John A. Orr is Director of Sustainability and Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He served as Provost of WPI from 2007 through 2010 and prior to this he held the positions of Dean of Undergraduate Studies and head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Dr. Orr received the BS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He began his career at Bell Laboratories and joined WPI in 1977. Dr. Orr's research interests span several aspects of communications and digital signal processing, including applications to the smart grid and power quality. His other professional interests are in the areas of engineering education and sustainability. Dr. Orr is Chair of the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission and an ABET-EAC team chair. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and of the American Society for Engineering Education, and past president of IEEE-HKN, the electrical and computer engineering academic honor society and of ECEDHA, the ECE Department Heads’ Association.
The transistor was invented in the year that I was born. Throughout my career I have been fortunate to participate in the communications and computation revolution that this device spawned, and to be able to introduce new generations of students to the limitless horizons of ECE. My interest in sustainability developed from two quite different traits: my enjoyment of the outdoors together with an engineer's dedication to making things better.