Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor John Orr Named IEEE Fellow

Prestigious Honor Bestowed on WPI Department Head

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Prof. Orr's Homepage

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Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. - December 18, 2002 -John Orr, professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and head of the ECE Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE.)

Professor Orr received the honor from IEEE for his contributions to electrical and computer engineering education. The IEEE board of directors confers the grade of fellow upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishment in the electrical engineering field; the total number selected in any year does not exceed one-tenth percent of the total voting IEEE membership.

Professor Orr joined the WPI faculty in 1977. After completing his B.S. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1969, he joined Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey. He attended Stanford University as a participant in Bell Labs' One Year on Campus program, receiving the M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1970. He remained with Bell Labs until 1974and participated in the video telephone project in the area of systems engineering for video transmission. He returned to the University of Illinois to pursue a Ph.D. in 1974, working in the area of spread spectrum communication. He received his Ph.D. in 1977. Dr. Orr performed some of the earliest work on fading effects on code division multiple access spread spectrum channels.

At WPI, Prof. Orr's research interests span several aspects of digital signal processing, including image processing and robot vision. He participated in the application of tensor theory to the problem of object recognition and pose determination from images. He received a NATO Advanced Study Institute Fellowship appointment for this work. He held the position of Visiting Scientist at MIT Lincoln Laboratories while on sabbatical from WPI, working in the area of signal analysis of radar returns from deep space satellites.

Prof. Orr served as general chair of a major IEEE-sponsored conference on engineering education, Frontiers in Education 2002, held in Boston in November. At WPI he has been awarded term appointments as the George I. Alden Professor in Engineering and the Weston Hadden Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prof. Orr is active in engineering education, including electrical engineering accreditation issues, the development of new introductory curricula, and the creation of MS programs oriented to the professional practice in growing areas such as computer and communications networks. Dr. Orr is an ABET Evaluator for Electrical Engineering, past member of the Educational Activities Board of the IEEE and past president of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads' Association. He has more than 50 professional publications.

The IEEE is a professional association of more than 377,000 members in 150 countries. Through its members, the IEEE is a leading authority in technical areas ranging from computer engineering, biomedical technology and telecommunications, to electric power, aerospace and consumer electronics, among others.

Prof. Orr is a resident of Holden, MA. Other IEEE fellows affiliated with WPI include President Edward A. Parrish, Dean Emeritus William Grogan; and professors Kevin Clements, Alexander Emanuel, Kaveh Pahlavan, and Robert Peura.