ME Professors Andrew Packard and Paul Wright received the prestigious Berkeley Citation during the Graduate Engineering Commencement on Tuesday, May 21. The Berkeley Citation is awarded to distinguished individuals whose contributions to UC Berkeley go beyond the call of duty and whose achievements exceed the standards of excellence in their fields.
Professor Andrew Packard joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1989 as an Assistant Professor and holds the FANUC Chair in Mechanical Engineering. He is recognized as a pioneer in the field of robust control theory and a world-renowned expert in the design of multivariable control systems. Together with the late Professor Gary Balas of the University of Minnesota, he developed a comprehensive set of software tools (called the Robust Control Toolbox) for control system design, which have become the de facto standard worldwide, and are widely used by a large number of companies and research agencies, as well as have been incorporated into the control systems teaching curriculum of hundreds of universities. Professor Packard is a Fellow of IEEE and was the recipient of the prestigious IEEE Control Systems Society 2005 Control Systems Technology Award and the 1995 American Automatic Control Council Donald P. Eckman Award.
Professor Packard is known among his colleagues for his unparalleled commitment to teaching and mentoring. He is one of the most respected and beloved teachers at Berkeley. Not only has he received the Mechanical Engineering Department’s best teaching award on numerous occasions, but he also received a much-coveted university-wide Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition to being a most gifted teacher, Professor Packard is a tireless teaching innovator and a superb research advisor and mentor, who often has huge queues of undergraduate and graduate students lined up outside of his office, waiting for a turn to see him during office hours – regardless of whether they are taking a class from him or not. Professor Packard received the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Graduate Women of Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2007.
Professor Paul Wright, who held the A. Martin Berlin Professorship in Mechanical Engineering until his retirement last year, joined the the department in 1991 as a Professor. Professor Wright is world-renowned for his pioneering research in the area of Manufacturing and its application to rapid prototyping, computer-based design to manufacturing systems and the fabrication of devices for energy technology. Upon arriving to Berkeley, Professor Wright pioneered the area of Design for Internet Based Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing through the “CyberCut” project, which he directed with Professor Sequin in EECS starting in the 1990s and demonstrated the ‘design for manufacturability’ paradigm that has been the progenitor of several of the technological trends that characterize many of the current Industry 4.0 innovations. In the mid 2000s, Professor Wright spearheaded research to address the fundamental power supply issue for the wireless sensor platforms, leading to his world-renowned research on energy scavenging. More recently, he has contributed to the development of the new field of advance manufacturing for energy and developed novel 3D printing and engineering materials to create a new class of batteries, capacitors, and thermoelectric generators.
Professor Wright has received numerous awards for his outstanding research contributions. Among them, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2007; he is a Fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and received a Life Time Achievement Award from ASME in 2008, as well as the NAMRI/SME S. M. Wu Research Implementation Award from SME in 2007.
Professor Wright’s service to the Berkeley campus has been exemplar, including being the Director and Chaired Professor of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIs) from 2007 to 2014, being the Director of the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute from 2013 to 2017, and an Associate Dean of the College of Engineering from 1999 to 2005.
Congratulations to Professors Packard and Wright!