Dr. Thomas Weigert, Motorola Fellow and vice president of the company’s Global Software Group, has been named the first Daniel C. St. Clair Chair of computer science at the University of Missouri-Rolla. He will begin at UMR Sept. 1.
Weigert was selected following a nationwide search led by Dr. Bruce McMillin, professor of computer science at UMR.
“We are very pleased that Dr. Weigert has accepted the position of St. Clair Chair of computer science at UMR,” McMillin says. “He was selected from a pool of top internationally known candidates. His appointment brings tremendous strength to the research and educational faculty of the department.”
“Dr. Weigert brings a terrific sense of the importance of computer science, and software engineering in particular, to the department,” says John Lovitt, president of the UMR Academy of Computer Science and a 1970 UMR graduate. “He also has a very strong sense of the industrial application of advanced computer science and I think that will strengthen the academic side of the department, but it will enormously strengthen the industry connection. We are very happy with Dr. Weigert’s selection.”
At UMR, Weigert hopes to strengthen the impact of computer science research on industrial practice by establishing joint research laboratories with corporations.
One of only 12 Motorola Fellows, Weigert has created innovative software development tools that are used to build a wide variety of Motorola telecommunications products, like network elements or cellular telephones, by leveraging advances from basic computer science research.
Weigert is the author of a textbook titled “Knowledge-Based Software Development for Real-Time Distributed Systems,” published by World Scientific Publishers in 1993 and is the author of many journal publications, book chapters and conference papers focused on the application of artificial intelligence techniques and formal methods to the development of product software, in particular for real-time distributed systems.
His research contributions have been in the areas of modeling languages and design methods, the derivation of efficient programs from abstract models and the use of automated theorem proving in program generation and verification. He holds leadership positions in international standards organizations focusing on software development notations.
Weigert earned a master of arts degree in philosophy in 1984, a master of science degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1988, and a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1989, all from the University of Illinois in Chicago. In 1999, Weigert earned a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Before joining Motorola, he was assistant professor of mathematics at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, and held visiting positions at the Electrotechnical Laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan, and the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois.
The chair is named for Dr. Daniel C. St. Clair, former chair of computer science at UMR, who died in 2006.
Funding for the chair was provided by an endowment raised in large part by the UMR Academy of Computer Science, UMR computer science faculty members and alumni, including significant gifts from Carol and Brian Matthews and Cynthia Tang. Matching funds from the Missouri Endowed Chair and Professorship Program and from UMR graduate and Sprint chairman and CEO Gary Forsee brought the total endowment to $2.2 million.
“Dan St. Clair had a vision for strengthening and improving the department,” Lovitt says, “and I think for a lot of us who gave, it was from a commitment to help realize that vision.” The endowment was made possible through a combined effort between the faculty, staff, and alumni, who all came together and united behind the vision of a stronger research presence in computer science at UMR.
“Seeing the faculty come together and be committed to this was very important,” Lovitt adds.