Engineering leadership earns Vittal prestigious honor

July 19, 2012

Arizona State University professor Vijay Vittal has won a top technical field award for innovation from the world’s largest and most prominent engineering association.

Vittal, the Ira A. Fulton Chair Professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, has been selected to receive the award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his accomplishments in power systems engineering. Vittal power systems engineering Download Full Image

The IEEE technical field honors are awarded for contributions or leadership in specific areas of interest to the institute.

Vittal’s Herman Halperin Electric Transmission and Distribution Award is among honors that the IEEE bestows in tribute to “technical professionals whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on technology, society, and the engineering profession.”

The award specifically recognizes his contribution to “development of power system stability assessment methods leading to the maximum utilization and increased reliability of transmission lines.”

Vittal, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is director of the Power System Engineering Research Center (PSERC), a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

PSERC addresses the major challenges facing the electric power industry. Its work focuses on developing the designs and components to provide more efficient, secure, resilient, adaptable and economical electric power infrastructure.

The center also works to educate new generations of experts in electrical power technologies, provide experienced decision-makers on energy policy issues and promote quality university education programs in electrical power engineering.

Based at ASU, the PSERC consortium encompasses research programs at 12 other universities – Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M, Colorado School of Mines, Washington State University, Wichita State University, Howard University, the University of Illinois, The University of Wisconsin Iowa State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Before joining ASU in 2005, Vittal was the Anston Marston Distinguished Professor in Iowa State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and director of the university’s Electrical Power Research Center.

He is a former program director of power systems for the National Science foundation Division of Electrical and Communications Systems in Washington, D.C.

Vittal served as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, a leading journal in the field, from 2005 to 2011.

The IEEE, which promotes the advancement of technological innovation, has some 400,000 members from more than 160 countries.

The Herman Halperin award is named for a pioneer in the design and operation of electric plant facilities and power-distribution systems.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Applicants sought for global deliberation event at ASU

July 19, 2012

Residents of Arizona now have the opportunity for their voices on biodiversity to be heard by global audience.

On Sept. 15, ASU’s Tempe campus will be one of the four U.S. sites to host "World Wide Views on Biodiversity," organized by the Danish Board of Technology. Download Full Image

Approximately 100 people representing the demographic of the Grand Canyon state will gather and join similar groups from across the globe to learn about biodiversity issues, discuss important policy choices and express their views. Applications are being accepted now for the event hosted by the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and lunch will be provided. To apply, visit

“This is an exceptional example of how to include everyday citizens in future global policymaking,” said Netra Chhetri, manager of World Wide Views Arizona site and assistant professor with ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and CSPO. “It gives a bigger sense of political ownership and policymakers a better insight in the views of the citizens they represent.”

World Wide Views is a global citizen participation project designed to provide policymakers with information on citizens’ views on issues such as climate change and biodiversity. Along with Tempe, Boston, Washington, D.C., (which CSPO will also serve as host), and Golden, Colo., will also serve as representations from the United States. With over 25 countries participating, all meetings will follow the same agenda and take place the same day. The results from the citizens’ deliberations will be used at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention of Biodiversity that will be held in Delhi, India this October.

“By pointing out concerns and priorities central to the public understanding of biodiversity, the result can inform future policy initiatives,” said Chhetri. “The results will also form an important baseline for future awareness raising initiatives.”

The final day to apply is August 15. To learn more about World Wide Views, visit

To learn more about the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, visit