BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 14, 2009 – James S. Thorp, the Hugh P. and Ethel C. Kelly Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the “Hugh P. and Ethel C. Kelly Professor Emeritus” title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
Head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since his arrival at Virginia Tech in 2004 until summer 2009, Thorp is a preeminent scholar in the field of electrical power and has made significant contributions in research on advances that strengthen the electric utility industry's ability to prevent or more easily restore power grid blackouts. He has written more than 200 publications and holds two U.S. patents, and has been involved in research in excess of several million dollars while at Virginia Tech.
In 2008, Thorp received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering from the Franklin Institute, which now includes him on its list of the greatest men and women of science, engineering, and technology.
He has served in a number of international professional technical societies, including being elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers for contributions to the development of digital techniques for power system protection. He received the 2001 Power Engineering Society Career Service Award and the 2006 IEEE Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Thorp received his bachelor's degree, master's degree, and Ph.D. from Cornell University.