USF Names New Dean for the College of Engineering

Space navigation engineer Robert H. Bishop will lead the USF College of Engineering.                Photo | Marquette University.

TAMPA, Fla. (July 15, 2014) –The University of South Florida has named Robert H. Bishop, currently Opus Dean of Marquette University’s College of Engineering, as the new dean of the USF College of Engineering.

Recognized as a distinguished teaching professor and researcher in aerospace engineering, Bishop is a specialist in the application of systems and control theory to modern engineering products. He works with NASA on advanced navigation algorithms for test flight vehicles.

He joins USF in August.

“Dr. Bishop’s expertise, experience and enthusiasm make him a perfect fit to lead the USF College of Engineering,” said USF President Judy Genshaft. “The innovative research and creative work of this college is crucial to the future of USF. Under Dr. Bishop’s leadership and through the hard work of our talented students and faculty, we know the future is very bright.”

Bishop takes over for Rafael Perez, who has been leading the USF College of Engineering as interim dean for the past year. During that time, Perez has kept a steady hand on the college’s strategic direction – successfully maintaining ABET accreditation (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), earning a coveted TEAm Grant from the Board of Governors and Florida Legislature to help fill workforce gaps in information technology, and managing increased student demand and enrollment while making gains in student retention.

“We are so grateful for Dean Perez’s leadership the past year, which makes possible the additional successes we anticipate in the years to come,” said USF Provost Ralph Wilcox. “USF’s College of Engineering exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit central to USF’s mission. I know Dr. Bishop shares that focus and will inspire our students to achieve great things.”

The USF College of Engineering currently enrolls more than 4,600 students, employs 150 faculty members and conducts more than $25 million in annual research. Its research focuses on energy, sustainability, robotics, nanotechnology, materials, transportation, water, computer system design, security, pattern recognition, analytics and optimization, biomedical, health systems and communications. As dean of the college, Bishop will continue the development and realization of strategic goals and advocate for the college on a state, national and global level.

“I am honored to join a team that is dedicated to student success and strategically focused on positively impacting the future,” Bishop said. “The University of South Florida is an exciting and dynamic place. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.”

Bishop was selected to lead Marquette’s engineering college in 2010 after previously working as a professor at the University of Texas-Austin. Before then, he was a practicing engineer at Draper Laboratory - the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff that has played a historically significant role in the U.S. space program - where he developed an international reputation as a leading specialist in guidance, navigation and control of aerospace vehicles.

One of Bishop’s most high-profile projects is working on NASA’s ALHAT (Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology) project - an effort to build a vertical takeoff and landing navigation system and avoid hazard. The project is best known through the Morpheus, NASA’s prototype flight vehicle, where Bishop and his students contributed to the vehicle’s navigation systems and worked with NASA on techniques for achieving precision planetary landing support. Bishop said he will continue his research and his teaching at USF.

Bishop’s current research involves advanced navigation algorithm development and he also initiated several miniaturized satellite projects focusing on autonomous rendezvous and quick access to space. He launched his first miniature satellite aboard the Space Shuttle STS-127 in July 2009. He was selected twice as a Faculty Fellow at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he conducted basic research in observability of interplanetary spacecraft utilizing ground-based radiometric measurements. The Boeing Company also selected him as a Welliver Faculty Fellow to work with their astronautics business units to learn about connecting industry needs with educating the next generation of engineers.

Bishop is the co-author of one of the world's leading undergraduate textbooks in control theory and has authored two other textbooks, edited two handbooks, and authored/co-authored over 125 journal and conference papers. His undergraduate textbook Modern Control Systems (co-authored with R. C. Dorf) is extensively adopted worldwide and has been translated into ten languages. His book on graphical programming entitled Learning with LabVIEW is the reference textbook delivered with all copies of the student edition of LabVIEW. Bishop developed and edited the Mechatronics Handbook and the spin-off book Mechatronics: An Introduction.

Bishop earned his Ph.D. (1990) at Rice University in Electrical and Computer Engineering, his M.S. (1980) and B.S. (1979) in aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the American Astronautical Association.