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Engineering Professor Leon M. Tolbert Named Head of Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. Leon Tolbert
Leon Tolbert, Min H. Kao Professor and Head, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Dean of Engineering, Dr. Wayne T. Davis, has named Dr. Leon M. Tolbert, the Min H. Kao Professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), as head of the EECS department effective January 1, 2013.

Tolbert, an internationally respected researcher in the areas of power systems and power electronics, hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy, and silicon carbide power electronics, will take leadership during a time of tremendous growth for the EECS department. The department completed a move to the new Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building in January of this year, and celebrated the dedication of the new facility in March. The expanded classroom and laboratory space offers tremendous potential for both teaching and research.

The department also received a five-year, $18 million grant from the National Science Foundation and US Department of Energy to establish an NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center (ERC) focused on research, education, and technology for sustainable energy systems with an emphasis on power transmission systems. The Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT) involves a consortium of academia, industry, and national laboratories. Tolbert is a participating researcher in CURENT.

Tolbert received the Chancellor’s Multidisciplinary Research Award this year. He was also the awarded the college’s Moses A. and Mayme Brooks Distinguished Professor Award in 2010. He was named a TCE Research Fellow in 2012, 2007, and 2003. He was awarded the Min H. Kao Faculty Fellowship in 2006 and was named the Min H. Kao Professor in 2008.

Tolbert received his BS, MS and PhD, all in electrical engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Tennessee and is a Fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is also a member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of such a high-caliber researcher and educator to serve in this important role in the EECS department,” said Davis. “Dr. Tolbert is an outstanding faculty member and under his leadership the department should achieve even more progress in the future.”

Tolbert replaces the current department head, Kevin Tomsovic, who plans to devote himself full time to his role as director of CURENT.

For more information, contact Kim Cowart in the Engineering Communications Office at 865-974-0686/