ECE honors retiring faculty member Dr. Robert Carroll

December 18, 2018

Dr. Robert Carroll was born and raised in North Carolina. He attended North Carolina State University, Raleigh and received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1967. Following that, he pursed a Master’s degree in Philosophy at Yale University, 1970. Dr. Carroll received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1973 from the University of Connecticut. Although he received various offers for postdoctoral research from institutions abroad in Ireland, Canada, and Germany, Dr. Carroll chose to go into industry.

Following his graduate studies he worked as a Principal Research Engineer with Honeywell in Minneapolis, MN, after which he joined academia. Dr. Carroll worked as both assistant and associate professor at the University of South Carolina from 1974-1977 and 1977-1979, respectively.

Dr. Carroll has been with the university for an astounding 39 years. He joined the George Washington University in 1979 when the department was still the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. He has served the university and the department in a multitude of ways. During his years at GWU he founded the Control Systems Laboratory and Robotics Laboratory. In addition to his duties as a professor, he served as associate department chair – drafting 170 page student handbook - and has served and chaired various departmental committees. Of his many contributions to the department, one in particular can be seen in design of the Systems and Controls graduate curriculum. In addition to his teaching responsibilities in ECE, Dr. Carroll has designed and taught short courses in other GWU departments and has been invited as a lecturer Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Jiao Tong University in China. He has also served as an advisor for the Open University in England.

The impact of Dr. Carroll’s service can be seen through the work of all his doctoral candidates – a total of 26 – most of whom are now faculty in world-wide universities. His hard work and contributions as a research director for his doctoral candidates can be seen by merely walking into his office, which bears shelves of dissertations.

Throughout his career he has received many fellowships for research from various institutions including  the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL),  the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NASA Langley, NASA Goddard, and the U.S. Air Force, Eglin, to name a few.

Other service activities include acting as President of the DC branch of the IEEE Control Systems Society, Editor of the Computers & Electrical Engineering: An International Journal, and serving as chairman of conferences such as ISMM Conference on Computer Applications in Design, Simulation, and Analysis.

When he is not serving his professional and academic communities, Dr. Carroll enjoys working on his green thumb growing both daffodils and cacti, collecting clocks and watches, and making music. This passion started in the 11th grade when he began playing the baritone sax and has continued throughout the years of his graduate studies and through his professional life.

We cannot begin to thank Dr. Carroll for his years of dedication and work within our community and can only wish for a fruitful retirement where he can continue to pursue his passions.