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2008-2009

Gordon Dean Answers Demand for Leadership in Engineering Education

Bernard M. Gordon

At a time of unprecedented demand for leadership in engineering education and training, WPI has established the Bernard M. Gordon Deanship in Engineering. The Gordon Deanship was created with a generous gift from Bernard M. Gordon.

"WPI has a distinguished history as a very fine engineering school, preparing young people for the effective practice of engineering in important domains," says President Dennis D. Berkey. " The Gordon Dean in Engineering will help strengthen and expand WPI's ability to contribute new knowledge and develop innovative solutions to address the challenges facing today's world."

The Gordon Dean will be the senior administrator charged exclusively with the promotion of engineering education, as distinct from Institute-wide education, and will be responsible for enhancing the vibrant academic community of engineers and scientists, and fostering the critical relationships with industry that will bring important research to the marketplace.The Gordon Dean will also exemplify WPI's commitment to leadership education.

Bernard M. Gordon is known for his inventive mind and extraordinary record of technology leadership. In 2001, the National Academy of Engineering inaugurated and named in his honor a $500,000 prize for innovative educational programs designed to prepare students to become engineering leaders. With more than 200 patents to his credit, Gordon has applied his creativity and ingenuity to a broad range of societal problems, producing innovations in such areas as fetal monitoring, digital Doppler radar, digital music, computer-aided topography, and explosives detection.

As a teenager during the Great Depression, Gordon tinkered with radios and won science prizes at Springfield (Mass.) Technical High School. Enlisting in the Navy, he was selected into the V-12 officer training program, which sent him to study at MIT and Tufts University. After the war he returned to MIT, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering under the GI Bill.

Gordon began his career at Eckert-Mauchley Computer Company, which later became part of Unisys Corporation. There, he helped develop UNIVAC I, the world's first commercial digital computer - a historic breakthrough. Later, at Laboratory for Electronics in Boston, he conceived the ubiquitous dot matrix display and traffic control systems, among other pioneering technologies. In 1963, he co-founded his first company, EPSCO Inc., where he and his teams conceived the first high-speed analog-to-digital conversion technology, which would find its way into all manner of electronic devices, from EKG machines to compact discs. Gordon today is known as the "father of high-speed analog-to-digital conversion."

A decade later, he started Gordon Engineering, hailed for its invention of the first solid-state x-ray generator and pioneering data acquisition modalities. In 1969, Gordon Engineering became Analogic Corporation, a company legendary for its far ranging innovations in medical and digital imaging and measurement systems. Gordon retired as chairman and CEO of Analogic in 2003. Still driven to use his engineering skill to improve our quality of life, he co-founded NeuroLogica, which has developed a compact, high-speed CAT scanner.

Gordon's technical and philanthropic achievements have won him numerous honors and awards through the years. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering; he has been awarded the IEEE Engineering Leadership Recognition Award and the National Medal of Technology. Gordon received an honorary degree from WPI at commencement 2007.

Gordon's generous gift to support a critical area of WPI's ongoing fundraising initiatives-faculty development-reflects his commitment to innovation, solving complex problems, and engineering education, all values with deep roots at WPI.

"The Gordon Deanship in Engineering Leadership promises to be one of WPI's most vital and visible academic leaders over the next century," says President Berkey.

June 24, 2009

 
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