Fred J. Looft III Named Chairman of WP's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Contact: WPI Media Relations, Pat Samson 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. – November 20, 2003 – Fred J. Looft has been named head of Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prof. Looft has been with the university since 1980, when he joined the faculty as an assistant professor. He was named associate professor in 1985, and full professor in 1989. He completed his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Michigan, receiving a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering; a second master’s degree in Computer, Information and Control Engineering; and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.

Prof. Looft's research interests include space flight systems, computer architecture and embedded systems, biomedical signal processing, digital and analog systems, and educational methods. He is the founder and principal advisor for WPI's project center at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland where he has overseen the work of scores of students undertaking space research projects. Most recently, he is the PI on a educational research grant to develop a university nanosat. Prof. Looft is a senior member of IEEE. He and his wife reside in Leicester.

About WPI

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI’s innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master’s and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region’s biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs – including the largest industry/university alliance in North America – that have won it worldwide recognition.