For Petar Kokotovic, teaching has always been its own reward. But now the UCSB electrical engineering professor's efforts are being internationally recognized and applauded.
Kokotovic, 68, has been awarded the 2002 James H. Mulligan Education Medal by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his dedicated research and inspirational 40 years of teaching on the research and study of automation and control theory. According to a statement by the IEEE, this annual award recognizes
"a career of meritorious achievement in education... ."
Kokotovic said that the first thought that came to mind upon learning of his award was of his students and co-workers who secretly nominated him. He said he was very appreciative.
"Indeed it was an unexpected and total surprise," he said. "I know this was all due to student and co-worker preparation, so it was of them I was thinking when I found out about the award."
According to its website, "the IEEE ('eye-triple-E') helps advance global prosperity by promoting the engineering process of creating, developing, integrating, sharing, and applying knowledge about electrical and information technologies and sciences for the benefit of humanity and the profession." The IEEE was founded in 1884.
Since 1956, the James H. Mulligan Education Medal has been presented annually to recognize the importance of educators and their contributions to the engineering and teaching professions. The award includes a gold medal and a $20,000 cash prize. Kokotovic, a Santa Barbara resident, plans to donate some of the money to local charities.