Charles Thorpe Has Been Appointed as an ASME Foundation Swanson Fellow

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2011 – Charles E. Thorpe, Ph.D., a resident of Gibsonia, Pa., and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, has been named an ASME Foundation Swanson Fellow.

Dr. Thorpe, a widely published expert in robotics and intelligent vehicle systems, has begun his fellowship in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C., where he will contribute technical input on research, technology, and manufacturing issues and other initiatives under consideration in the federal government.  Thorpe will serve in OSTP for a one year term.

Thorpe has served at Carnie Mellon for 25 years and in 2010 ended his six-year appointment as the first dean of the Carnie Mellon University campus in Doha, Qatar, where he led the expansion of campus offerings and electives and assisted in the teaching of robotic courses and was an advisor to students in the doctoral program.  

Thorpe’s publications have focused on intelligent transportation systems, covering topics ranging from path planning and sonar-based navigation to multi-robot remote driving and collision warning systems.  He is the editor of the book, Vision and Navigation: The Carnegie Mellon Navlab and co-editor of Intelligent Unmanned Ground Vehicles: Autonomous Navigation Research at Carnegie Mellon. Thorpe has published more than 100 technical papers and articles and also served on panels and workshops around the world.

In addition to several best paper awards, Thorpe is the recipient of the Pennsylvania Quality Initiative Award in 1999 and the Newell Award for Research Excellence in 1997.

He received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in Natural Science at North Park College, Chicago, in 1974, and earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon in 1984.

ASME was the first engineering society to establish a Federal Government Fellowship Program, which began in 1973. The program enables selected ASME members to devote a year of working in government, providing technical advice to policy makers in Congress and various executive branch offices and agencies.
The ASME Foundation “Swanson” Fellowship was established in 2010 in recognition of Dr. John A. Swanson, who is internationally recognized as an authority and innovator in the application of finite elements methods to engineering.

The Swanson Fellowship is designed to provide a unique opportunity for an experienced engineer to serve in the Federal government where they can apply their broad, multidisciplinary background toward solutions to technical issues. The Swanson Fellow will engage with professionals in the public policy arena to make practical contributions on the most effective use of engineering in federal decision making while strengthening his or her understanding of the intricacies of policymaking.



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