistics
  • Maseeh Fellows: Gives graduate student scholarships in engineering.
  • Kamelia Massih Outstanding Student and Faculty in the Arts Prize
  • Kamelia Massih student Lounge, Donna J. Koch Student Lounge, Dryden Drop Tower, Chik Erzurumlu Scholarships

University of California, Irvine[edit]

  • Ferdowsi Presidential Chair in Zoroastrian Studies (2019): The first presidential chair in Zoroastrian Studies in the United States
  • Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies: First independent campus center in the United States for Persian Studies and Culture
  • Endowed chairs:
    • Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies and Culture (School of Humanities)
    • Maseeh Professor in Persian Performing Arts (Clair Trevor School of the Arts)
    • Howard Baskerville Professor of Persian History (School of Humanities)
  • Alborz Auditorium: Created challenge grant to name auditorium at the Department of Humanities at UCI (named after the renowned Alborz High School in Tehran, Iran).
  • Rollestone Hall (2009): Funded its creation and named after A. A. Rollestone, main benefactor to the creation of Alborz High
  • McCormack Theater (2009): Funded its creation and named it after Nettie Fowler McCormick, benefactor to the creation of Alborz High
  • Henry Samueli School of Engineering (2003): Created Maseeh Best Research and Best Teaching Awards
  • Various Student Scholarship in Medicine, Athletics; also supports through UCI Medal Ceremony.

University of Southern California[edit]

  • USC Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition (2010)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Fariborz Maseeh". utexas.edu. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  3. ^ "Portland State University – Profile". pdx.edu. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  4. ^ Business Wire (August 9, 2000), 's+Fastest-Growing+Technology...-a063966317 "IntelliSense Named One of New England's Fastest-Growing Technology Companies Second Year in a Row"
  5. ^ Business Wire (November 30, 1999), "IntelliSense Named One of the Fastest-Growing Technology Companies in the U.S. by Deloitte and Touche"
  6. ^ "MIT alumnus gives $24M to expand the Institute's undergraduate student body: Fariborz Maseeh cites pressing need for MIT graduates", MIT News, MIT Press Office, September 8, 2010.
  7. ^ LISA LIDDANE (July 16, 2012). "Port Theatre reopens Friday as 'theater for the community'". The Orange County Register. Retrieved April 25, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Portland State Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science: Mechanical & Materials Engineering". pdx.edu. Retrieved April 25, 2016.