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April 27, 2006

Munson named dean of U-M College of Engineering


Munson image
Dave Munson
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ANN ARBOR, Mich.—David C. Munson Jr., professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the University of Michigan, has been selected as the new dean of the U-M College of Engineering. His appointment as Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering will be effective July 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

"President Mary Sue Coleman and I are extremely pleased that Dr. Munson is assuming the leadership of the College of Engineering at a time when the important roles that engineering can play in society must be addressed," Interim Provost Edward Gramlich said today. "We are confident that Dr. Munson will promote the college as the leader in engineering research and education in the state of Michigan, the nation and the world."

Interim Dean Ronald Gibala said: "I am delighted that Professor Munson will come on board to lead the College of Engineering. He brings expertise in academic program development, as well as a highly regarded reputation as a scientific researcher. In addition to those qualities, Munson has invaluable institutional knowledge of the College of Engineering."

Munson said: "I am honored to be chosen to lead one of the nation's premier colleges of engineering. This is a large responsibility. I am eager to work with our talented faculty, students, staff, corporate partners, alumni and friends, and the campus administration to move the college forward. At the undergraduate level, we can expect to see increased emphasis on multidisciplinary projects, entrepreneurship and international experience. In research, we must continue to push the areas of biotechnology, nanoscience and information technology, while contributing to major campus thrusts on energy and the environment. These initiatives will require increased resources, but, working together, I am confident we will rise to the challenge."

Munson joined U-M as professor and chair of EECS in June 2003. As chair, Munson led the EECS department in increasing its commitment to undergraduate and graduate programs, planning extensive renovation and expansion of research laboratories, increasing relationships with alumni and industry, and completing a comprehensive strategic-planning exercise.

From 1979 until his appointment at U-M, Munson was on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was the Robert C. MacClinchie Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, research professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and on the faculty of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He is a co-founder of InstaRecon Inc, a start-up to commercialize fast algorithms for computer tomography. He is the author or co-author of more than 160 professional publications.

Munson earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware. He earned his M.S., M.A. and Ph.D in electrical engineering from Princeton University.

Munson is highly regarded for his research in digital signal and image processing. He has spent much of his career working on imaging systems, especially synthetic aperture radar (SAR).  SAR allows high-resolution, broad-area imaging during poor weather conditions, and is used for military, Earth-resource, and environmental mapping applications, among others. Munson and his colleagues devised a new high-resolution method for Earth-based SAR imaging of the moon and interior planets. He also was part of a group of scientists that created a lensless camera that produces imagery that is in focus at all depths, by integrating ideas from optics, radio astronomy and computer tomography.

Currently, Munson is developing improved methods for 2-D phase unwrapping, with applications to SAR topographic mapping and MRI. He also is working on new approaches to SAR autofocus. He sits on review panels for numerous universities and government agencies.

A decade ago, he helped lead the redesign of undergraduate curriculum in his department at Illinois, and developed courses on analog and digital signal processing. He collaborated on a forthcoming textbook on analog signal processing. He is affiliated with the Infinity Project where he is coauthor of a textbook on the digital world, which is used in about 200 high schools nationwide to introduce students to engineering.

Munson is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), founder of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing and co-founder of the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing. He recently finished terms on the editorial board of the Proceedings of the IEEE and as chair of the IEEE Jack Kilby Signal Processing Medal Committee. He has been the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal and the IEEE Signal Processing Society Award, and was named an IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer. He has served as president of the Signal Processing Society and held numerous other leadership positions within the IEEE.

He served as the Texas Instruments Distinguished Visiting Professor at Rice University and is the recipient of an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Delaware College of Engineering.

The University of Michigan College of Engineering is ranked among the top engineering schools in the country. Michigan Engineering boasts one of the largest engineering research budgets of any public university, at more than $130 million. Michigan Engineering has 11 departments and two NSF Engineering Research Centers. Within those departments and centers, there is a special emphasis on research in three emerging areas: nanotechnology and integrated microsystems; cellular and molecular biotechnology; and information technology. Michigan Engineering is seeking to raise $110 million for capital building projects and program support in these areas to further research discovery. Michigan Engineering's goal is to advance academic scholarship and market cutting—edge research to improve public health and well-being. For more information, see the Michigan Engineering home page:

Contact: Laura Bailey
Phone: (734) 647-7087