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Two Faculty Named to Endowed Professorships

Aug 02, 2021   |   by Julie Bonette

Dartmouth Engineering Professors Laura Ray and Charles Sullivan have both received endowed professorship appointments that were recently approved by the Dartmouth Board of Trustees.

"Both Laura and Charlie have contributed tirelessly to Thayer's mission for many years," said Dartmouth Engineering Dean Alexis Abramson. "I am pleased to announce these two new appointments."

Laura Ray headshot

Laura Ray, The Myron Tribus Professor of Engineering Innovation

Laura Ray is now the Myron Tribus Professor of Engineering Innovation, which supports a faculty member who embraces innovation in teaching, research, and service.

Ray, who has been at Thayer 25 years and previously served as interim dean, will also retain her role as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development. Her research interests include system dynamics and controls; robotics; signal processing; and machine intelligence. Her NASA- and National Science Foundation-funded research includes developing robots to support science in polar regions, and she has led several student finalist teams through various NASA competitions, including a win at the 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge.

Ray, a faculty fellow in Dartmouth's Society of Fellows, also developed the proposal for the first position hired in Dartmouth's academic cluster initiative and chaired the search committee. She is also co-founder of two companies – Sound Innovations, Inc., and Clarisond, Inc. – and co-leads Dartmouth’s I-Corps Site, a National Science Foundation initiative to support innovation and entrepreneurship in U.S. colleges and universities. An author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles who holds 5 patents, Ray is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) as well as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

She earned her bachelor’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton, where she also earned her PhD. She also holds a master’s in mechanical engineering from Stanford.

"I am truly honored to be named to the Myron Tribus Professor of Engineering Innovation," said Ray. "The legacy of Myron Tribus is engrained in everything we do at Thayer — our academic program, our research, and our culture of innovation — and I am thrilled to have taken part in carrying out this legacy over the past 25 years and to continue to do so with the support of this chair."

Charles Sullivan headshot

Charlie Sullivan, The Sue and John Ballard '55 TT'56 Professor of Engineering

Charles Sullivan has been named to the Sue and John Ballard '55 TT'56 professorship, which supports a faculty member whose teaching is true to the highest standards, whose scholarship has contributed significantly to the advancement of interdisciplinary knowledge, and who has a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship.

Sullivan, who also serves as director of the Power Management Integration Center, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), has published more than 200 technical papers in magnetics, power electronics, electric machine modeling and control, and energy efficiency. Other career honors include being named the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Electronics Society Modeling and Control Technical Achievement award, and being named a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and an IEEE Fellow. Sullivan also holds 43 patents and is a co-founder of Resonant Link, a wireless power transfer startup.

He received his bachelor's in electrical engineering from Princeton University, and his PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

"This means a lot to me," said Sullivan. "I will strive to live up to the name it carries, and to the example set by my predecessor in the chair, Bill Lotko. Thayer School provides the ideal environment for the three priorities of the professorship: excellent education, interdisciplinary research, and entrepreneurship, and I look forward to doing more of all of these."

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