Fred Lee, University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of University Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the university community since 1977, Lee pioneered the development of the power electronics curriculum and its research program, and both are recognized among the best in the world.
Lee was the founder and director of the Virginia Power Electronics Center, a technology development center for the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology from 1987 to 1997, and was responsible for promoting technology transfer and commercialization of the center’s intellectual properties.
In addition, Lee was the founder and director of the Center for Power Electronics Systems, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, the only such research center in Virginia. He initiated and led the development of new integrated power electronics modules to facilitate systems integration and automated manufacturing for power electronics, in a manner similar to integrated circuits for microelectronics.
Between 1998 and 2008, the Center for Power Electronics Systems secured more than $80 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation and industry. It consisted of five universities and a consortium of 96 industry partners. To date, the center helped 329 graduate students to earn a degree (153 Ph.D.s and 176 master’s degrees); had more than 3,100 technical papers, theses, and dissertations published; filed 286 invention disclosures; and was awarded 103 patents.
In addition, Lee founded one of the largest university/industry affiliates programs in the U.S. and developed an innovative process for moving technology and intellectual property out of academic laboratories and into the marketplace. The program attracted numerous industry sponsored research projects and earned an annual gift support in excess of $2.5 million, which provided 35 graduate fellowships and supports the programs world-class research facilities. To date, more than 215 companies worldwide have benefited from this program.
Lee is an international authority in high-frequency power conversion design, modeling, and control. His pioneering works in soft-switching techniques have revolutionized and formed the core technologies of modern power electronics equipment and systems. Lee’s novel multiphase voltage regulator modules are used to power every microprocessor (CPU, GPU) and memory device used in smart phones, PCs and servers, and mobile devices.
Throughout his career, Lee published more than 290 journal papers, 710 peer-reviewed conference papers, and 82 U.S. patents, with an additional 22 patent applications pending. In the classroom, Lee has been a major advisor of 93 master’s degree and 84 Ph.D. students.
Lee is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, an academician of the Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He is one of the founding members of the board of directors of the Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and an inaugural member of the Virginia Tech Entrepreneur Hall of Fame
In addition, he was awarded IEEE Fellow, IEEE William E Newell Power Electronics Award, IEEE Medal in Power Engineering, and the prestigious Ernst-Blickle Award, which only two U.S. residents ahve received. Three of his former students were elected as academic members: Dushan Boroyevich and Milan Jovanovic were elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and Bo Cho of the Seoul National University was elected to the Korea Academy of Engineering.
Lee received his bachelor's degree from the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and his master's degree and Ph.D. from Duke University.