After receiving his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1965, Dr. Powers joined the ECE Department faculty, where he is currently Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the recently established Telecommunications and Signal Processing Research Center. He also serves as the U.T. Austin representative to the Texas Telecommunications Engineering Consortium (TxTEC) Steering Committee. This consortium, which consists of five Texas universities and over ten telecommunications companies, was recently formed in recognition of the importance of the telecommunications industry in the State of Texas and the need for highly educated engineering graduates to support this industry.
Previously, Dr. Powers served as Director of the Electronics Research Center from 1977 to 1999. Primary responsibility involved administering the Joint Services Electronics Program (AFOSR, ARO, and ONR) which ended in 1999. From 1981-1989 he served as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, one of the largest departments on the U.T. Campus. In 1982 he was appointed as the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation Professor in Engineering. In 1985 he received the U.T. Austin College of Engineering's highest award, the Joe J. King Professional Engineering Achievement Award, which was established in 1976 to recognize College of Engineering faculty who have shown exemplary leadership in the engineering profession.
Dr. Powers has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses throughout his career including, for example, circuit theory, electromagnetics, lasers, probability and statistics, Fourier optics, plasma dynamics, telecommunication systems, satellite communications, and digital time series analysis. In 1995, he received the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering's Teaching Award.
Dr. Powers has been active in the professional activities of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. In 1984 he completed a five year term as Editor of IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. He co-organized the International Conference on Higher-Order Statistical Signal Processing and Its Applications in Queensland, Australia in 1992, and is co-editor of the resulting book Higher Order Statistical Signal Processing.
Dr. Powers' current professional interests involve the application of novel digital signal processing techniques (based on higher-order statistics, wavelets, and time-frequency distributions) to a wide variety of important nonlinear and/or transient problems in science and engineering. Examples include:
This work has been supported by a wide variety of state and federal agencies as well as private industry. In recognition of his professional contributions, he was elected in 1983 a Fellow of the IEEE "for contributions to the analysis of data relating to nonlinear phenomena in materials such as controlled thermonuclear plasmas." Further recognition was received in 1996 when Dr. Powers received the Billy and Claude R. Hocott Distinguished Centennial Research Award, which is the U.T. Austin College of Engineering's highest research recognition.