Dr. Mark Thompson has been named head of the Kettering University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Thompson has spent the past 30 years at Kettering as professor of Electrical Engineering. Before that, he taught at Michigan Technological University for seven years. Thompson has a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.
"I am extremely pleased to have Dr. Thompson join the College of Engineering leadership team. His many years of experience as a professor here at Kettering University are a tremendous asset for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and for the College. I believe that his leadership will bring many positive changes and help prepare our students for the future,” said Dr. Craig Hoff, Dean of College of Engineering.
Thompson focuses his teaching and research in areas like semiconductor devices, electronic design, and automotive electronic control systems. He has always looked beyond the theory and stressed the practical applications of the concepts, he said.
When Thompson first came to Kettering, he said he was attracted to the University by its reputation for a strong undergraduate engineering program closely coupled to industry and the practice of engineering through the co-op program.
“I truly wanted to be a part of a faculty that contributed to this unique educational model. I must say that I’ve embraced this philosophy all these years and have developed a very deep and personal connection to this great university and a profound respect for my faculty colleagues,” he said. “In this position as department head, I can be a stabilizing factor here to help the department continue to move ahead with new programs and research. When you look at our jobs as educators and as human beings, we have an obligation to address and seek solutions to the problems facing society.
“So how do we, as educators, serve society? You start with your students. You bring programs, you bring courses, and you bring opportunities to the students so they can then fulfill their educational goals. Our job is to prepare them as well as we can to ultimately go forth and solve the problems of society.”
With the pace of current technology advancements accelerating in such areas as artificial intelligence, connected and autonomous vehicles, sustainable energy, zero emission vehicles, and communication networks, the ability to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries may be pivotable to the department’s continued success, Thompson said. He hopes to continue to bring advanced opportunities to courses and curriculum.
With continued advancements, Thompson sees a great opportunity to work on interdisciplinary research and projects throughout the University. The ECE Department will have opportunities to work across traditional boundaries, perhaps with Liberal Arts and the School of Management, among others, as industry leaders look at how connected technology and autonomous vehicles change society, culture, and politics.
“I look forward to addressing these challenges in my new position as Department Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering,” Thompson said. “I’m surrounded here in the ECE Department by dedicated and brilliant faculty and staff. I look forward to the challenge of meeting our obligations to our students and to society.”
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