Advancing electrical engineering

Aug. 11, 2020

Xiaobo Tan named to Hong Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering

Xiaobo Tan has been named the Richard M. Hong Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering in the Michigan State University College of Engineering.

Xiaobo Tan will use the Hong Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering to propel MSU’s excellence in robotics.
Xiaobo Tan will use the Hong Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering to propel MSU’s excellence in robotics.

Tan is an MSU Foundation Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an adjunct professor of Mechanical Engineering. He leads MSU’s Smart Microsystems Lab, known for its vibrant activities in underwater robotics, soft robotics, control systems, and smart materials.

John Papapolymerou, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said the Hong Endowed Chair is one of the most prestigious appointments of the department and the College of Engineering.

“We are truly grateful to Richard M. Hong for establishing this highly important endowed chair that provides faculty with great flexibility in using both the recognition and funds that come with it to endeavor into non-traditional and groundbreaking educational and research activities and areas not supported by typical funding sources. The impact of such gifts is immeasurable, and greatly assists our faculty in their mission to advance and disseminate knowledge and technology to better serve humankind,” Papapolymerou added.

The endowed chair was established in 1995 by Richard M. Hong (EE MS 1967; PhD 1970) to honor Professor Emeritus Kun Mu Chen of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The endowment’s goal is to set a high standard of excellence while advancing instruction and research in electrical engineering.

Tan said he is “truly honored and excited” to serve as the endowed chair.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues within the department and beyond to advance our education and research goals. In particular, I plan to use the funds to help propel MSU’s excellence in robotics,” he added.

Tan has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and been awarded four U.S. patents in his research areas.

He is a Fellow of IEEE and ASME, and a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2006), MSU Teacher-Scholar Award (2010), MSU College of Engineering Withrow Distinguished Scholar Award (senior category, 2018), Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Maryland (2018), and multiple best paper awards.

He is currently a senior editor for IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) and has served as an associate editor for Automatica, a technical editor for TMECH, and a guest editor for six journals. He has been on the organizing or program committees for a number of international conferences, including serving as the general chair for the 2018 ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and for the 2023 American Control Conference.

Tan received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in automatic control from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1995, 1998, respectively. He graduated with a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Maryland in 2002.

He was a postdoctoral research associate with the Institute for Systems Research at University of Maryland before joining MSU in 2004.