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Bill Diong received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana) and then found employment at Sundstrand Aerospace (now UTC Aerospace Systems) performing research, design and development work related to the dynamics and control of electric power generation, motor drive, power converter and magnetic bearing systems. In addition, he supported programs such as Boeing’s 777 airliner, 767 AWACS and RAH-66 helicopter; Northrop’s B2 bomber and Lockheed’s F22 fighter.
Then the opportunity arose for him to accept an academic position so he joined UT–Pan American in 1995 – where he helped to develop a new Electrical Engineering program and to get it initially accredited by ABET – and has been in academia ever since.
As a professor, he is strongly committed to achieving excellence in both teaching and research. He had the honor of being selected by students at UT–El Paso to receive a teaching excellence (Dean Eugene Thomas) award. From 2000 to 2002, he was UTEP’s Forrest and Henrietta Lewis Professor of Electrical Engineering, awarded to an Assistant Professor exhibiting exceptional promise. Furthermore, he has also been honored as a Fellow of UTEP’s Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (for teaching excellence and scholarship), and awarded an AFOSR Summer Faculty Research Fellowship. His work and his students’ have also been recognized by an NI Week Outstanding Application paper award, and a UTEP College of Engineering Best M.S. Thesis award.
His research experience and interests lie within the broad interdisciplinary area of Dynamic Systems and Control, and his goal is to conduct research that addresses the issues of cleaner energy, and better healthcare. He has been performing research on Power Electronic systems, with a current focus on multilevel inverters. His research has also included work on Arc Fault protection (funded by the Air Force) to detect and manage these faults in both AC and DC power systems. In addition, he and his students have performed studies related to alternative fuel engines, wind energy systems, fuel cell systems and hybrid wind-fuel cell systems. Furthermore, he had also served as a project co-PI and then consultant on a multi-million dollar NIH grant that he helped co-author the proposal for on the modeling of respiratory system dynamics.
At this point in time, he has authored or co-authored slightly more than 80 refereed journal and conference papers. In addition, he has been the grant PI or co-PI on over $1 million in research and education grants (not including the above-mentioned NIH grant) related to dynamic systems and electric power from various entities including the NSF, Air Force, BMDO, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Ford, Agilent, TI and El Paso Electric. Notably, his research has more often than not involved interdisciplinary collaborations - with faculty from Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, and the Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing and Kinesiology) – helped by the fact that his expertise, interests, and personality allow for considerable flexibility.