Ian Ferguson named vice provost and dean of engineering and computing

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On June 17, 2014
Dr. Ian Ferguson

Dr. Ian Ferguson

Dr. Ian Ferguson, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will become vice provost and dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at Missouri University of Science and Technology on Aug. 13.

Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader, chancellor of Missouri S&T, announced Ferguson’s appointment today (Tuesday, June 17, 2014).

“Dr. Ferguson brings a strong record of academic leadership, teaching, research and collaboration to Missouri S&T, as well as a broad range of interests that transcend the traditional bounds of engineering,” Schrader says. “He has leadership experience in industry as well as the academic setting, and has demonstrated great success in collaborating with faculty from various disciplines. His passion for poetry and love of photography and music also demonstrate a keen interest in the arts.”

A native of Scotland, Ferguson joined UNC Charlotte in 2009 as professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering. He was also a cluster group leader for renewables and energy efficiency and a member of the implementation team of UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), which addresses the needs of the region’s energy industry.

“I was attracted to Missouri S&T due to its history and outstanding reputation in education, research and technology for over 144 years,” Ferguson says. “When I visited Missouri S&T I found a community of academics who are excelling in a nationally focused institution with an international agenda. I am fortunate to be able to join this community as it looks forward to many more successes through the continued implementation of our strategic plan.”

At UNC Charlotte, he leads a department of 41 faculty, five support staff, 460 undergraduate students and 230 graduate students, including 70 Ph.D. students. Under his direction, the department’s research funding increased from $2 million to more than $5.5 million. He also contributed to the final planning for completion of EPIC, a $70 million, 200,000-square-foot building that now houses the electrical and computer engineering department.

At Missouri S&T, Ferguson will lead the newly established College of Engineering and Computing. The college is composed of the departments of chemical and biochemical engineering; civil, architectural and environmental engineering; computer science; electrical and computer engineering; engineering management and systems engineering; geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering; materials science and engineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and mining and nuclear engineering.

Ferguson holds a Ph.D. in compound semiconductors from University of St. Andrews in Scotland (1989). He also holds a master of science in optoelectronics and laser devices from St. Andrews (1986) and a bachelor of science degree in physics from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland (1984).

Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Ferguson was a professor of electrical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology from 2001 to 2009. While at Georgia Tech, he also served as director of the Focused Research Program on Next-Generation Lighting and held a faculty appointment in the School of Materials Science and Engineering from 2004 through 2009.

He began his academic career as a research scientist in the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Semiconductor Materials at Imperial College in London from 1989 until 1992, when he joined Northwestern University in Chicago as director of the Crystal Growth Facility in materials science and engineering. He later became a research assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern, a position he held from 1994 through 1996.

From 1996 to 2001, Ferguson worked for EMCORE Corp. of Somerset, N.J., a manufacturer of semiconductor-based products. He joined EMCORE as director of research development and later served as the company’s director of intellectual property and general manager of in-situ products.

Ferguson’s research expertise is in the development of compound semiconductor materials and devices for sensors, illumination, solar power and spintronics. He’s received research funding from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Office of Naval Research, NASA and other federal agencies, as well as from industry.

His research has resulted in more than 450 refereed journal and conference papers, seven book chapters, one book with another in progress, and multiple patents.

A Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Society for Optical Engineering and the Institute of Physics, Ferguson is also a member of the honor societies Eta Kappa Nu, Phi Beta Delta and the Order of the Engineer. An associate member of the Academy of American Poets, he is completing a volume of poetry.

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