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K-State News

Darren Dawson

Dean of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering
LeRoy C. and Aileen H. Paslay chair

Darren Dawson

As the dean of the largest engineering program in the state of Kansas, Darren Dawson is leading efforts to increase both doctoral and undergraduate student enrollments at Kansas State University. These goals play a part in the K-State visionary plan of becoming a Top 50 Research University by 2025, as well as the state's initiative to increase the number of engineering graduates by 50 percent in 10 years to meet Kansas' demand for engineers.

Dawson became the dean of engineering and the LeRoy C. and Aileen H. Paslay endowed chair on July 1, 2014. Before joining K-State, he was professor and chair of the electrical and computer engineering department at Clemson University, where he led doctoral enrollment increases from 42 students in 2007 to 100 students in 2013, while the department's undergraduate enrollment grew from 340 to 540 students in the same period.

At Clemson, he held the endowed position of McQueen Quattlebaum professor between 2001 and 2014. From 2005 to 2007, he served as the electrical and computer engineering department graduate coordinator. Since June 2004, he has served on the Methode board of directors, where he is currently a member of the technical and compensation committees. In 2014, Dawson retired from Clemson after 24 years of service with the status of professor emeritus.

As a researcher, Dawson has targeted the design and experimental validation of advanced model-based controllers for mechatronic systems, such as electric motors, robot manipulators, overhead cranes, active magnetic bearings, flexible cables/beams, vision-based systems, automotive systems, unmanned vehicles, etc. In these areas, his research group attacked and solved several open problems associated with important and/or benchmark nonlinear control applications. His work in generalized mechanical systems is often cited by other researchers as the first solution to the global, adaptive, output feedback tracking control problem for a general class of Lagrange Euler systems.

Dawson authored and/or co-authored one graduate textbook, seven research monographs, four book chapters, more than 190 journal papers and more than 325 conference papers that, as of 2015, have resulted in a total of more than 8,000 citations and an H-index of 45 according to Google Scholar. His research group presented more than 300 talks at national and international conferences, universities and workshops.

He directed 34 completed Ph.D. dissertations and 53 completed master's theses at Clemson. Dawson served the control and robotics community as past associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Control System Technology, past associate editor of Automatica and a member of numerous conference program committees. His work has been recognized by several awards, including the NCR Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1992, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1994, the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1994, the Georgia Institute of Technology Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award in 1995, the Centennial Professorship in 2000, the Murray Stokely Award for Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003 and the COES Collaborative Research Award in 2007.

Dawson has a doctorate in electrical engineering as well as a Bachelor of Science degree with highest honors in electrical engineering, both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After completing his undergraduate degree in 1984, he worked for Westinghouse as a control engineer from 1985 to 1987. In 1987, he returned to the Georgia Institute of Technology where he received his doctorate in March 1990. In July 1990, he joined the electrical and computer engineering department at Clemson University.

Dawson can be contacted at 785-532-5590 or dmdawson@k-state.edu.