Honored 1997 IEEE President Charles K. Alexander



Charles K. Alexander1997 Chair of the IEEE, died October 17 at the age of 79.

The active volunteer has held several high-level positions throughout the organization, including 1991-1992 IEEE Region 2 boss. In 1993 he served as Vice President of the IEEE Council on American Activities (now IEEE-USA).


An IEEE Life Fellow has worked in academia throughout his career. At the time of his death, he was a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan Cleveland State University He served as its dean College of Engineering.

He was a former professor and dean at several schools incl Temple UniversityAnd the California State University, NorthridgeAnd the Ohio University. He has also been a consultant to companies and government agencies, and has been involved in research and development projects in the field of solar energy and software engineering.

Alexander was dedicated to making IEEE more useful and useful for engineering students. Help find Professional awareness of IEEE students Program that offers talks and networking events. Alexander also helped found a student publication for IEEE IEEE potential.

He mentored many students.

“My life has been affected very positively with the great opportunity of getting to know such a giant in the world of engineering,” he says. Jim Watson, a Senior Member of the IEEE and an Alexander Recipient. “While many engineers and coaches are very successful, Dr. Alexander rises greatly from those who have contributed to the success of others.”

Helping engineering students succeed

Alexander was born in Amherst, Ohio, where he became interested in mechanical engineering at an early age. He repaired the cars and machinery used on his family’s farm, according to A.S 2009 Oral History conducted by IEEE History Center.

He changed interests and then earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1965 from Ohio Normal University (now Ohio Northern University), in Ada. As a freshman, join the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, a predecessor of the IEEE. While an undergraduate, he worked as the secretary of the school’s AIEE student branch.

Alexander went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Ohio University at Athens in 1967 and 1971, respectively. As a graduate student, he advised the university Eta Kappa Nu Chapter, Engineering Honor Society which is now the IEEE Honor Society. He said in the oral history that he had greatly increased attendance at the meetings. Thanks to his efforts, he said, this class ranked among the top four in the country at the time.

After graduating, he joined Ohio University in 1971 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. During this time, he also served as an advisor to the United States air forces And the Navy, and designing manufacturing processes for its various new systems. Alexander also designed a test system for solid-state filters, which were used in atomic warheads for missiles on aircraft carriers.

He left after a year to join Youngstown State University, at Ohio State, as an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. He was a faculty advisor to the university’s IEEE student branch and helped grow its membership from 20 students to more than 200, according to oral histories. In 1980 he moved to Tennessee and became a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee Tennessee Tech University, in Cookeville. The school’s IEEE Student Chapter also helped increase its membership.

In 1986 he joined Temple University in Philadelphia as Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering. At the time, the university did not have an accredited engineering program, he said in the oral history.

“They brought me on board to help get my undergraduate programs accredited in all three majors,” he said. He also established master’s and doctoral degrees. electrical engineering programmes. He served as the acting dean of the university College of Engineering From 1989 to 1994.

After the engineering programs were accredited, Alexander said in oral history his job was done there, so he left Temple in 1994 to join California State University, Northridge. He was dean of engineering and computer science there.

Alexander returned to Ohio University as a visiting professor of electrical engineering and computer science. From 1998 to 2002, he was the school’s interim principal Institute of Corrosion and Polyphase Technology. Institute researchers predict and resolve erosion in oil and gas production and transportation infrastructure.

After a few years, Alexander said, he missed creating and developing engineering programs in universities, so when an opportunity arose at Cleveland State University in 2007, he seized it. As dean of the university’s College of Engineering, he added 12 faculty positions.

Support the professional development of student members

Throughout his career, Alexander has been an active IEEE volunteer. He held the position of chief IEEE Student Activities Committee, where he helped launch programs and services that are still offered today. They include the IEEE Student Professional Awareness Program and the WriteTalk program (now ProSkillsThis helps the students to develop their communication skills.

He was an editor at IEEE Transactions on Education. Along with a Senior Member of IEEE John R. McDermanhelped launch IEEE potential.

potential It was designed to be something of value to undergraduates, who don’t want to read technical papers,” Alexander said in the oral history. “We designed it afterward. IEEE Spectrum. John and I decided to include articles that would help students with topics such as career development and how to achieve success.

Alexander continued to climb the ranks of the IEEE and was elected 1991-1992 Director of Region 2. The following year, he became Vice President of the IEEE Council on American Activities (now IEEE-USA) and served in that position for two years.

He was promoted to an IEEE Fellow in 1994 “for his leadership in engineering education and the professional development of engineering students.”

He was elected chair of the IEEE in 1997.

“It was an incredible honor,” he said in the oral history. “One of the very special things that happened to me.”

Awarded in 1984 IEEE Centennial Medal In addition to numerous awards for his work in education, including the 1998 Distinguished Engineering Education Achievement Award and the 1996 Distinguished Engineering Education Leadership Award, both from Engineering CouncilUK regulatory body for the profession.

“Dr. Alexander has always emphasized the value of developing professional and ethical skills to enhance engineering career success,” says Watson. He encouraged others to apply Winston Churchill’s famous quote “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give”.

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