Trail of Accomplishments Leads to Professional Group’s Highest Honor for Cal State Fullerton Dean of Engineering and Computer Science
The highest honor that can be bestowed by the 365,000-member, worldwide Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Inc. (IEEE), whose roots go back 122 years, has been given to Raman Unnikrishnan, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Fullerton.
His designation as an IEEE Fellow will be effective New Year’s Day, 2007.
No more than one-tenth of one percent of the voting membership of the IEEE can be named a fellow member in any given year. Not only was Unnikrishnan made a fellow by a vote of the IEEE Board of Directors “for contributions to automatic control systems and power electronics education,” but the honoree does not even know all of those who supported him during the nomination process.
“I did not expect this to happen,” said the surprised and pleased dean, who is known to members of the campus community as Unni. “In fact, I’d forgotten about it. I found out I’d been nominated in January or February of this year and felt quite honored even to be nominated. But I also felt I had no chance, especially on the first try. Being voted in the first try is such a rarity. Such peer recognition … I feel honored and humbled.”
Others, he said, seem to feel he deserves to be a fellow, “but in my own mind I still feel as if I’m a freshman in college with a lot to learn.”
Unnikrishnan may still feel as if he is a freshman, but he has left a trail of both professional and educational awards and accomplishments behind him leading to the IEEE Fellow designation.
Before coming to Cal State Fullerton in 2001 to head the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Unnikrishnan spent 10 years as head of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Department of Electrical Engineering in New York.
By the time he left Rochester, the department had moved up to No. 3 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Also, along the way, he earned the RIT Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching, University of Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering, Xerox Corp.’s Professional Excellence Award, the Harris Corp.-RF Communications Division Certificate of Appreciation for his commitment to both the teaching and the profession of engineering, the IEEE Millennium Medal, IEEE Region 1 Award for leadership on advancing the education needs of the engineering community, CSUF Software Engineering Committee recognition for outstanding leadership and vision in the creation and development of new programs, and the CSUF Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association Certificate of Recognition.
He is also a program evaluator of electrical engineering and computer engineering nationally and internationally for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
A Fullerton resident, Unnikrishnan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.
Although the activities of the IEEE and its members may be a mystery to the bulk of the world’s population, the members’ inventions and improvements and the way in which the organization sets standards for automatic control systems, electrical and electronics architecture, computers and computer architecture, power electronics, data processing, documentation, education and educational standards, safety levels and evaluation of systems have far-reaching effects worldwide.
For additional information about IEEE and the fellow designation, contact IEEE Corporate Communications at 732-562-6820 or http://www.ieee.org/portal/site.
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