New School Chair Named for Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Steven McLaughlin has been appointed as the new Steve W. Chaddick School Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, at the Georgia Institute of Technology, effective Sept. 1.

Dr. Steven McLaughlin
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Steven McLaughlin has been appointed as the new Steve W. Chaddick School Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, at the Georgia Institute of Technology, effective Sept. 1, 2012.

McLaughlin is currently the vice provost for International Initiatives and Steven A. Denning Chair in Global Engagement and Ken Byers Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech.

“Steve’s background, experiences and outstanding reputation in fields critical to the school make him ideally suited and well-prepared to lead ECE during the next era,” said Dr. Gary S. May, dean of the College of Engineering. “He is an ideal match for the school’s high aspirations both nationally and internationally. Steve is a thoughtful academic administrator, an accomplished researcher who understands the needs of industry and a person of deep integrity.”

McLaughlin succeeds May, who became dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech in July 2011. Dr. Douglas B. Williams has been serving as interim chair for the school.

As the new chair, McLaughlin will oversee a school that is consistently ranked as one of the nation's most prominent programs of its kind in both graduate and undergraduate education. The school is the largest producer of electrical engineers and computer engineers in the United States, with more than 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students and 112 faculty members.  In FY2011, ECE faculty members acquired an impressive $56,853,439 in research grants and contracts from government and industrial sources.

“It’s a huge honor to be selected as the next chair of the School of ECE. The opportunity to work with so many exceptional faculty, students, staff and alumni to make our School even more prominent is thrilling,” said McLaughlin. “In ECE I firmly believe we are at the right place at the right time in terms of education, research and economic development impact in Georgia, the nation and around the globe.”

McLaughlin earned his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Michigan. He joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech in September 1996. As vice provost for the past five years, he has been responsible for Georgia Tech's global engagement and is the point person for international initiatives in research, education and economic development.

McLaughlin is also president of GT Global Inc. a not-for-profit corporation recently created to manage select Georgia Tech international initiatives. He is a co-founder of Whisper Communications, a physical-layer security company established in 2009 to commercialize technologies developed in his research group. McLaughlin was previously deputy director of Georgia Tech-Lorraine, the European campus of Georgia Tech located in Metz, France, from 2006-2007. In 2005, he was president of the IEEE Information Theory Society. He has held positions at Booz, Allen and Hamilton, AT&T Bell Labs and Eastman Kodak. From 1992-1996, he was on the electrical engineering faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

His research group has published in the general areas of communications and information theory, particularly in the areas of error control coding, and constrained codes for magnetic and optical recording; forward error correction and equalization for wireless and optical networks; quantum key distribution, wireless and RFID security. His group has published more than 240 papers in journals and conferences and holds 30 U.S. patents. McLaughlin has served as the research and thesis advisor to more than 50 students at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and post doctoral levels.

The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech is the largest of its kind in the country with more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled. The college ranks in the top five in undergraduate and graduate engineering education by U.S. News and World Report.