August 26, 2005 —
Viterbi School emeritus roboticist George Bekey is the latest winner of UCLA's Alumni Achievement in Academia award.
honor celebrates "UCLA engineering alumni who are full-time faculty
members in engineering ... who have excelled in their fields as
researchers and educators." Bekey received M.S. and
PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 1952 and 1962
respectively, coming to USC in 1962.
Earlier this year, Bekey became the first academic to win the IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation.
In addition to his work in the Viterbi Schoo'ls department of computer science, Bekey was also instrumental in
founding the biomedical engineering department. He began the robotics
research and teaching program at USC, and later served as the Viterbi
School’s associate dean for research. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, with a citation
that notes his “pioneering work in computer sciences, biomedical
engineering, man-machine systems and robotics.” He is also a fellow of
the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American
Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American
Association for Artificial Intelligence. Bekey was one of the founders
of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the first editor of its
He served as president of the society from 1996 to 1998. Bekey has also
won USC’s highest honor – the Presidential Medallion – and was named a
University Professor in 1999, a distinction conferred on less than 20
faculty members in the University’s history. The title is awarded only
to those whose multidisciplinary interests and major accomplishments in
several disciplines qualify for an appointment that transcends any
single field of study.
Bekey will receive his award at a ceremony to be held Nov. 4 in Beverly Hills.