EECS Professor Shannon Blunt and School of Engineering Dean Michael Branicky were recently named Fellows by the prestigious professional association the Institute of Electrical Electronics and Engineers (IEEE). Less than 0.1 percent of voting members are selected each year for Fellow status. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.
Blunt was recognized for “contributions to radar waveform diversity and design” that significantly impact current and future defense radar systems. Professor Blunt is considered a world leader in the discipline of radar waveform diversity, having developed whole new classes of radar waveforms and subsequent receive processing to address complex interference environments and the growing threat to radar spectrum resources, devised means with which to realize radar-embedded communications, and experimentally demonstrated new radar capabilities that had previously been limited to the theoretical realm. He co-edited the first book on the topic of waveform diversity, is a member of the IEEE Radar Systems Panel, is an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Aerospace & Electronic Systems, was General Chair of the 2011 IEEE Radar Conference held in Kansas City, Mo., and served as Chair of the NATO research task group SET-179 on Dynamic Waveform Diversity & Design. He also serves as the current Director of the KU Radar Systems & Remote Sensing Lab that was founded in 1964. He was the 2012 recipient of the IEEE Nathanson Memorial Radar Award and was selected in 2008 for a Young Investigator Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. From 2002 to 2005 he worked in the Radar Division of the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington and joined the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science Department at the University of Kansas in 2005.
Branicky was recognized for contributions to switched and hybrid control systems. Such systems arise whenever one mixes computer control with physical dynamics, with examples ranging from computer disk drives to aircraft autopilots, robotic cars and smart power grids. Branicky’s main research area has been their modeling, analysis and control, with particular application to robotic motion planning and to feedback control over the Internet. He has held research positions at MIT's AI Lab, Wright-Patterson AFB, NASA Ames, Siemens Corporate Research (Munich), and Lund Institute of Technology's Dept. of Automatic Control. From July 2008 to June 2010, Branicky was a program director at the National Science Foundation in Computer Systems Research and Cyber-Physical Systems, where he won the NSF Director's Superior Accomplishment Award. From 2011-2013, he served at the NSF as an Expert in the National Robotics Initiative (NRI). The NRI team received the Director's Award for Collaborative Integration in 2012.