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Sinopoli named chair of WashU electrical & systems engineering

Sinopoli represents 'a new generation of electrical engineers'

Bruno Sinopoli
Bruno Sinopoli

Bruno Sinopoli, a renowned expert in cyber-physical system and control systems, has been named chair of the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Sinopoli comes to WashU Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, where he is a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and co-director of the Smart Infrastructure Institute. He also has appointments in the Robotics Institute and in mechanical engineering. He joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor in 2007. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

He succeeds R. Martin Arthur, who has been interim chair since 2016.

"We were thrilled when the search resulted in Bruno being selected as the next chair of the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering," said Aaron Bobick, dean and James M. McKelvey Professor. "Bruno represents a new generation of electrical engineers who cross disciplines to solve problems in control and systems. He has both a deep appreciation of the history of the department and the ability to lead it in important new directions."

Sinopoli's research is in cyber-physical systems, networked and distributed control systems, distributed interference in networks, smart infrastructures, wireless sensor and actuator networks, cloud computing, adaptive video streaming applications and energy systems.

In 2015, the Carnegie Mellon team won the Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition in the infrastructure-based category at IPSN 2015. In 2010, he received the George Tallman Ladd Research Award from the Carnegie Institute of Technology at Carnegie Mellon, as well as an NSF CAREER Award, which is awarded to junior faculty who model the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. As a graduate student at Berkeley, he received the Eli Jury Award for outstanding achievement in the area of systems, communications, control or signal processing.

"I am thrilled to join such an outstanding institution as Washington University as the chair of the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & System Engineering, a department deeply rooted in fundamental research and with a rich tradition," Sinopoli said. "With the support of Dean Bobick and the university leadership, I am looking forward to working with faculty and staff to help the department grow and meet the new challenges of tomorrow's research and education."

Sinopoli has been a pioneer in networked control systems and cyber-physical systems security, where his work has contributed to launching both fields., with applications to smart grids. Along with colleague Anthony Rowe, he is advancing wireless broadband communications for use in hostile environments, such as burning buildings. They have been creating a system that allows firefighters and first responders to locate and orient themselves inside a burning structure. He also has been studying the interplay between financial and physical to encourage a faster recovery after extreme events such as tornadoes or hurricanes. Finally, Sinopoli has contributed to the development of UDOO, a computing platform commonly used by makers to prototype internet of things (IoT) systems.

Sinopoli earned a master's and a doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 2003 and 2005, respectively. In addition, he earned a certificate in Management of Technology from Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Università di Padova in Padua, Italy.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 96.5 tenured/tenure-track and 33 additional full-time faculty, 1,300 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students and 20,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.