Overbye elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering

Monday, February 18, 2013 - 4:45am

Tom OverbyeTCIPG Researcher Thomas J. Overbye, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

Overbye and fellow ECE Professor Weng Cho Chew, who was also elected to NAE membership, are among 69 new members and 11 foreign associates announced by the academy today (Feb. 7). Election to the NAE is one of the highest professional honors an engineer can garner. The 2,250 members and 211 foreign associates are an elite group distinguished by their outstanding contributions to the fields of technology and engineering.

“Having two Illinois faculty members inducted into NAE in the same year is truly an outstanding accomplishment for our institution, the College of Engineering and the department of electrical and computer engineering,” said Ilesanmi Adesida, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of the Urbana campus. “Both Weng Chew and Tom Overbye are groundbreaking and innovative researchers whose work exemplifies the excellence that characterizes Illinois. I am proud to know them as colleagues, and today is another great day to be a part of the Illinois campus.”

Overbye, the Fox Family Professor in electrical and computer engineering, was cited for his work on visualization and analysis tools for power systems. His research focuses on the infrastructure of the power grid, including visualizing power system information, optimizing power distribution, integrating renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into the power grid, and power grid cybersecurity. Overbye developed the PowerWorld Simulator, an innovative computer program for power system analysis and visualization.

Overbye earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the faculty at Illinois in 1991. He was a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s investigation team for the Aug. 14, 2003, blackout. Overbye also is affiliated with the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois.

Story by: Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor, University of Illinois.