Electric circuits, systems educator gets 2011 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award

Charles A. Desoer's cutting-edge research influenced generations of engineers and provided substantial progress in circuits and systems analysis and design. IEEE honored Dr. Desoer with the 2011 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award.


Charles A. Desoer, a researcher and educator whose cutting-edge research and teaching have influenced generations of engineers and improved the use of electric circuits and systems, who passed away in November 2010, has been honored by IEEE with the 2011 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award. IEEE is reportedly the world’s largest professional association advancing technology.

The award, sponsored by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, recognized Desoer for crucial conceptual research contributions to the behavior and the use of electrical circuits and systems. The award was accepted by family members on February 21, 2011, at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, Calif.

With contributions spanning more than 30 years, Desoer’s work on the analytical foundations of circuit and system theory was important not only for its own sake but because it came at a time of explosive development in methods for the analysis and synthesis of complex circuits for the integrated-circuit industry. This coincided with the burgeoning growth in control applications for aerospace, transportation, process control and other essential industry sectors. These industries all benefited from Desoer’s clear statement of what was analytically verifiable. Desoer’s impact can be measured through his research and guidance of over 40 doctoral students at the University of California, Berkeley, and through textbooks considered to be the most authoritative references in circuits, systems and control.

Desoer’s work on linear and nonlinear circuits came at a time when there was a shortage of textbooks on the subject but also when the growing integrated-circuit market needed a foundation in nonlinear circuit analysis, simulation and synthesis. His landmark textbooks include “Basic Circuit Theory” (McGraw Hill, 1969), co-auhored with E.S. Kuh; “Notes for a Second Course on Linear Systems” (Van Nostrand Rhinehold, 1970); and “Linear and Nonlinear Circuits” (McGraw Hill, 1987), co-authored with L.O. Chua and Kuh. His work presented methodologies now found in modern electronics and set systems theory within a firm and elegant conceptual framework. The immense impact of Desoer’s contributions can still be seen in electrical engineering research and design throughout the world.

Dr. Desoer was an IEEE Life Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His major awards included a Guggenheim Fellowship; a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of California, Berkeley; the Medal of the University of Liège; the Prix Montefiore, Liège; the IEEE James Mulligan Jr. Education Medal; the American Association of Control Education Award; the IEEE Control Society Technical Field Award; and the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Mac Van Valkenburg Award. He obtained a radio engineer degree from the University of Liège, Belgium, and a doctor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Desoer began his career at Bell Labs, Murray Hill, N.J. In 1958 he joined the University of California, Berkeley, as professor of electrical engineering, where he was an Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.



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-Edited by Amanda McLeman, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

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