Frank Lewis, an electrical engineering professor at The University of Texas at Arlington, is the recipient of the 2018 John R. Ragazzini Award from the American Automatic Control Council. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to automatic control education in any form.
Lewis was honored for writing textbooks, mentoring Ph.D. and undergraduate students and international educational leadership.
"I am humbled and honored to receive the John R. Ragazzini Award," Lewis said. "To be recognized by one's peers for being an outstanding educator is high praise, and I am very happy to be this year's recipient and join other previous winners It has been gratifying to contribute through the years in education, student and colleague mentoring, international relationships, and textbook writing. Throughout, UTA has provided a firm base, insightful leadership, and constant support."
Peter Crouch, dean of UTA's College of Engineering, praised Lewis's achievement. "By receiving this award, Dr. Frank Lewis joins the list of greats in the academic control community. His enormous contributions in all aspects of research, student mentoring, didactic exposition and international collaboration have gained him tremendous respect and many awards from the communities he serves. His influence on the profession has been profound," Crouch said.
Lewis is an acclaimed professor who has won numerous awards for outstanding contributions and innovations in teaching, including the University of Texas System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award, membership in the UTA Academy of Distinguished Teachers and the University's Graduate Dean's Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award. He has supervised more than 50 doctoral students, including three National Science Foundation CAREER grant awardees and one Homeland Security Career awardee. Eight of his former students have obtained U.S. patents, and his alumni include the presidents of two universities and many university administrators, academic deans, senior managers and scientists at national laboratories and in industry.
He is also active internationally. He received the 2017 Liaoning China Friendship Award, the highest honor given to a foreigner in China for outstanding contributions to the country's economic and social progress, and is a Founding Member of the Board of Governors of the Mediterranean Control Association. He served in the U.N. Umbrella Project Warsaw in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall and has given invited talks at multiple conferences.
Lewis is a University Distinguished Foreign Professor at Chongqing University, where he supervises doctoral students and junior faculty in education development. He also has served as a visiting professor at universities in Greece, Hong Kong and Singapore, and has presented workshops, seminars and courses at numerous universities and institutions globally.
Lewis is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Federation of Automatic Control and the U.K. Institute of Measurement and Control.
He joined UTA's College of Engineering in 1990 as the Moncrief-O'Donnell Chair of Electrical Engineering after earning advanced degrees from Rice University and Georgia Institute of Technology. Since then, he has become a recognized international authority on intelligent feedback control systems and presents workshops and courses worldwide.
He has published more than 300 journal papers and more than 400 refereed conference papers and authored 24 books, including five textbooks. His textbooks, Optimal Control and Optimal & Robust Estimation: With an Introduction to Stochastic Control Theory, won the American Society of Engineering Education's Terman Award in 1989.
Among the many additional awards he has received are the Fulbright Research Award, the Neural Network Society's Gabor Award, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Intelligent Systems Award, and the U.K. Instrumentation and Control Honeywell Field Engineering Medal.
Lewis' publications have been cited 48,460 times for an H-index of 98. His advanced controls and sensors group focuses on controls design for robotic, aerospace and autonomous systems and has garnered 80 competitive research grants worth more than $9 million since 1990. Recent funding has come from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The recognition from AACC is an example of Lewis' dedication to his students, as well as his research in the area of data-driven discovery, one of four themes of the University' Strategic Plan 2020:
Bold Solutions | Global Impact, said Duane Dimos, UTA's vice president for research.
"UTA is a Carnegie Foundation Research 1 institution, committed to discovery and contributions at the highest levels of science and engineering. Dr. Lewis is a shining example of the type of innovative researcher that we pride ourselves on. As a university, we are committed to providing our students a top-quality education, and he has excelled at that aspect of his position as well," Dimos said.