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Nov 27, 2002

Calvin Prof Named IEEE Fellow

A Calvin College professor of engineering has earned one of the highest honors available in his profession.

Paulo Ribeiro came to Calvin in 2000 after having studied in his native Brazil, then England (where he earned a Ph.D.) and finally in the United States, where he added an MBA.

This month he learned that he has been named a Fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a non-profit, technical professional association of more than 377,000 individual members in 150 countries.

The honor is a rare one, conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth percent of the total voting Institute membership. So for 2003 just 260 Fellows were named.

Only five of those honorees were from the state of Michigan. Joining Ribeiro from the state are: Anthony M. Bloch, University of Michigan; Kenneth Earl Bow, The Dow Chemical Company; Tomy Sebastian, Delphi Automotive Systems; and Satish S. Udpa, Michigan State University.

Many of this year's honorees hail from a wide range of foreign countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and more.

Ribeiro says the international nature of the IEEE makes the honor of Fellow particularly meaningful.

"I am delighted," he says of being an IEEE Fellow. "This is the greatest honor bestowed to an (electrical/electronics) engineer. I hope and pray that my contribution to the profession in terms of moral consistency and integrity has been as effective as my technical ones. I am very thankful to God and hope to continue giving Him the glory for this achievement."

Fellows are nominated by an IEEE member and then go through a vigorous nomination process that looks at such things as individual contributions to the field, technical accomplishments, IEEE and non-IEEE activities and more.

Ribeiro's honor as a Fellow will be accompanied by the citation: "For contributions to the understanding of harmonic penetration in transmission systems, and advancement of superconducting magnetic energy storage system applications."

The second part of that citation recognizes his work on the application of superconductivity for energy storage utility systems that can be used to minimize power quality deviations and reduce probability of power blackouts.

This work, notes Ribeiro, has been funded in part by the US Department of Energy and has a potential to become a major technology to strengthen the security of electrical systems.

Through its members, the IEEE is a leading authority in technical areas ranging from computer engineering, biomedical technology and telecommunications, to electric power, aerospace and consumer electronics, among others.

Through its technical publishing, conferences and consensus-based standards activities, the IEEE produces 30 percent of the world's published literature in electrical engineering, computers and control technology; holds annually more than 300 major conferences; and has nearly 900 active standards with 700 under development.

Ribeiro chairs the IEEE International Conference on Harmonics and Quality of Power, the Task Force on Probabilistic Aspects of Harmonics, has edited an IEEE CD-ROM for the Harmonics Modeling, and is a member of several technical standards committees.

Ribeiro plans to continue involved with the technical side of engineering, but hopes now to spend more time reflecting on ethical issues and get his next degree in Philosophical Theology.

The ceremony honoring the 2003 Fellows will take place next year in New York during the IEEE Conference.

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Contact Phil de Haan
616-957-6475 (v)
616-957-7069 (f)