Kalyanmoy Deb named Koenig Endowed Chair at Michigan State University

Aug. 21, 2013

Kalyanmoy Deb was recently named the Herman E. & Ruth J. Koenig Endowed Chair in the Michigan State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  The endowed chair was established in 2001 to recognize Koenig’s scholarly and academic leadership achievements, and his progressive contributions to furthering engineering education. 

Deb said the position gives him the opportunity to engage in research and development of efficient multi-criterion optimization and decision-making methodologies and promote their application to real-world industrial problems. “Optimization problems commonly arise in most scientific, business, and engineering problem-solving activities,” he said. “I plan to take this chair professorship as an opportunity to facilitate their wide-spread use in both academia and practice through teaching, research and service.” 

Kalyanmoy DebDeb also holds joint appointments in two other departments within the college—computer science and engineering, and mechanical engineering—and contributes to research at the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, an NSF Science and Technology Center headquartered at Michigan State University. 

Prior to joining MSU, Deb was a professor of mechanical engineering and the Deva Raj Endowed Chair and Gurmukh and Veena Mehta Endowed Chair at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, as well as director of the Kanpur Genetic Algorithms Laboratory (KanGAL), which he established in 1997. 

His research interests include applied optimization, evolutionary computation, modeling and simulation, and design and control of intelligent systems. His 2001 book, Multi-Objective Optimization Using Evolutionary Algorithms, is the first-ever compilation of its kind. 

Deb has numerous awards and honors to his name, including the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences in India; the Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate; the Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science; the Edgeworth-Pareto Award from the International Society on Multiple Criteria Decision Making; a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) Award; a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany; and an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. 

He is a fellow of IEEE, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Indian Academy of Sciences, and the International Computation.

Deb received his bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 1985 and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in engineering mechanics from the University of Alabama in 1989 and 1991, respectively.

The Herman E. and Ruth J. Koenig Endowed Chair

The Herman E. and Ruth J. Koenig Endowed Chair was established in 2001 by their son Roger Koenig, who earned an electrical engineering degree at MSU in 1976, and his wife, Nancy Pierce. The endowed chair recognizes Herman’s scholarly and academic leadership achievements, honors Herman and Ruth’s long-term devotion to MSU and their progressive contributions to furthering engineering education. Herman E. Koenig joined the MSU College of Engineering faculty in 1956, was named chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Systems Science in 1968, was appointed director of MSU’s Center for Environmental Quality in 1976, and then served as assistant vice president for research and industry development before retiring from MSU in 1990. Koenig died in 2010 at the age of 85. He is internationally recognized for pioneering research and publication of modern control theory and the multidisciplinary application of engineering to biological, environmental, agricultural and economic problems. A pragmatic visionary, he leaves a legacy of human advancement because of his dedication to educate and inspire students and teachers around the world.