ECpE-Former department chair wins national award

Article written for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State. Online version can be found here.

April 20, 2016

S.S. (Mani) Venkata, a former ECpE Department Chair at Iowa State University, was awarded the prestigious Robert M. Janowiak Outstanding Leadership and Service Award at the 2016 Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA)  Annual Conference and ECExpo in La Jolla, California this past March.

The Robert M. Janowiak Outstanding Leadership and Service Award is given to an individual with a continued record of leadership and service to ECEDHA, and to the field of electrical and computer engineering.

“I am pleased to hear that Mani Venkata, our former department chair, has won the Robert M. Janowiak Outstanding Leadership and Service Award,” said Dr. David Jiles, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor and Palmer Endowed Departmental Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “He is an exceptional technical leader who keeps very active in the field of electrical and computer engineering and is well deserving of this prestigious award.”

Mani Venkata has an immense and distinguished past with various institution within the electrical and computer engineering community.  In the past 45 years, he has conducted research, education, design, and development work that have had impacts in scholarly research and industrial practice.

Venkata is an IEEE Fellow and recipient of IEEE’s Third Millennium Medal (2000). He has published and/or presented more than 375 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He also co-authored the book, Introduction to Electric Energy Systems. In 2015, Venkata won the IEEE PES Douglas M. Staszesky Distribution Automation Award for contributions to the design and implementation of smart distribution automation systems.

Dr. Manimaran Govindarasu, ECpE’s Associate Department Chair and Mehl Professor, said he was thrilled to learn of Venkata’s award.

“He was a great mentor for many junior faculty, like me, at Iowa State University and to so many young professionals at the IEEE Power &  Energy Society,” Govindarasu said. “This prestigious ECEDHA award is a well deserving recognition for his decades-long contributions  to the R&D and  workforce needs in the energy sector, and for his contributions, as an academic leader, to the broad electrical and computer engineering community.”

Currently, Venkata is the Principal Scientist and Director of DER R&D at Alstom Grid, Inc. He also was a professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, Washington and dean of Clarkson University’s Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering. He remains an Emeritus professor of Iowa State after his time served as ECpE Department Chair from 1996-2003.

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