ECE names Stephen Parke as new chairperson

Tennessee Tech University's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department welcomed Stephen Parke as its new chairperson August 1.

Parke joins the TTU faculty from Boise State University, where he helped lead the creation and development of the ECE Department and founded and directed the Idaho Microfabrication Laboratory, which now supports more than $2 million in annual research. Parke said he has a passion for technology transfer and economic development, and sees this as an important mission of a dynamic, growing university engineering program.

"I am from a family of teachers and have always believed teaching to be the calling of my life," said Parke. "My teaching philosophy is based on showing respect for students, simplifying subjects to their fundamental principles and incorporating my research into the classroom.

"I want every faculty member and student to succeed, and I seek to inspire them to reach a higher goal," Parke added. "I have found that my excitement for the field of electrical and computer engineering is contagious and rubs off on the students. When I take the time to show how a concept is currently being used in research or industry, it entices students to get involved in undergraduate research and to go on to graduate school.”

In his own research, Parke is investigating the physics, modeling, and fabrication of nanoscale transistors. He is also studying the effects of ionizing radiation on these transistors for aerospace and military applications. He has published and/or presented more than 30 papers.

He said he plans to continue this research at Tech, as well as seek to join existing research projects at TTU as a collaborator.

“Collaboration and sharing of resources are especially important to smaller and mid-size engineering programs,” he said.

Before embarking on a career in higher education, he worked in research and development with IBM Microelectronics in Vermont and New York. Later, he led the technical team in the IBM/Toshiba/Infineon multi-cultural TRIAD development project, which produced the world's first 256Mb DRAM chip in 1995.

Parke, who holds 10 U.S. patents with five pending, is active in the IEEE Electron Devices Society, and in 2000, received the IEEE Millennium Medal. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.