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K-State Today

April 19, 2013

Two engineering professors earn endowed appointments

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University's College of Engineering is recognizing the accomplishments of two electrical and computer engineering professors with endowed appointments.

Anil Pahwa, professor, was awarded the Logan-Fetterhoof electrical and computer engineering faculty of distinction chair. Pahwa's research focus includes computer methods for power systems, smart distribution systems, and distribution system planning and analysis.

He is currently conducting research funded by two separate National Science Foundation grants, one involving holonic multi-agent control of intelligent power distribution systems and the other dealing with effects of environmental factors on distribution system outages. Pahwa is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, now known as IEEE, so honored for his contribution to power distribution system automation and restoration. He is also a recipient of the IEEE PES Douglas M. Staszesky Distribution Automation Award, Frankenhoff Outstanding Research Award, Eta Kappa Nu Distinguished Faculty Award and the Power Engineering Education Committee Prize Paper Award.

He is an active member of IEEE, serving as editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, chair of the power and energy education committee, and vice chair of the power system planning and implementation committee. He is the general chair of the 45th North American Power Symposium to be at Kansas State University in September.

Pahwa received his Bachelor of Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India; his Master of Science from the University of Maine at Orono; and his doctorate from Texas A&M University, all in electrical engineering.

Bala Natarajan, also a professor, was awarded the Clair N. Palmer and Sara M. Palmer electrical engineering professorship. Natarajan's core expertise spans theoretical domains of statistical signal processing, stochastic and mathematical modeling, and optimization theory. He directs the wireless communications and information processing research group at Kansas State University, which over the past decade has made significant contributions to the areas of wireless communications, sensor networks and signal processing in cyber physical systems, e.g., smart grid and biomedical systems.

Natarajan has more than 100 refereed research publications, has published a book and holds a patent on a customized spreading sequence design algorithm for code division multiple access systems. Two of his currently funded research projects include a NASA EPSCoR grant involving biosensor networks and telecommunication subsystems for long-duration missions, EVA suits and robotic precursor scout missions; and a National Science Foundation grant involving the K-State student chapter of IEEE and its senior design projects to aid children with disabilities.

Natarajan is a senior member of IEEE and has served in leadership roles of organizing and chairing tracks and sessions for numerous IEEE conferences, as well as on journal editorial boards in the signal processing and communications areas. He is a voting member of the IEEE technical committee on cognitive networks, as well as the IEEE technical committee on wireless communications.

Natarajan received his Bachelor of Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India, and his doctorate from Colorado State University, both in electrical engineering.