He was appointed as the Rector of University Tun Hussein Onn (UTHM) in 2005. He was in this highest academic official position for several years before he was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the university in 2007.
In 2009, Professor Dato’ Dr Ismail was appointed as the Head of Centre, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering before he was appointed to the current position as the Head of Centre, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UTHM.
Professor Dato’ Dr Ismail has published various research papers on projects relating to environmental engineering. He is also on various boards and advisory committees for country’s development programmes for engineers.